Anxiety Diaries #2 | Family Support

Welcome Back to my second post in my Anxiety Diaries which is focused on Mental Health specifically Anxiety and Family Support.  If you are interested in reading post one which discussed Anxiety and Toxic Friendships then you can do so by clicking here; Anxiety Diaries #1 – Toxic Friendships. 

understood

Explaining a Mental Health issue is difficult and explaining it to family can be even harder so when you finally open up and tell them about your struggles it can be devastating when they don’t understand.

In terms of my relationship with my family and my mental health there are things they do not know and I will probably never tell them because I know they are things they won’t understand. People say that in order to get better or to help deal with your mental health, it helps to talk to loved ones but that does not necessarily mean family. Me and my family have our ups and downs like any family but as I am the first in my family to have Anxiety it is something they don’t really understand. They try to understand but sometimes it’s as if they forget… one thing I really hate is when my older brother tells me how every worry I have is ‘all in my head.’ I used to argue and explain how I know that some of my anxious thoughts are irrational and I know they are in my head but it doesn’t stop me feeling them and it makes me feel even worse as I wish I could change it.  It’s frustrating and frankly I just ignore it now because the argument isn’t worth it but if you are someone with a loved one who suffers from Anxiety then please don’t say this.

As time has gone on Mental Health is being discussed more and more everyday, there is still a long way to go to abolish the stigma which surrounds it but people are definitely starting to question and aim to understand. So how could you help your family understand your situation?

Leaflets / Websites 

Your local Doctors surgery should have a bunch of leaflets regarding Anxiety, Panic Attacks and other mental health issues, you can give these to your loved ones so that they can have a read through and try to understand the symptoms associated with your issue.  Alternatively the internet is our greatest tool also here, there are so many websites (just a google search away) that you can visit such as NHSMental HealthMind Charity.

A good tip here is also don’t forget about YouTube or Celebrity Interviews. Sometimes a familiar celebrity can help your family understand how common mental health problems are. You will always hear the sentence ‘you never would have thought they had…’ which makes them realise that anybody can be diagnosed with depression, panic attacks, bipolar etc.

Here are a few names of celebrities you may wish to consider researching in order to help with this discussion. I find those with older generation parents may find this helpful the most, I most certainly did as my parent’s never knew anybody with Anxiety Disorder. It just helped with the discussion we had. The following are Celebrities who have spoken about their own mental health struggles in the past…

Freddie Flintoff  

Demi Lovato 

Cara Delivigne

Zoella

Colin Farrell

Zayn Malik

Catherine Zeta Jones 

Christina Ricci

Hayden Panetierre 

 

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Sadly not everyone’s is or you feel like you just can’t tell them everything so where do you go from here? I wish I had all the answers. I don’t, but I have some tips which may help you when you need to get your feelings out.

Journalling

Write a diary, journal or even a letter to yourself. Just getting your feelings down on paper can be so helpful and really ease an anxious episode. If you are also scared of someone reading this then you can destroy the letter, use this as a way to get rid of the negative thoughts. You are writing them down and then destroying them, throwing them away from you.

You don’t have to talk to anybody if you don’t want to but keeping things bottled up isn’t helpful, writing things down is another way to get things out there. Writing a letter to a loved one can also be a way to discuss your feelings regarding your mental health.

Blogging

Blogging is essentially an extension of journalling except it is public, although you can remain as anonymous as you like. Blogging for me has really helped my anxiety, it has introduced me to so many others like me who have had similar experiences and the support network is outstanding.

Counselling

This is an option not open to everyone, not everyone is as open with their families to this degree but counselling can be helpful to many. There are numerous support networks out there for yourself individully or your family as a whole. Sometimes you just need a safe space where you can talk with an unbiased professional in the room who can help explain your feelings when you can’t. In a medical capacity this can be helpful for those whose mental health needs a higher level of care and consideration.

Live With It.

