First of all, I want to take the time out of my day as I am writing this to thank Sammie Wilson from one of the many YouTubers groups that I am in to let me write all about Mental Health. I can’t thank her enough for sharing a little bit more about herself and some of her writings that she personally shared with me, I can relate one way or another.
DISCLAIMER: This is going to be a disclaimer, trigger and content warning for you all right now for those of you who are reading this right now as I share this in advance that some may offend you to what I am writing for you to read based on my life story and truth yet needs to be shared for others to know that they’re not alone and that with saying this that I am giving you all my experiences, knowledge and some hopefully sound advice through it all. I am writing this right now from my heart to open up to you all and invite you all on my journey so far into what I’ve been through as you’re all or some of you are aware that I’ve shared some of my stories on my channel on YouTube called Aspie Answers- Life of an Aspie”
I thought to bring this out of the reasons behind in why I’m doing this and this is not to dwell on the past or anything like that or even seeking any attention like behaviors from you all or even just sympathy. I just want to share with you all basically that this is hopefully to engage with you all, support you all in a way, hopefully that you can walk in my shoes as I walk in your shoes and actually experience the pain, insecurities, fear and so much more in which I went through in the past life .
I want you all to know that I am no medical doctor, I am just your everyday Jo Blogs and if you know someone who’s struggling or showing any signs and symptoms to any of the previous videos I have shared based on these topics and more, I advise you to seek help either for yourself or for your loved one for whatever reason it may be for example some medical help and/or assistance. As I can’t stress this enough as I have shared this so many times before.
If you see any people that you know of that you care about are showing signs and symptoms of anything of the previous videos based on mental health, do seek professional help for yourself or your loved one or even seeking second opinion for yourself or your loved one because I don’t forever condone self-harm.
What are you wanting to gain from the experience?
As far as I can remember I have been dealing with my own demons and traumatic experiences that I went through in the past and still to do this day it’s an everyday battle. My demons of anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks, anxiety attacks along with so many others to name a few. They are a part of me yet I don’t let this rule my life or let it overtake my everyday thoughts and everyday actions to what are needed of me to do or even accomplish. I will not let these rob me of my joy, goals and dreams that I have got.
I want to be able to share with others my stories and experiences as I’ve already done so through my book, channel and through my writings on here in my private space of my blog page. I want to share with others that there is HOPE and that it’s not the end for them. I believe we are here for a reason and that purpose yet it’s up to us to how we deal with our everyday struggles as some are there to teach us some life lessons along the way through the good, bad and the ugly. I also believe that we are the creator, writers, artists etc. of our story. I believe that no matter what we go through, that we should be able to make the right choices to know what to fight of our battles and what to leave alone. I’m one of the many that has decided that enough is enough and that I thought to voice out for others that hasn’t got a voice yet. I was the many that decided that I wanted to share my stories and experiences along with also advocating, mentoring and educating others. Certain types of mental health conditions we face are an epidemic and a worldwide problem. Yet, we can be the solutions to the problem if we choose to. Alongside from all of this, I wanted to help people as much as I can and where and when I can when I am needed for example through my blogs or even just through my vlogs I share on YouTube or anywhere for that matter. I’ve always been passionate about health and mental health is just many of the few passions of mine. I would like to see that the stigma/stereotyping of mental health but not just mental health to be banished for good. I believe that we are starting to make progress in this front yet it will definitely take time. As they say that you will need to build an army to fight a war and to win one.
Despite my everyday personal struggles with the demons clearly mentioned now that I go through in my life, I want people to understand and be well aware of the effects and tolls of what mental health does to someone or even have on that person. As we know that there are many different side effects/symptoms that will vary from person to person as they go through their own person mental health conditions and they may range from example headaches, tiredness, weight gain/loss, no energy or motivation, not eating and the list grows and continues with other hosts of symptoms/side effects.
I’ve also seen and heard some of the everyday struggles that others may go through and some of the ones that I really knew just gave up and ended up taking their life due to their demons that were haunting and taunting them. Along with this decision that they made, this was due to no one was listening to them or knowing the signs before the alarm bells rang and sound off to say that something isn’t right. The ones that took their life were the ones that weren’t taken seriously enough as they thought that they were living a lie, they felt that they may have been a burden to others that were in their circle and with them that others around them thought that they were just crying out for attention due to what they’ve done to themselves. The ones that are suffering in silence that did decide to take their lives in through all of their mess or hell that they were living in that they felt that they were being judged by others, rejected from others and asking for help from others where they needed it the most that they felt so helpless and useless. Some of us that go through these battles of our demons will try to deny them all and put a mask on and to brave out our day and to try and continue our day like a normal person.
