Are you *really* supposed to put your mental health first?

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CosmicApathy1
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Something I just thought about on a whim just now but whenever you put it first, you fall behind either academically, in the workplace, relationships and other aspects of life. You have to keep to society's standards or you lose the race and fall deeper into the MH sinkhole. You also get made fun of if you put your MH first by people calling you weak or some other uncalled for opinion.
This was basically rambling so I'll try to sum it up here, when you put your MH first, you fall behind and get mocked. Especially if it's a MH break. I've been keeping my mental health second just going through the motions on autopilot and I've been doing ok. Just a random thought which is probably incoherent rambling.
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CoolCavy
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Don't worry about society, it will always judge no matter what you do. Focus on yourself and your own needs
Personally i find it's a balance, if i avoid things and retreat into myself like i need to sometimes for my MH condition then i find that is only helpful to a point. If it starts to impact my work or academics (when i was doing them) then it started to have the opposite affect and made my MH worse, not because of society but because for myself i like to feel useful and productive. Academics and work arent the only ways to be useful and productive but that is how it best works for me
Just take your time :hugs:
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londonmyst
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Always put your physical safety and health first.
Listen to your gut instinct and trust it.
It doesn't matter what random strangers say or think, they won't feel the consequences of your decisions 24/7.
You will.
Good luck!
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nexttime
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I mean... we generally greatly, greatly overestimate the consequences to things like 'falling behind'. Its hard to have a fully clear perspective on what will make you happy and what won't, and often we do what is expected of us rather than what we want. Perhaps sometimes we should prioritise ourselves a little more.

Having said that, being stressed or having a hard time is absolutely not the same as 'mental illness', or for me even "mental health" and that is an important distinction to make. If you try to go through life having never experienced stress you're unlikely to be able to achieve whatever goals you have decided are important to you.
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GabiAbi84
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Yes you put it first.
Once you put it first you then work at balancing and prioritising the rest of the stuff and once the crisis is over it becomes less disruptive to the rest of the stuff but you continue to put it first so that you can stay on top of it.
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Sabertooth
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Tbh, if I didn't put it first when I needed to, I wouldn't be here.
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CosmicApathy1
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(Original post by CoolCavy)
Don't worry about society, it will always judge no matter what you do. Focus on yourself and your own needs
Personally i find it's a balance, if i avoid things and retreat into myself like i need to sometimes for my MH condition then i find that is only helpful to a point. If it starts to impact my work or academics (when i was doing them) then it started to have the opposite affect and made my MH worse, not because of society but because for myself i like to feel useful and productive. Academics and work arent the only ways to be useful and productive but that is how it best works for me
Just take your time :hugs:
I get what you mean. I guess everything has to be balanced in some way. Also don't need to tell me twice about society, it's a stupid construct but if you want to get anywhere you gotta play their game. I actually don't care about society but I care about succeeding and I've always found slowing down for your mental health puts you at risk of losing the race.
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CosmicApathy1
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(Original post by nexttime)
I mean... we generally greatly, greatly overestimate the consequences to things like 'falling behind'. Its hard to have a fully clear perspective on what will make you happy and what won't, and often we do what is expected of us rather than what we want. Perhaps sometimes we should prioritise ourselves a little more.

Having said that, being stressed or having a hard time is absolutely not the same as 'mental illness' or 'mental health', and that is an important distinction to make. If you try to go through life having never experienced stress you're unlikely to be able to achieve whatever goals you have decided are important to you.
I understand that, having a stressful time in your life doesn't = MH problems but I suffer from MHI and I've always found whenever I slowed down I started losing the competition. No one got successful over self pity or crying or anything like that. It's all about brute force.
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username1339858_
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Balanced. The reasi
On why we say put mental health first is because otherwise we end up neglecting it completely.
Say for example you broke a leg and you also had MH issues. Priority in that moment would be your leg then your MH thereafter.
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CoolCavy
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(Original post by nexttime)
I mean... we generally greatly, greatly overestimate the consequences to things like 'falling behind'. Its hard to have a fully clear perspective on what will make you happy and what won't, and often we do what is expected of us rather than what we want. Perhaps sometimes we should prioritise ourselves a little more.

Having said that, being stressed or having a hard time is absolutely not the same as 'mental illness' or 'mental health', and that is an important distinction to make. If you try to go through life having never experienced stress you're unlikely to be able to achieve whatever goals you have decided are important to you.
Everyone has mental health just like they have physical health, stress can make your mental health poor for a time similar to how a cold can have a knock on your physical health.
Everyone has mental health but not everyone has mental illness. The distinction is between the two.
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khadijaaaxxxx
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physical health is more important imo
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username5414076
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(Original post by khadijaaaxxxx)
physical health is more important imo
Umm news flash mental health and physical health are connected in some way.

