It is no secret that I have had my battles with mental health, it has been an issue for almost three decades and I am comfortable talking about it!

But over the past year I have felt good, I had finally managed to regain control of my mind and even though I knew it was still there lurking somewhere, I was, well I was free.

But now the depression and the anxiety is once again bubbling up and after feeling so good, it is not great to return to it.

That is because of the Coronavirus!

It isn’t so much because I am afraid of getting it, don’t get me wrong, it concerns me because of my poor physical health but the anxiety and the over thinking and low mood is because of the shortage of food and basic items and the fear of how we are going to cope.

I am not totally housebound but it is rare that I venture out because of high pain levels and fatigue and so I am used to long periods of isolation.

The same can be said for many of the people that I interact with on social media, the spoonies who keep each other going.

I am seeing a common feeling running through the tweets and posts from them and that is fear, anxiety and a feeling of impending doom.

It is only natural to be scared, after all many of us would not survive if we caught Coronavirus and we fear that this forced shutdown and shortage of supplies will put us in even more of a precarious situation than we already live with.

As one person put it “It’s case of survival of the fittest and I’m afraid neither of us are in that category“.

But even outside of the Disability and Chronic Health community there is likely to be a rise in the amount of people who start to suffer from mental health, these are scary times and we feel powerless.

This coupled with the closure of GP surgeries and the ramping down of non urgent NHS care means that many people will face mental health with little or no support.

It is still important to speak to someone though and we have the benefit of the internet where we can get support and speak to one of the Mental Health Charities who offer online and telephone support.

Below is a list of websites and helplines

  • Samaritans – 116 123 – We’re here round the clock, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you need a response immediately, it’s best to call us on the phone.
  • MIND – 0300 123 3393 – We provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem
  • SANEline – 0300 304 7000 – Out of hours mental health helpline offering specialist emotional support and information to anyone affected by mental illness, including family, friends and carers. We are open every day of the year from 4.30pm to 10.30pm
  • Mental Health Foundation – 020 7803 1101 – Improving the lives of those with mental health problems or learning difficulties.
  • No Panic – 0844 967 4848 – a registered charity which helps people who suffer from Panic Attacks, Phobias, Obsessive Compulsive Disorders and other related anxiety disorders including those people who are trying to give up Tranquillizers.
  • Shout is the UK’s first 24/7 text service, free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help. Text Shout to 85258
  • Together – 020 7780 7300 – Supports people through mental health services.
  • The Centre for Mental Health – 020 7827 8300 – Working to improve the quality of life for people with mental health problems.
  • Depression Alliance – 0845 123 2320 – Provides information and support to those who are affected by depression via publications, supporter services and a network of self-help groups.
  • BACP Find a Therapist Directory – 01455 883300 – Through the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) you can find out more about counselling services in your area.
  • Anxiety UK – 08444 775 774 – Works to relieve and support those living with anxiety disorders by providing information, support and understanding via an extensive range of services, including 1:1 therapy.
  • Relate – 0300 100 1234 – Offers advice, relationship counselling, sex therapy, workshops, mediation, consultations and support.
  • PACE – Leaflet on support after a suicide –

Please do not think that struggling mentally is a sign of weakness, do not hide it from loved ones. These are exceptional circumstances and it is only natural that many people will find it very difficult!

By Zechariah Richardson

Over 50, disabled, husband, father and gramps who reviews products and writes blog posts about his life, beekeeping, gardening and whatever pops into his brain!

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