Sistas Collab- Mental Health Issues


Collaboration : The unity of sistas sharing a passion  

Who is Saabirah? 
Hello beautiful people, I'm Saabirah a Lifestyle Blogger from London. My blog consists of a bunch of honest and interesting posts about feminism, black empowerment, relationships and natural hair.Happy to be collaborating with Sabrina and discussing mental health. A topic that has been greatly talked about among us young people recently.  

Questions and Answers 

  • What type of mental health issue do you have? 
Saabirah: Anxiety and I have experienced episodes of depression. 
Sabrina : Social Phobia, Anxiety and Depression. 

  • How did you find out you have a mental health issue? 

Saabirah: It's probably only been a year or two since I found out I had anxiety. I was watching a lot of youtubers who discussed anxiety and read a few articles and blog posts on anxiety. Essentially I have self diagnosed myself to be honest, I haven't yet seen a doctor or specialist. The idea of it scares me. I identified with a lot of the feelings and experiences that I was watching people talk about. The more I have looked into anxiety, the more I realise that i have had anxiety for as long as I can remember. However it was a hell of a lot easier to suppress when I was in school and college/high school. I had no idea what anxiety was and I had way too many distractions at school to even notice my anxiety.  

 Me: There's a little back story to how I found out about my mental issues. I moved to the United States in 2008 and left my entire childhood behind. My friends, my life, family I practically thought I was moving to like movie world "you guys know what i'm talking about" ideally moving here from a 3rd world country I thought of it as a movie experience which it wasn't. I was 17 an island girl in a big city like Fort Lauderdale, FL practically wanting to experience life faster I should. I wanted to do so much and once I realized how different it was here I panicked. The people, the food, lack of culture I was actually scared tbh lol. It took me a long time to adjust and adapt. I started to miss my old life so much I would get super emotional. It was extremely hard to talk to people. I mean I did alot of unnecessary thinking that put so many thoughts in my head which made it impossible to make friends. My first job was at a Doctors office and one of the main things about working at a doctors office is Customer service knowing how to talk to people. Talking to people was a little nerve wrecking there were patients who were friendly, intimidating, snotty, mean so many types of them my hands would instantly get sweaty and my heart would race rapidly. It was a little scary at first. Thankfully my first job was a great experience. My boss became my doctor after a while and would notice small changes in my mood throughout the day and decided to talk to me after a few months. He asked comfortable questions like how was my day and how was I feeling and my sleep essentially the questions a doctor would ask a patient who suffers from depression. I didn't understand what depression was and why it was happening to me. How did I manage to develop social anxiety after being poplar in high school seriously who is this person. He diagnosed me with major depression and social phobia and referred me to a therapist. I think seeing the word MAJOR was a suffocating experience. I felt very closed in after that and so my battle begun.  

  • How do you cope with your mental issue? 

Saabirah : Managing my anxiety and mental health now has been difficult. The more I know the harder it is to put my mind at rest. I am constantly over thinking and second guessing my thoughts and feelings. I really need to work on a self care routine, routine and organisation really has helped the few times I have actually been organised. Music and writing are the two things I know helps. Music has always been an important part of my life. I don't remember a time when there wasn't music running through my house. 
Me: This battle has been a very extremely though one but with age it started to fluctuate. Some days were good and some were bad. I remember watching motivational videos on YouTube a few years back. There was this woman i'm sure she was a therapist and she would talk about self encouragement and changing how we think can make a difference. I remember it helping and to this day I still remember the little tips. Being around positive people can bring such good vibes. I think the more I got older my crowd and scenes changed. I put alot more positive energy towards my mental issues for best results. One of my biggest thing is self acclamation putting more love and praise towards yourself. I spend alot of time researching and understanding my moods and how to prevent situations from escalating. I think learning my personality and smiling more than with confidence helped me a lot. I make conversation, and travel more to find myself so I can better understand me. New interest, making small changes to my daily routine and thinking habits has helped tremendously also helps with perspective. Therapy is definitely is good; seeking professional help is the best thing you can do. Sometimes talking to someone is a great step to recovery.  

  • How has this mental issue affected your everyday life? 

