After a year since we have had a heightened level of crisis related to the severity of the pandemic we are now left with a skyrocketing mental health concern that continues to escalate. Because of isolation in due respect for the pandemic this shutdown mode has created red flags related to stress, depression, anxiety, dissociation, panic attacks, rumination, disturbed sleep patterns and lack social interactions has in a way crippled people of all ages.
Many of us who have not had prior mental health concerns at least to a level where it becomes a medical situation are now beginning to see a concerned increase of mental health symptoms. The heavy matters of these concerns are weighing also on our mental health teams across the world. It is developing like a cry as we notice many people who are seeking help from mental health clinics are now on a waiting list. ‘Times are changing’, we’ve heard this term many times in our life, but the emergency in situations evolving related this oncoming crisis this term has a more meaningful and impactful definition.
One thing that can be a bit baffling is when someone has re-occurring anxiety mixed with panic attacks and intrusive thoughts, this can be very difficult especially if you’re seeing it trending on an everyday cycle. Those of us who have experienced these symptoms mainly anxiety alone can relate that these effects can have an ongoing insecurity and part of a stigmatised triggering awareness.
If we look at mental illness in general even the last five years and I guess 10 years mental illness was a select amount of individuals that were seeking treatment or at least being mindful of it, now I think because of the extraneous levels of stress and even global affairs we are all vulnerable and this is where the dynamic changes.
In my book Interiors: Mental Health, I illustrate the journey from a very young age and into a diagnosis that lasted 21 years before I was able to receive the right medication and the correct diagnosis and I have been hospitalised 13 times. For the last seven years now I’ve had health security with no more symptoms no more side effects of medication and the same medication for seven years.
This book reveals the true nature of what it’s like to live with a mental illness. I am very grateful for the medical fields and my ability to be able to adjust to a more normal lifestyle. Because of my own personal success and overcoming a severe mental illness I have that desire within me to give back to the mental health community. I am also on a trauma committee board member in my local community this is a link to my book that I wrote about my experience.
We want to try to find ways to be an encouragement to people, that together we can be a inspiration.
John Ruonavaara is a mental health advocate.