It’s a sad fact and reality to what we are living in as I believe that we go through so much and that from what we’ve been taught or what we read is that we don’t need to talk about our problems or to show them or to just harden up and forget about it all etc. etc. Yet, this is the wrong way of thinking and belief pattern we have ingrained in us that we need to rewire our thinking patterns and make a stand as this is a problem/epidemic happening worldwide.
I hope to also gain as much knowledge and skills as they say that knowledge is power and what we do with that knowledge again is up to us by choice. We shouldn’t have to be silenced from whatever we’re facing even though yes we should be thankful for having social media and some platforms where we can reach out to others and that in saying this that this can create a positive or negative result/outcome for us all. I feel also as my hope not to feel judged, laughed at or whatever it is as just to come to someone and feel accepted, loved and wanted.
- Why are you so passionate about mental health?
Honestly, there are a lot of reasons in some that has already been answered and that it is similar to my mission statement to what you’ve just read, because I see, hear, and read about everyone’s personal struggles of the life story with mental health.
Here in New Zealand where I am, the healthcare services for health and disability is improving yet there’s still a long way to go. I am not trying to bash the medical system that we have along with what they do for the patients into just giving them everyday medications as we know that by choice that is up to you to take them and also to know what to do with our lives and not to rely on the medications given that it will make us better. Sometimes, with the medications that are given some people aren’t told of the side effects of what likely to happen. So, it pays to know what we’re taking and how much is too much. We know that there’s no quick fix or magic cure for mental health conditions yet again it’s up to us by choice to how we are going to manage our everyday life Meds may help eventually however in an acute setting it’s near impossible to get the patient to take meds so non-invasive techniques are utilized more frequently it’s not just one thing that contributes to de-escalation, and each situation is unique therefore there isn’t just one way to deal with things and the sane technique may not work twice.
Here in an article written from the Ministry of Health in New Zealand, this is what it reads briefly of an article/report that they wrote:
By measuring our performance against international benchmarks, we can see that New Zealanders usually get the health care they need when they need it and that most New Zealanders are generally happy with the health services they receive.1
Among New Zealand’s strengths are:
- a publicly funded, universal health system with a committed and highly trained workforce
- health services with a strong focus on primary care and a widely supported focus on wellness
- a unique public health and no-fault accident compensation system, which serves the whole population throughout their lives
- a strong desire for health and social services to work better together
- local decision-makers in district health boards (DHBs) who are well positioned to respond to community needs and integrate services
- a growing best practice evidence base developed through research
- Māori and Pacific health providers, connected to their communities and modelling integrated approaches to health.
… And connected to a changing world
New Zealand will always be geographically distant from the rest the world. But we are now more connected with it than ever, as people move around the world, technology markets become global and the internet spreads knowledge and cultural practices.
This international context will continue to shape New Zealanders’ experience of health. It means our system needs to be aware of developments and effectively draw on and absorb global ideas and evidence.
- Health and social services must be provided to increasing numbers of older people who are living longer.
- The health burden of long-term conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, depression, dementia and musculo-skeletal conditions is growing.
- Benefits need to be assessed in light of affordability as new technologies and drugs emerge and expectations about health services rise.
- The global workforce is highly mobile.
- New infections and antibiotic resistance are emerging.
- Climate change has health and social consequences.
We face challenges
‘Given New Zealand’s ageing population… it is critical that the health system includes in its planning specific actions to manage this demographic change.’
New Zealanders are living longer, and every year, more of us are aged over 65 years. This is good for individuals and their families. But it does mean social and health services will have to adapt, and it challenges the health system to find ways of providing services that are still affordable.
Keeping an older person healthy and independent can involve more health and social services than are needed for younger people. Older people are also more likely to have a disability and to have more than one health condition. We want a health system that supports people to live longer but also to spend more of that life in good health.
