Struggling with mental health - a teenage perspective
I am a 15-year-old, based in Pembrokeshire who has, for at least the last four years, struggled with my mental health. More recently, I’ve realised that from a young age social anxiety in particular has weighed heavily on me and still does. Obviously when you’re between the ages of 0-10 and sometimes older, you don’t really know about the wide range of issues you can be faced with so, when I was that young, I had no clue that what was going on (mainly in my head) was not “normal”. Having anxious thoughts definitely put a strain on mini-me and the people raising mini-me. Over the last year I’ve had a lot of support to help me with those issues and they have made a huge impact, especially after Covid made mine and everyone’s mental health pretty much shrivel up.
Unfortunately, though, not everyone has been given the support they need after the pandemic, and by support I don’t only mean talking through your experience, but also financial support, medical support, etc. The pandemic has put a strain on people in lots of ways. As humans we had to find ways to cope, and my coping mechanism (not a great one) was self-harm. I’ve struggled with self-harm for a while, but the pandemic has definitely made it more of a regular thing and I sort of took a turn for the worse. A few months into 2021 I did try to take my life which was not only detrimental to my mental (and physical) health, but also to that of my family.
We are (sort of) back on track now and it has taught us a few things. Everyone has taken a turn for the worse since the pandemic started but (hopefully) everyone will find a healthy way to cope with the new normalities which Covid has brought for us, annoying as they are. One of the important things to remember from this experience is that you are not alone and you are not the only one who has found it hard to cope with these changes.
It's important to reflect on how we have dealt with this shocker, some of us better than others (I won’t mention the government). And it’s even more important to note that life, as hard as it is to believe, will go on. Give it time. One last thing: a HUGE thank-you to the NHS.