Sounds brutal I know.
Sometimes you simply can’t change another person’s thoughts and when they are your family then sometimes you have to live with it. Unless you are seriously being harmed and emotionally abused from their behaviour then living with it is sometimes our only option. Sadly not all members of our families will truly understand and most likely than not, you will get a stupid comment thrown at you here and there but this is probably because they simply don’t understand. I wish we were able to place others into our brains for a moment so they can experience it but sadly we can’t.

Top Tip; When you are discussing your mental health with your family remember that you too need to be considerate. Allow them to ask questions, ones that may seem really dumb or obvious are ones they may need to ask to fully grasp what you are feeling and going through.


I hope you find this post helpful to you, I have been blown away by the sheer audience of the first post, the comments and likes. I never expected so many to interact with these posts but I am so thankful that my words are reaching out, I just hope they are helpful to someone. 

hannahTwitter | Bookstagram | Personal Instagram | Goodreads

 

8 thoughts on “Anxiety Diaries #2 | Family Support

  1. Wonderfully written post Hannah! I know I speak for everyone in the blogging community in that you can talk about things openly with us, I am always there if you need to DM someone. ❤

    I’ve recently become close to someone that has anxiety, and she’s found that talking specifically about the things going off in her head that is causing the anxiety has helped her. I’m quite a collected person and nothing much phases me, so she has become more open when we talk about these things and we try to find a way past the feeling she has, purely through talking about it. If that is a help to you or anyone in the comments then great 😊

    Any time you want a chat Hannah let me know x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment Richard! It sounds like you are doing an amazing job being there for your friend and talking her through it. In CBT they do a similar thing and try to get to the root cause of the anxiety and find ways to overcome it so you are doing exactly what is right to help her 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such a wonderful post, Hannah ❤ I find it so hard sometimes to talk to people around us and sometimes they just don't understand. It's all in your head, they'd say, but sometimes it just does not make sense, nor can you explain it in proper words or put it together in a…somehow comprehensible way, because sometimes realities with anxiety are just so hard to grasp. Having people asking you questions and trying to understand is honestly the best thing, even when they can't fully understand when they're not in your shoes, they're trying and that is one of the best things when it happens ❤
    Lovely post, you're such a wonderful help with these kind of things ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Marie, it means so much that you say that you find these posts helpful. I truly hope they do help people. I know how you feel of course and if you ever want to talk then you know I am here but I also understand that sometimes you need that face to face interaction and it is hard to be faced with ‘it’s all in your head’ is one that is so frustrating and horrible.

      I agree with you completely of course (as always, do we ever not) that asking questions and people attempting to understand is the best thing.
      Hope you’re ok xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Such a great post as always, Han ❤️
    This post really resonated with me. I’ve always struggled to talk to my family about my mental health issues, I just don’t think they always understand how real it really is. I’ve never outright told my mom that I’m struggling with depression, she’s read my blog and she ask me if I’m okay on a daily basis, but I don’t know if she fully grasps it – the fact that you can be sad without a reason. The same goes for my boyfriend, he knows that I struggle, but sometimes he’ll just say that I should think more positively. I wish that people would be more educated when it comes to mental illness.

    I think your post is excellent, Han. I think it will really help people that are struggling to communicate with their families. I also think it’s great that you added counseling, I think lots of people are ashamed to attend counseling, but the more people talk about it the more normal it becomes.

    You really are such an inspiration! Keep doing what you are doing xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much lovely. I wouldn’t call myself an inspiration, I just hope it does help someone. I know exactly what you mean when you say you don’t think they fully grasp it and I don’t think a lot of people do unless they experience it themselves. Because they can’t see it, they don’t understand that it’s like being dragged down even when you feel positively if that makes sense? You can be happy then it can suddenly come at you. I’m glad your mum and boyfriend understand it to a degree and that they are there for you.

      You know I am always here to chat whenever you need to or rant! x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I get exactly what you are saying! Like your life can be great, but you can still feel sad and you simply just can’t explain it. Thanks so much, I am also always here if you need to talk to someone ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

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