Mental health is widely described as our emotional, psychological and social well-being. Emphasis has always been on physical health but studies have shown that our mental health does affect our physical health. I also do believe that the battle on physical ailment is half way won when we are at a place of being mentally healthy.
I met a sweet, out-going and ambitious 20 yr old lady by the name Wendy Njoroge in my pursuit of trying to really understand mental health and ailment. I first encountered her and part of her story on IG and she was sweet enough to let me meet her and hear her story. She has this infectious positive energy around her and her vulnerability with regards to sharing her life and struggle with mental health for me was a sign of a woman that has made peace with her life, experiences and will to help others that are going through it.
The state of our mental health affects how we think and react to situations and experiences in our lives. Wendy can attribute part of her mental health struggles to the experiences she has had as a child. She has also gone through life altering physical ailments such as Endometrioma. She was diagnosed with a mood disorder to be precise bipolar disorder when she was 19 yrs. This is characterized by persistent feelings of sadness or periods of feeling overly happy in fluctuation. She opened up to me about her 4 suicide attempts and what was going on in her heart and mind at that moment. A state of helplessness, hopelessness and death as the only way out. Our conversation really focused on common myths and misconceptions that most people believe about mental health.
Here are a few.source
- Mental health does not and could not affect me.
- People with mental health problems are violent and unpredictable. (most people struggling with mental health are highly active and pro-active)
- Children do not experience mental health problems. (Wendy was wrongly diagnosed with ADHD in class 7)
- People with mental health needs even those who are managing their mental illness, cannot tolerate the stress of holding down a job.
- Personality weakness or character flaws cause mental health problems. People with mental health problems can snap out of it if they try hard enough. (It has nothing to do with being lazy or weak)
- There is no hope for people with mental health problem.( People do recover and get ability to live, work, learn and contribute to their purpose on this earth)
- Therapy and self-help are a waste of time. (she really recommends therapy to everyone)
- I can’t do anything for a person with mental health problems. (That’s where we are all wrong)
To be honest during our conversation on this topic, each and every one of these myths was literally demystified. Talking about her journey with someone who really just wanted to listen, learn and not judge was one of the things that gave her joy and comfort in sharing her story.She is out here to win and i believe that she has already. Wendy is open to speak and walk with anyone going through what she has gone through and connecting them with professional help. One thing she found really hard and paralyzing is her first appointment at the doctors to face this struggle head-on. “No one needs or deserves to go through that alone!’ She heartily retorted. I too agree. You do not need to go through it alone.
Do you relate with Wendy’s bold, amazing and courageous story? Please leave her a comment below and do connect with her on IG @shiku_njoroge.
You will love her as much as i did! I promise!♥
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