Friday, 23 December 2016

If You Do One Thing Today, Ask Someone If they are okay.

If You Do One Thing Today, Ask Someone If they are okay. support advice OCD anxiety depression mental health illness wellbeing blogger

I think most people with any form of mental illness, will be able to relate to the fact that their mental illness makes them feel lonely and isolated. I know for sure it makes me feel this way. It's for sure one of the worst parts of coping with a mental illness. I've talked about my battle with loneliness on my blog before, which you can read HERE

In that post, I talked a lot about mental illness being a significant cause of my loneliness. This is for various different reasons, one of the main ones being that it's really hard to talk about it with other people. Especially friends who don't experience mental health issues themselves or teachers who you are worried won't understand and will tell you just to snap out of it.

There's a lot of stigmas that surrounds mental illnesses like depression and OCD. When you say, you have depression people jump to the conclusion that your this bedbound being, self-harming and hasn't washed in a week. Or if you have OCD your just a neat freak or concerned about cleanliness and organisation. This stigma is why I find it hard to talk about my mental illness with others. 

I find it hard to tell people that I'm not okay or I'm going through a depressive episode. When someone asks if you are okay, your automatic reaction is to say yes! Yes, I'm fine. And no questions are asked. From my personal experience, people don't like to talk about the tough stuff. Hell, I don't like to talk about the tough stuff. But we need to talk about the tough stuff because if we don't, we're just going to be a broken, heartless community. Where preventable pain continues, and we remain in silence. 

When you see someone who is quiet, distant and withdrawn, it's easier to assume that they are shy or just having a bad day than it is to think they may be suicidal or suffering from a mental illness.You forget about it and take no notice. In my opinion, this is what some teachers are fantastic at doing and most of the modern society in general, to be frank. 

We all lead very busy lives. We're all very busy people, with never ending piles of things to do. We are selfish. We rush around with our heads buried in the sand, doing as much as we can do in a day. We ignore everyone around us because we all have own problems and issues, and the thought of dealing with other people's issues as well can push us to the breaking point. We have schedules that need to be kept to, we have things that need to be ticked off our to-do lists, and well we just don't have enough hours in a day anymore.

We're a 24/7 society, which never sleeps. There's always something new happening, we need to be up to date with the latest tweets, statuses, snaps, videos and Instagram stories. Technology is advancing faster than it has ever done before. It's hard to keep up. We can't keep up. We have more friendships and relationships than we did before. I have friends literally across the globe thanks to the internet. I can remain in contact with thousands of people with just a couple of clicks on my smartphone.

If You Do One Thing Today, Ask Someone If they are okay. Mental heath blogger wellbeing UK lifestyle depression OCD help advice

But there's one thing we constantly forget to do. 

Ask people " How are you today?" "How you feeling today?" 

This doesn't just apply to people with a mental illness, it applies to everyone in society. Young, old, female, male, disabled or able-bodied. When you appear sad, quiet or distant it's easier for people just to ignore you and assume they will get over it soon. But the world doesn't work like that...

You don't know what the person is going through. You can just assume they are having a bad day and they will get over it soon. I know when I have appeared very obviously sad and depressed, and everyone ignores me like I'm some kind of freak, it makes me feel even worse. Sometimes people just want someone to talk to about their issues or just about anything really. You shouldn't feel worried that if you ask someone if they are okay, they are going to spill all your worries on to you, they probably won't. But just that act of asking someone if they are okay is a truly heart warming and beautiful gift, that is likely to brighten anyone's day.

Even if you can't help. Even if you don't understand what that person is going through. It's okay. Because you asked them, is enough. You care. Sometimes that is all we need. In this busy, non-stop, media obsessed world we live in. All we need is someone to care about us. We want to know that someone can support us or is concerned about us. 

So next time you see someone looking down or upset, whether you know them well or not, if it's your job to look out for them or not, just ask if they are okay. Because I guarantee they will be very thankful for that little selfless act and the more you do it, the more other people are likely to follow suit. 

Thanks for reading, as always X


  1. I loved this post and I agree with you. One simple question can mean so much! Also I love the 'Bright Ideas' notebook!
    Kate Xx

  2. I just messaged my friends and asked them whether they are okay thanks to this post. I will definitely try to do it more often, thanks for the reminder xx

  3. Not gonna lie, I always used to be that person who looked after all my mentally ill friends and checked on them all the time and they'd come to me whenever they needed help. But I never got the same kind of support from anyone so I had to distance myself as it was too draining. I think people need to take some responsibility for their own mental health instead of draining someone else, especially someone else who has mental illnesses. I got better myself, with support from my family and boyfriend, medication, Drs, and counselling. No friends supported me though, so I got pretty fed up when none of them would try to get better or get help and just relied on me. It wasn't fair. Maybe it sounds harsh but I don't bother anymore.

    I wish friends had asked me if I was OK. Maybe they need to have a read of your blog! ;) lucky I was strong enough to get through the worst alone.

    Amber Love Blog

    1. aw, I'm sorry to hear that none of your friends supported you. I agree that we have to take responsibility for our own mental health but it's also nice to have friends supporting you as well. You are very brave for getting through it alone Amber! :) xx

  4. Totally agree with you and I think people just assume you're always fine but when you're quiet they think you're moody. I've noticed the odd one or two people who I least expect (like my colleagues) will take me to one side to really see if I'm ok as they notice something isn't right. Theyre the ones I pay more attention too as totally agree with you that it's so draining when you're constantly checking if others are ok and they don't know what's going on in your life. I thought I was being selfish but I realised I wasn't helping myself by taking on everyone's issues and not dealing with mine :( So glad to hear that people like yourselves share this and you are definitely not alone in this. Xh

    1. aw that's nice to hear you have people supporting you. Yes, constantly looking out for others is very draining, especially when your own mental health isn't the best xx

  5. Lovely post, Nicole. Kindness,understanding and just giving someone a minute or so of your time can really go a long way.

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