Is it OK to not be OK?
This World Mental Health day, I want to challenge the usual rhetoric.
“It’s OK not to be OK”… I know what you mean. It means it’s OK to admit to not being OK. Remove the stigma of mental health issues. Encourage people to be open about their mental health struggles.
It’s really not OK to not be OK, but to soldier on.
If you are full of dread, losing hope, your mood is low more often than not, you have intrusive thoughts, you’re struggling with insomnia, spiralling anxiety…
Do not listen to “this too shall pass”.
Try to express your feelings to people who care about you.
Be open with your manager. Go to your GP. Refer yourself to your nearest Healthy Minds service.
Do not let people tell you that this is normal, that everybody has days when they are not OK, that this will pass.
You might need a leg-up to climb out. You might need prescribed medication.
If you’re OK thanks, then please remember this:
Many people can’t reach out when they feel utterly wretched. They might say “I’m alright thanks”, even when they are full of dread and the light at the end of the tunnel is dimming. Especially if they are neurodivergent.
Check in persistently with your friend, family member or colleague if you notice they don’t seem their normal selves. Do not just say “You know where I am if you need to talk, my door is always open”. You might mean well, but sometimes that is just not enough.