Eg: anorexia and malnutrition/starving to death

Depression and extreme fatigue

Manic bipolar episodes and insomnia

Generalised anxiety disorder and heart palpatations

If you don't look after your mental health you're not looking after your physical health and that's a FACT
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Anonymous #1
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I completely resonate with your description. It’s funny actually because a fortnight ago (I’m in Year 13), I opened up to a teacher about how stressed I am since they’re hoping I apply to Oxford (when, for me, just getting into a ‘regular’ university is enough pressure in itself), and they’ve been extremely helpful, but I can tell that I’m falling behind. Because I’m feeling this added pressure and striving for perfection, I can barely concentrate in class and keep writing excessive amounts for the shortest answers, so my performance is slipping. Anyway, enough about me, I do think some good eggs do exist out there who genuinely care about our mental health but, at the end of the day, school is a money-making machine in my eyes and the whole reason they want our confidence to return is so that we succeed and boost their results (cynical I know). I think much the same applies to work, so it's a matter of knowing when to draw a line ourselves and to say NO to anything that overwhelms us, regardless of the consequences.
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nexttime
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(Original post by CoolCavy)
Everyone has mental health just like they have physical health, stress can make your mental health poor for a time similar to how a cold can have a knock on your physical health.
Everyone has mental health but not everyone has mental illness. The distinction is between the two.
Ok - but how you phrased it is stress can cause mental health decline. Don't disagree with that.

But if you were to assert being transiently stressed is poor mental health, I'd have to say that's an interesting viewpoint and if that's the case then you absolutely cannot always put mental health first - you've got to get out of bed at some point!
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CoolCavy
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(Original post by nexttime)
Ok - but how you phrased it is stress can cause mental health decline. Don't disagree with that.

But if you were to assert being transiently stressed is poor mental health, I'd have to say that's an interesting viewpoint and if that's the case then you absolutely cannot always put mental health first - you've got to get out of bed at some point!
It may not nessecarily be poor mental health, it may just knock how you feel within yourself. Conversely it may be poor mental health within itself depending on what the person feels. When it becomes 'poor' or if it poor within itself is individual to the person's own scale and feeling. Its not an either or since it varies between individuals.
If stress wasnt poor mental health or a contributor to it then places like the NHS IAPT wouldnt run group sessions about it.
Of course, that's why i said in my original post that you need to strike a balance. Prioritising your MH isnt just staying in bed, its doing stuff that makes you feel better even if you cant avoid the source of your stress.
My original point was a counter to the fact you seemed to be suggesting mental illness and mental health were one and the same and that the average person had neither, you cant be diagnosed with mental health because its just a neutral scale everyone has, as with physical health.
Nothing is ever simply black or white with mental health. You can put your mental health first you just need to work out what that means for you.
With a full time job it could be recuperating at the weekend, spending time with your pets etc. Noone is suggesting to just stay in bed forever, for me at least that is pretty detrimental to my MH anyway.
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CoolCavy
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(Original post by khadijaaaxxxx)
physical health is more important imo
This sounds quite naive. Plenty of mental illnesses can be debilitating, its not a competition of which is worse as that will be individual to the person.
My BPD has given me more grief than my ovary condition for instance.
If people are in a poor frame of mind whether that be battling with an eating disorder, self harm, hearing voices etc then they aren't going to be productive with work or academics.
Obviously generally poor mental health with no underlying condition can generally be helped at least somewhat with self help or some resilience but for genuine illnesses they should be treated on a par with physical health whether this is therapy, medication or understanding from an employer or school.
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khadijaaaxxxx
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(Original post by PewNews)
Umm news flash mental health and physical health are connected in some way.

Eg: anorexia and malnutrition/starving to death

Depression and extreme fatigue

Manic bipolar episodes and insomnia

Generalised anxiety disorder and heart palpatations

If you don't look after your mental health you're not looking after your physical health and that's a FACT
not a fact
there's loads of physical illnesses that aren't connected to mental health
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khadijaaaxxxx
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(Original post by CoolCavy)
This sounds quite naive. Plenty of mental illnesses can be debilitating, its not a competition of which is worse as that will be individual to the person.
My BPD has given me more grief than my ovary condition for instance.
If people are in a poor frame of mind whether that be battling with an eating disorder, self harm, hearing voices etc then they aren't going to be productive with work or academics.
Obviously generally poor mental health with no underlying condition can generally be helped at least somewhat with self help or some resilience but for genuine illnesses they should be treated on a par with physical health whether this is therapy, medication or understanding from an employer or school.
fair enough but ive been brought up to believe that mental health isn't as important as physical health
my family don't really care about mental health and neither do i
that might sound very insensitive and im sorry but i don't know how else to put it.
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CoolCavy
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(Original post by khadijaaaxxxx)
fair enough but ive been brought up to believe that mental health isn't as important as physical health
my family don't really care about mental health and neither do i
that might sound very insensitive and im sorry but i don't know how else to put it.
I find that people dont care about mental health until they either experience it or know someone who suffers with it. It is easy for them (your family) to say it doesnt matter if they havent experienced it.
Just because you have been brought up in that environment doesnt mean you have to hold those views, do your own research and talk to those with experience. From this you can form your own opinion
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CosmicApathy1
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(Original post by khadijaaaxxxx)
fair enough but ive been brought up to believe that mental health isn't as important as physical health
my family don't really care about mental health and neither do i
that might sound very insensitive and im sorry but i don't know how else to put it.
The way I was brought up I didn't even know mental health existed until things got really bad so I guess your initial viewpoint makes sense but to not care about it at all will most likely impact you later on. I'm not saying put it first but to just 100% disregard it isn't going to end well. Just be conscious it's there.
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