Dealing with long-term conditions is a particular challenge with an ageing population. Dementia is one example. We expect the number of New Zealanders with dementia to rise from about 48,000 in 2011 to about 78,000 in 2026.
Obesity is becoming more common and has long-term health and social impacts. Among New Zealand children as a whole, 10% are obese, but the rate is 30% in Pacific children.2
Some of New Zealand’s population groups do not benefit from the health and disability system as much as others. For example, while New Zealanders overall are living longer, Māori and Pacific peoples still have lower life expectancies than the population as a whole (see the graph below). People with an intellectual disability can also expect to live for 18–23 fewer years than others.3 Disabled people generally experience worse health than the rest of the population. 29% of disabled people rated their health as fair or poor compared with only 4% of non-disabled people.4 Children are another population that may not access the health services they need because they depend on others for that access.
Life expectancy at birth, by ethnic group, 1950–2014
Source: Complete New Zealand Period Life Tables – time series summaries: Life expectancy by age
and sex, 1950–52 to 2012–14 from Statistics New Zealand.
‘The cost of providing health care in a way that adequately meets current public demand is becoming prohibitive and … we will quickly fall behind the developed world in this important task if we persist with the current model. It is unsustainable.’
New Zealand’s total health and disability spending is about $18 billion, or about 9.5% of gross domestic product (GDP); this covers spending in the public, private and non-governmental organization (NGO) sectors, including ACC expenditure.5 As a percentage of GDP, the total is slightly over the OECD average but consistent with most OECD countries. New Zealand is unusual in that taxpayers fund most of its health expenditure – about 7% of GDP.6 Health makes up about 22% of government spending.
The cost of providing health services through the current model is unsustainable in the long term. The Treasury estimates that, if nothing were to change in the way we fund and deliver services, government health spending would rise from about 7% of GDP now, to about 11% of GDP in 2060 (see the graph below). It is essential that we find new and sustainable ways to deliver services, investing resources in a way that will provide the best outcomes possible for people’s health and wider wellbeing.
Projected government health spending as a percentage of GDP
Source: Health Projections and Policy Options for the 2013 Long-term Fiscal Statement from the Treasury.
An independent review of New Zealand’s health funding system7 noted three ways in which funding arrangements sometimes prevent resources from being used to achieve the best possible outcomes.
- Present arrangements may not clearly show the results that we get from health spending, making it hard to prioritize funding or take into account long-term, cross-sectoral benefits from investment.
- When demand changes, service mix and design may not change quickly enough to deal with it. Often our funding and contracting arrangements encourage health services to keep doing things as they have always done them, instead of allowing them to work differently.
- Some funding arrangements contribute to disparities between groups in their access to services, and sometimes they widen the gap in unmet need.
New Zealand’s health workforce also faces challenges. It is ageing – 40% of doctors and 45% of nurses are aged over 50 years.8 it also has a large unregulated workforce (numbering about 63,000), including care and support workers, or kaiāwhina, who often have limited access to training. Many of our workforces have trained overseas – 42% of our doctors, 32% of our midwives and 26% of our nurses. This means we need to continually invest in training so that our health workforce has the skills needed to meet the health needs and expectations of caring for New Zealanders.
New Zealanders’ needs and expectations are themselves changing. These changes are happening not only because the population is ageing but also because it is becoming more ethnically diverse. In Auckland, for instance, around 39% of residents were born overseas; Asian populations are growing the fastest and now represent almost one in four people living in Auckland, New Zealand.
… But we have many opportunities
By focusing on preventing illness and by making healthy choices easy, we can help people either to avoid developing long-term health conditions or to slow the development of those conditions. An important part of this focus involves providing universal health services and public health initiatives that cover the whole population. In addition, tailored approaches are needed for some individuals and population groups so they can access the same level of service and enjoy the same outcomes as others.
In New Zealand, we have a strong and growing knowledge base, developed from research, about what contributes to good health, from birth into adulthood.10 this knowledge will be an ongoing resource to guide policies that help children to start out on pathways for healthy growth and development. Early intervention can help prevent some health conditions that can occur later in life.
We can keep expanding our thinking about who contributes to health by tapping into the skills of individuals, families and whanau, communities and businesses. Building stronger partnerships with them will help us to do this.
