I was struck this week by a post put out by a casting director in which they stated that they had a “constant scream” going on in their heads just with ‘everything’ that’s happening in the world. A few things struck me about their post.
Firstly I think it is courageous of people to name how they’re feeling. Social media tends to be a rose-tinted world for so many people, so it’s always nice to have a bit of realism thrown out there. Rightly or wrongly, this is amplified when it’s someone perceived to be higher up the food chain or in a position of power.
Secondly, I was struck by how many people go on to share either their own feelings or to offer some sort of help with how they’ve coped with those feelings themselves.
Thirdly I’m always struck by how nobody ever suggests going to have a mental health check-up. The chances are these feelings are perfectly normal and simply reactive to the world at large at the moment. I mean let’s face it, we’re 2 years into a global pandemic which shut our industry down, 2 years of political turmoil and sheer incompetence in the UK, nearly 1 year into a war, and we’re about to hit our 3rd covid Winter knowing that we’re in a cost of living hell, the NHS is slowly collapsing around us, and there’s a chance of restricted energy supplies. That’s without all the day-to-day stuff that we’re all having to deal with. I mean with all of that in mind it’s a bloody wonder how any of us are functioning normally – however when things feel particularly hard, we should normalise getting a mental health check-up.
I have no doubt that many people find it reassuring when they express a vulnerability online that so many others will be feeling the same as them, however, that might not be as reassuring as you think. I was reading some of the replies under that particular post and there were so many red flags raised of people that might need to be seeking out professional help.
Is it the British “stiff upper lip” malarkey that leaves people just accepting feeling crap for long periods of time? Is it the “snowflake” narrative that you just have to get on with things, after all, “back in the day” there was none of this mental health nonsense. Or is it that when you’re struggling you almost don’t feel worthy of getting any help? It’s the old adage of there’s always somebody worse off than you argument, isn’t it? If you’re currently feeling scared in the UK you need to pull yourself together – imagine how the people of Ukraine must be feeling (or insert any other worldwide disaster or event).
So this is your reminder that you (whoever you are) deserve to feel well. You deserve to not live in a world where ruminations and anxieties dominate your thoughts. Just because you’ve always dealt with things in that way doesn’t mean that it’s the right way. Having lots of people agreeing with you might not be the reassurance that you think it is, it might be more indicative that we have a mental health crisis in the UK and far too many people are just putting up with symptoms that could be treated.
Treat yourself – if those “thoughts” become intrusive if they’re keeping you awake if they’re preventing you from finding any inner peace – go and have a mental health check-up. You could do this via your GP or online, there are countless free resources out there that would allow you to do a quick check-in to see if your feelings are normal and appropriate, or whether you might need some professional help to work through them.
Don’t forget – we’ve only got one life, we owe it to ourselves to make it the best that it can be.