I imagine mental illness as a black storm, but you can feel a small, warm ray of sunshine | World Mental Health Day 2020

sunshine on a hill

Each person’s experience of mental health is different, but by sharing our own experiences we can hopefully help others. For this year’s “World Mental Health Day 2020” we asked our residents to share some of their experiences to hopefully help others to not feel alone and perhaps to help someone access the support they need. Here is ‘AK’s’ story of living with Paranoid Schizophrenia:

I first realised I had a mental health condition when…

The first initial thing that I used to see as a young boy was black shadow figures playing and running around. As I was young I did not understand what it was. At a certain age I used to hear screams in my head, it didn’t matter what time of day it was.

What really helps me when I’m struggling is…

I use a few coping mechanisms to help me manage. Trying to meditate is useful. I like to imagine mental illness as a black storm, but you can feel a small, warm ray of sunshine and only if you follow the sunshine up the hill and keep chasing it will you be in the sun at the top of the hill.

Writing things down has helped me in the past as well, like my thoughts, feelings and poems. Sometimes this is better at expressing what I am feeling than talking about it.

Another coping mechanism I use for self-help is imagining wiping away chalk, the dust is still there but I can talk to people for support and wipe away more chalk.

Knowing that you’ve always got someone to talk to and other people like the Samaritans to support, makes me feel like I’m never alone.

My journey to Northern Healthcare and what is next for me…

Before I came to Northern Healthcare, I still needed a lot of help and reassurance. I felt vulnerable. I want to get psychologically better and more independent. I still need help and I’m glad there is a service like this, which is like a stepping stone.


Photo by Ivana Cajina on Unsplash

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