Like other sectors, the health sector can benefit from advances in technology and related infrastructure such as broadband. When routine tasks are automated, skilled staff can focus on what they do best. Sharing information in appropriate ways across organizations and with patients and families and whānau can let us know who is missing out and what isn’t working so we can change it.
In summary, our healthcare system may be functioning well enough today, but we can’t guarantee that it will be tomorrow. This strategy provides an opportunity to improve our health system and wider social services, so that in the future we are better able to support the health and wellness of New Zealanders. A key to our success in making these improvements will be our ability to work together. (Reference: https://www.health.govt.nz/new-zealand-health-system/new-zealand-health-strategy-future-direction/challenges-and-opportunities)
One other reason behind why I am so passionate about mental health as well as the other areas that I am working on my channel and blog page is that I know and understand fully what it is like to go through our everyday life with our demons that tries to haunt or taunt us in anyway it can as well as being empathetic, compassionate, loyal and caring. As some of you who knows me that majority of the time, I put others needs first before my own which I now need to learn to say no and work on me before I worn out.
Question 2: How would I help the person with mental health if it was a family or a friend?
In answer that if they came to me for help or just someone to talk to that is the start of building a trust factor between us. I will then therefore access the situation that they are in. Find a quiet place for us to sit down and talk so that no one isn’t around. I will be sure to pay my full attention to them into what they’re about to say and only them by switching off or silencing my devices such as my cellphone and computer so therefore no distractions. Walk in their shoes (empathetic not sympathetic). Start off by relating to them and to again as mentioned earlier that they’re not alone as this is normal. It takes time and will get better eventually. Take it day by day. No need to rush whatever you’re going through. Let them talk, vent and what to see if they want my input of my own opinions or not. Yet majority of the time they just want someone to talk to and for someone to listen. Along with just wanting to be heard.
Question 3: What advice would you give to someone that is dealing with mental health?
What they’re going through does get better and that they not alone in this. Just be saying and reassuring to them that I am there if they need me to talk or vent etc. is sometimes more than enough. Yet, however, in their everyday personal struggles they go through for it to get better, they will have to want and have the desire for it to get better. As again we all have choices and that it’s up to them for their choices as I can only do so much for them to help them. Let them know that they’re loved and wanted by others around them and that they’re not any labels that others may have labelled them as. There are ways- so many ways to the way mental health affects us but it’s up to us to find ways or methods to change our perspective etc. to move forward.
PERSONAL FACTS ABOUT ME
- As you are aware after reading my blogs or story I wrote along with doing my vlogs I have shared with most of you what I go through. I will write it again for the ones that has landed on my page and is new to reading this is that I suffered when I was a teenager psychosis along with social anxiety, anxiety, Aspergers Syndrome, panic attacks, anxiety attacks just to name a few.
- Do I take any medications on a day to day basis?
No I don’t take any medications yet I do other methods to keep my mental health and general health in check which is meditating, yoga, Pilates, exercise, dancing, writing, singing, vlogging, positive affirmations, gratitude writing and so much more to at least distract myself to not dwell too much on my demons.
- No I haven’t yet been through counselling through my mental health yet in the past I did some counselling for other personal reasons for a time. It was okay for a time as it did help me a bit.
- I do make daily goals for myself everyday even if I don’t fully achieve them then that are okay. It is okay to fail once in a while as well as falling as this teaches us what we need to do and work harder for striving for our goals that we have set to achieve. I believe everyone’s journey is different and it’s not a race at all. We shouldn’t race to the finish line as we should all enjoy life and its processes.
- I keep myself motivated by gratitude and waking up in the morning and knowing that I am forever blessed to have all the small things I have even if my health isn’t in great condition sometimes. Just knowing that I am alive and kicking. Knowing in myself that I am the only one that’s in control of my life and no one else is. I am the one that choose to do what I want to do as every day starts with us by choice into what we want to do and accomplish. Sometimes, also what keeps me motivated is just hearing what others go through and what they do in their everyday life to survive is more than enough for me along with maybe if I hear some of my favorite songs I will sing and dance to them. Just to know that I can love myself along with being at peace in myself. I also believe that if we have the right attitude and mindset along with the right people to support us that this can go a long way also.
Well this is the end of what I want to share with you all and that there was so much more yet I hope you’ve enjoyed this read.
Thanks for reading this.