Saabirah :
  The over thinking and second guessing has made me feel really hesitant to do anything that makes me feel any type of discomfort. Surrounded by people who see my potential and all the good things that I can achieve, but not being able to see that within myself It’s difficult. It's difficult to explain it to anyone, and even more difficult to admit. Everyday there's the constant feeling of "keeping up appearance" and putting on a smile.  
Forming new friendships and relationships has always been difficult for me. Being aware of my anxiety has just made it that little bit more difficult. I'm very aware of my mood and levels of anxiety. Making new friends is something I tend to suck at, I never know what to say or I just keep quite because im afraid I will say the wrong thing. Once I'm comfortable Im absolutely fine, I'll have the odd moment of doubt,  but for the most part I'm relaxed and totally in the moment. I shut myself away a lot, turn down opportunities to see people, because the thought of putting on a happy face when i'm not feeling so great is too much. I haven't explained this to any of my friends. I don't think they'll fully understand, especially when I don't even really understand it all myself.I have kinda of given up with the whole dating thing, being some what socially aware makes it harder as it is. On top of that, being aware of my anxiety and the pressures of a relationship just completely turns me off. Recently had an issue with a guy I saw a few times and it just confirmed to me that I am not even close to being ready for dating and relationships 

 Me: I can list so many but I'll share my top 3 areas. 
 Social Life: My social life was shit (pardon my French) but my social life was so horrible I barely had friends and it wasn't because ppl weren't approaching me it was just me being able to hold a conversation. The sweaty hands, heart racing, head pounding and questions running through my head. Will they like me or things I like? Would I be the type of friend they would want to hang out with? So many silly things and even to this day I struggle a little with approaching people but I really worked on it. 
 Relationships: I think this is the second complicated thing to deal with because it's extremely hard to communicate to someone who's doesn't suffer from anxiety. I'd like to say anxiety has definitely made me identify to being a introvert and in cases it's hard to be open and be able to share things without feeling like that person is constantly judging you. There's so many worrisome thoughts that anxiety can cause putting myself in a very bad mental state . Overthinking the worst in situations causes fear of being in future relationships. This is practically a work in progress. I recently got out of a breakup I might do a topic on breakups who knows (lol) 
 Work : This one I know a lot of people can relate to. Who's had the Bubble guts when you're heading to work constantly thinking you're gonna walk into chaos? Well I have! It's not fun. I mean I work with kids for crying out loud it's a fun and exciting job might be the best job I've had but I still get anxious thinking the same destructive things.  

  • In your opinion how can we bring more awareness to mental health issues? 

Saabirah: Conversations. Mental health needs to be addressed better inside of school. I briefly learnt about depression because I studied Health & Social Care. Depression isn't the only mental health issue, the more we know about them all, the better. Quicker diagnosis will benefit younger people so much more than finding out in your twenties and thirties.  

Me: Awareness starts with spreading the word. Adding more information to school systems, teaching parents how to handle situations and educating their children on how to talk to someone with mental issues can help. Youth groups and more community services and clinics with information can help as well. Work environments can be very harsh so employers also need to know how to identify people with mental health issues and help make them feel comfortable.  

  • Have you taken or considered taking medication? 

Saabirah: I haven't taken any medication nor considered it, however I have definitely thought about it. I don't know about the medication available for those with anxiety. I personally wouldn't want to take any medication, I'm more into natural healing methods, over man made medication.  

 Me: Psssh! I HATE yes I said hate taking medication. If not regulated professionally it can cause some serious problems and having mental issues pills can be a little tricky. How so? For one overdosing. I'm a little embarrassed but this post is very important and dear to me I know someone out there has probably been through this so I'll share. After getting diagnosed with depression and social phobia I started taking some medicine. It started off okay but took a turn maybe a few months into taking medication. I had sleepless nights side effects of the meds, unsteady mood changes and change in eating habits. Then it came to a point where it was frustrating and I thought by taking maybe  more than prescribed It would make me feel better mood wise and that practically was an overdose.  I took medicine on and off for a few years and trust me when I say this sometimes medicine isn't for everyone. I'm not telling anyone you dont need it but sometimes not everyone will react the same to a medication. These days I take a less invasive drug (wink) to help me with anxiety. I want to do a separate topic on this because believe it or not Marijuana has helped me alot with my anxiety. Stay tuned!  

  • One piece of advice for someone dealing with mental health? 

Sabirrah: Talk to someone. I think speaking really helps find the root of the problem. What is it that is causing the problems?  
Me: Talk about it, it can be your family, your friends, a teacher find someone you trust. Talking about it is the first step! 

  • Who has helped or is helping with your mental health? 

Saaribah: At the moment my family are helping. I am able to talk about the things that are on my mind. Sometimes I just need someone to make sense of my thoughts.  
Me: Friends definitely! Talking about my mental issues and others relating to it has helped make things and communicating alot easier.    

  • One positive thing that has come from being aware of your mental health? 

Saabirah: I now know what it is that has been weighing me down. The best way to deal with something is to know what it is that you're dealing with. Knowing what anxiety is and what steps I need to take in order to manage it better is a huge relief. A huge scary relief.  

Me: Being able to share my experiences with many of you that suffer from the same or other mental issues that may need some encouragement. You are not alone.  

Thank you dolls for stopping by and reading our post.  
Stay tuned for more post!