This is Mental Health

Part 1 - Black and White

By JONATHAN WENSLEY

I am going to try and articulate the best I can and show you what mental health is.

Black and white thinking is one of many behaviours that could signify all is not well in your world, it is an ‘all or nothing’ way of seeing the world, extreme highs and lows. 

Black and white thinking is the tendency to think in extremes: I am a brilliant success, or I am an utter failure. My boyfriend is an angel, or He’s the devil incarnate.

This thought pattern, which the American Psychological Association also calls dichotomous or polarized thinking, is considered a cognitive distortion because it keeps us from seeing the world as it often is: complex, nuanced, and full of all the shades in between.

https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/black-and-white-thinking

Healthline

We need to get people talking more about mental health, and be that helping hand for each other and help anyone who is struggling with their health right now.

You might be ‘that’ someone, but not know it. You might know somebody who is finding life difficult, but most likely of all you will not know they are struggling and is finding life too hard, too complicated, too scary, too upsetting, just simply too much.

You do not know what is going on behind closed doors. The same applies to someone’s mind, as this is the one place no outsider no matter how close and personal one gets, nobody truly knows what goes on in people’s minds, we have no idea what people are going through, we should not judge, we should not criticize, nobody can read minds, not even Paul McKenna.

"Before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, when you do criticize him, you'll be a mile away and have his shoes".

Steve Martin

However, if you do think you can read minds and frequently internalising the thoughts you believe someone is having of you, then welcome to the nut house.

“Did you see that guy look at me just then? He thinks I am stealing stuff”

But I think you will find that you never left, you were are always here and so were your neighbours, WE ARE ALL NUTS.

Which explains why we struggle with the premise that our minds can get ill, and this brings about anxiety and depression, and for some it is far too much to live with.

With a more complex way of life than ever before (and it is only to get worse) is there no wonder then that our minds can get overloaded, confused, ruminating thoughts can occur, incessant worrying, confusion over thoughts and feelings. Loss of perspective and shift in perception on how we feel about something, and we are not sure of what is real and what is not, or what just happened and what is really going on. 

As human nature is, we yearn for longing, loving and connection and when we do not have that we start throwing in feelings and emotions into the mix. You do not know how you feel about people and how they feel about you, although you will expect the worst, but the worst of it all is yet to come.

The worst is when you do not know how you feel about yourself, but we are certain that because I have even had these thoughts, I must be a bad person and you can not love yourself. 

 

"And we all know what happens to bad people don’t we? In England between 1788 and 1868 they were shipped off to Australia, in America if they do not banish them to death row, .... they make them president".

John Doe
Two bridges... I don't get it!

“Now hold on a second are you saying that people are either bad or good? sounds a bit black and white to me, a bit narrowminded.”

So here is another school of thought which is not new, but so frequently I think we forget when emotionally charged or without due care and thought we think of people being good or bad, smart, or dumb, sane, or insane.

Well, I am sorry to rain on your parade my friends, but we are all the above sometimes and everything in the middle.

After all I am sure many British convicts banished to Australia were quite decent people if not for a one-time misdemeanour, in fact if you have ever read the cork of a bottle of 19 Crimes, you will see that some of the crimes many people lost their livelihoods to would not even see a police caution today.

As for Donald Trump, I am sure that some of his policies or perhaps his beliefs were held true by many American as the right thing to protect them and their civil rights.

And as for the convicted criminals sent to death row, well if Netflix is anything to go by, many American has been blatantly wrongly convicted of a crime they did not commit.

But for the convict that truly was guilty, I am sure there are things in their lives they have done which was ‘good, helpful, kind, and compassionate, they are not, and we are not all bad or all good, all of the time.

So, if we could agree for argument sake that people are neither good or bad, then we can move onto how the same principles apply to health.

Mental health is like physical health. I am sure most would agree, physical health is on a sliding scale and as you have probably come to terms with by now, if you have ever been to the doctors, filled in a service feedback form or even rated your experience at an airport by hitting a smiley or passive or grumpy face, then you have experienced a sliding scale.

Through life I think it is probably fair to say there are times when you feel as ‘fit as a fiddle’, fighting fit, top of your game and nothing is going to slow you down, you are an animal, a force to be reckoned with… adrenaline ‘A’ pumping…

"let’s call this a 10 on the sliding scale (10 being the best, and 1,... well let us just say it is not where you want to be)"

John Doe
Fit as a fiddle

And there are days where you feel like utter dog ‘turd’, lousy, tired, rundown, you start to feel old and sluggish and you are struggling to catch your breath, you feel completely and utterly rubbish, probably a 2-3 on the scale. 

Mental health is remarkably similar, you can say and feel that you have good days and bad days and feel and say you have 1 and 10 days but by applying black and white thinking is one of the mental behaviours that will put you into the mental gutter and cause mental ill-health.

If you are struggling with your mental health it is likely that you have lost all if not most objectivity, you are biased towards black or white, missing out all the grey in the middle. This is caused by your perception, emotions, or imagination.

And if you have lost all objectivity it is SO hard to make sense of the world, clarity is lost, you lose all sense of reality, nothing makes sense anymore, you become numb, robotic even and you do not understand why you are here and question yourself…

“what is the point of being here?”

All beautiful shades of pinks, blues, reds, yellows, and greens vanish with the blink of an eye... AND everything starts to look like the Marx Brothers ‘Duck Soup’…. But it is no laughing matter.  

To be continued…

This is the first blog post of a series of 4, one posted each week here at http://www.beeiit.com, Occupational Safety, Health and Environment Practitioners.

Mental health is something we don’t all truly understand yet, …. but we’re gonna with everyone’s help, we all need to pull together. 

Please share this blog on social media as you might be that someone that needs help but you are too scared to say anything, this could be the start.

Or you might know somebody who is finding life too difficult at the moment, but you do not know it. If you share this blog ‘that someone’ might pick up on it, they might reach out to you, and if they do please give them the time they need, just let them talk and listen, truly listen.

If you want to be that start of truly understanding mental health you can Like, Share and Care and donate to our Mental Health charity by clicking below. All money raised goes towards mental health awareness and understanding. 

If you are struggling with your mental health, you are NOT ALONE. You can get better, reach out and tell someone, tell your GP, tell your friend, family, reach out and get support. Life can be a wonderful thing, it is truly the MOST precious gift anyone could ever receive.

Thank you for reading, Beeiit.

Please share on social media and reach out to someone

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Beeiit Blog – This is Mental Health

Beeiit is raising money through our 4 part blog series ‘This is Mental Health’, for Rethink Mental Illness because we want to improve understanding and reach out to someone who might need a little help right now.

We are all in this together, only if we work together can we make a difference.

Thanks for taking the time to visit Beeiit’s JustGiving page.

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity. So it’s the most efficient way to donate – saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

This is Mental Health

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