Happy Halloween everyone! Normally I love a bit of dress up, but I didn’t do much this year. Although I’ll admit, I did miss judging the girls in really inappropriate clothing. A sexy Red Riding Hood? – SHE’S A CHILD!!
Apologies for the long radio silence. Things have been interesting, to say the least…. Don’t worry, Mr Fraser and I are still married, Rigby is still Rigby and no, I’m not pregnant.
I can’t really talk about it at this stage – ask me again in a few months.
Let us change the subject.
Media exposure has been a wonderful thing for mental health. Nothing spreads awareness faster or has such a long reach. It also puts pressure on the government to recognise issues, and for this reason, I take as many opportunities to write articles as I can. The more information and personal experiences that are circulated, the better. The charity Time To Change are excellent at this, check out their website or even better become a TTC Champion!
Yet, as with all things, media attention hasn’t been without its setbacks. Language, for example, is a sticking point for me. Some journalists are more sensitive/clued up than others and the majority of the time I don’t take offence. However, I am starting to worry about how the word ‘anxiety’ is used and therefore perceived. Over the last six month’s it seems to have become a catch-all phrase for ‘stress,’ which if you suffer from anxiety is both untrue and insulting. The difference is so extreme, it’s like trying to compare a papercut to a stab wound. When I’m stressed I feel irritated, wired and worked up. When I’m anxious I can barely think straight, the negative thoughts in my head are deafening. I can’t keep still, my heart pounds, my breathing is heavy and my emotions are volatile. Do we spot the difference there?!
Exposure is great, but it needs to be managed. I don’t want to get to the point where anxiety is viewed as “nothing” or merely something that sensitive people have. For the record – Last week I watched a bloke cave another bloke’s head in with a baseball bat called Lucille (Walking Dead). I’m not a delicate flower, but I do have Social Anxiety Disorder. To disregard this genuine condition as being ‘sensitive’ is like a kick in the stomach.
Everybody slips up now and again and that’s cool. I know I’ve said many ignorant things without thinking, E.g. “Omg I’m beyond depressed today.” Or “I swear, if I have to wait much longer I’ll kill myself.” Flippant, and immature statements that I’m not proud of. How can I criticise journalists for poor language if I’m guilty of it myself? Can you imagine if cancer was referred to in such a way? “I swear if I have to wait much longer I’ll get cancer and die.” – Suddenly it put things into perspective.
I have no desire to become a word Nazi or ride off into the sunset on my high horse. But I do believe that change starts at home and from now on I intend to think before I speak.
Hopefully, others will too.