We watched the above TED talk in our group today and people spoke about their experiences of times of mental illness, either their own or a family member. Ruby Wax had made the observation that if you are physically unwell people send cards and flowers and get well wishes. However she experienced that whilst in hospital during a breakdown she received none of this, just a phone call telling her to perk up. Group members could relate to this, saying that it is hard for people when a loved one is unwell in this way as they are not as they would usually be; possibly not recognising them, engaging or relating in the same way. Some people can react very negatively to the unwell person bringing an element of shame to the fact they are ill and hold them responsible if they can’t just ‘snap out of it’ or ‘pull themselves together’.
Like any illness, mental illness can seriously affect a person’s confidence, and, once they are well, they can experience a nagging fear about becoming ill again and subsequently fearful of making decisions, entering relationships, starting a job or making commitments ‘in case I get ill again’. This can mean that fear can stop people from doing things in their lives so in future sessions we will look at these thoughts and beliefs to help people become unstuck to find their freedom and unlock their potential.