Mental health - How not asking for help has an impact on your kids!

anxiety burnout depression mentalhealth Oct 13, 2021

Sunday, 10th October was World Mental Health Day! A day that is very close to my heart. Through all the heartfelt stories that I have read, I felt inspired to write this blog post, out of the perspective of a child of someone who has suffered from mental health issues too. 

As some of you already know, I was born in East Germany in 1982, mum and I had a rough start, not only did she lose her beautiful mother to mental health issues when she was fourteen, but also had to raise me by herself at the age of 21.  

As her child, I can't even imagine how tough that must have been for her. Especially when you have to raise a child on your own, you heavily rely on the support of those around you. She had to figure it all out by herself and as far as I am concerned, she did a wonderful job with that. 

As a family, we didn't talk much about mental health issues, but I know the amount of suffering that she has gone through over the years. When my mum got closer to the age of forty, she became increasingly worried that she was walking around like a ticking time bomb. You have to remember, we are talking twenty years ago, where the amount of information was still limited and the internet wasn't as widely spread as today.

As kids, we were terrified, because whenever the negative self-talk and the varying degrees of depression took over, we didn't know how to best support her. It obviously didn't help that her aunt (her mother's sister) was also suffering from depression at the same time. Luckily, she was surrounded by a great team of healthcare professionals that helped her through those years and provided her with the tools that were available back then. 

I am grateful for all the resources that exist today, for all the wonderful psychologists, and counsellors all over the world. We are fortunate to be living in a day and age, where we are starting to understand the causes of mental health issues a little bit better and that we now enter a time where we can openly and honestly talk about our struggles. 

For me personally, I don't hesitate to ask for help anymore and I am starting to recognize the power of sharing my struggles with other people and what I have done to overcome those. I am done pretending that I live in this perfect world, which we tend to portray on social media. I am ready to get real and I am ready to inspire. 

If sharing this story will enable just one person to start a conversation with their loved ones, that would make me incredibly happy.

Perhaps start by getting to know yourself better again, sit with your feelings and emotions and recognise the flags. Recognise when things are starting to take its toll and when it is time to prioritise some self-care or when it is time to ask for external help. Every child is a happier child with a loving and fulfilled mum around.