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27 Sep 2020, by Caroline

No labels, just feelings

Talking about mental health isn’t easy, but it definitely matters. Mental illness still has a lot of stigma attached to it, despite the growing focus on mental health in recent years. The stigma surrounding mental health can prevent us from recognizing when we need to reach out for help.

Caroline writes about why talking is so important and how to recognise feelings rather than trying to analyse and label them.

So many labels

Thank goodness mental health is being talked about more openly now. It feels almost like a relief that it is being talked about more and more openly. To have any mental health issue is rubbish enough for us, but when it was almost a taboo subject – to be spoken about either never, or only in the shadows – made it sometimes unbearable.

Some days, and especially these crazy days I try to make sense of how I’m feeling. Am I feeling fine? OK? Happy? Anxious? Depressed? A bit down? A bit upbeat? And some days a bit of everything? Oh I don’t know! What a roller coaster of emotions these days are aren’t they?

Achnowledge and accept

I have chosen now though to stop labelling myself and just go with the flow and instead of trying to name each emotion I just acknowledge them. It’s hard, because I think by trying to name them almost, is my way of trying to understand how I’m feeling but just acknowledging them and accepting that at this moment, this is how I’m feeling, feels that much better. And it is true what they say those feelings – the rotten ones the ones that make us feel down – they do pass in time.

And talking. Talking definitely helps. Not having to justify how you feel by labelling yourself, just simply talking about you, your day, how you feel and what’s happening with you.

One way of acknowledging these feelings for me has been journaling them. Getting it all down on paper. It really has helped and has been a great way of expressing just how things are, just for me in that moment.


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