It has been a while. March has been a very hectic month where I lost my touch in blogging and truly focused on my mental wellbeing away from my laptop. All I did was sleep, play Criminal Case and watch Youtube videos on my phone. During this time, I really got thinking about my biggest insecurities. Almost all of them are insecurities that people deem as positive qualities about me.
THIS IS A SERIES ON MY BLOG WHICH CONSISTS OF ME LOOKING BACK AT ARTISTS I LOVE AND/OR HAVE INFLUENCED ME THAT ARE UNFORTUNATELY NO LONGER ALIVE. THEY MAY NOT HAVE NECESSARILY DIED DUE TO THEIR MENTAL HEALTH ILLNESS/ES, BUT DURING THEIR LIVES THEY SUFFERED FROM ONE OR MORE.
Hello everyone! Hope you’re having a wonderful day! Today is yet another one related to mental health. This time round, there won’t be any words, just photos, as sometimes one picture says a lot more than me. This post is aimed to raise awareness for mental health. In Malta, the Richmond Foundation works towards ending the stigma surrounding mental health while also helps those suffering to recover. Their contact information is found at the end of the post.
As I always say, if you or any one you know if showing symptoms of mental health problems or is talking suggestively about it, then please seek help from professionals, be it your family doctor, psychologist or psychiatrist. But most of all, stay strong.
While it seems like most of us have a hard time talking about mental illnesses in real life, music has always been a way to express what is hard to say out loud. Maybe before you realized what you were experiencing had a name, a certain song let you know that at the very last, you weren’t alone.
Here are songs that talk about mental health problems. For the Spotify playlist, click here.
You might think I’ve gone barking mad, but yes. I was in a music video! It may have been a few seconds, but I was. My name was written and everything! I was super excited since I was asked to be a part of it, and kept my mouth shut on my Page and Instagram to give you all a surprise! Read on for an account of this experience.
Depression is often very misunderstood. Some believe it means simply being sad and unmotivated, when in reality, the symptoms of depression often have a way of infiltrating everything, from the smallest, most unsuspecting details, to the biggest, most significant aspects. And trying to explain this often feels like trying to hold onto water.
I did a lot of research on this, both as a curious person and a sufferer of mental health illnesses, which is why it took me over two weeks to publish it.
By opening the dialogue and trying to put words to these symptoms, we can continue to deepen our understanding and unveil the misunderstanding that leads to stigma.
Here is what I found out:
- Wanting to say what’s on your mind, but can’t explain it, so you just cry because you don’t even know what you’re feeling
- The exhaustion is equally mental as it is physical. Mental exhaustion from having to apologize for who you are, from trying to convince yourself you deserve to be alive. The physical and mental exhaustion from living in general
- The black hole felt in the core of being. It sucks in life, motivation, concentration, etc. It’s drowning in the the ocean in the middle of a tempest
- Not showering, combing your hair, brushing your teeth or changing clothes for a long time. Basically, all hygiene just goes out the window
- When having an episode but you are not so far gone, and part of your rational mind is telling you there’s no reason to feel that way, yet the dark part of your mind still won’t release its grip
- You can see and take in your surroundings, but you don’t feel a part of it, as if in a dream
- When you’re depressed, your ability to feel joy from the things you normally love fades, but the worst days are the days where you are so numb you can barely even feel compassion or empathy
- Your aching body from staying still all day, whether from laying in bed or just sitting. People think people with depression are just lazy for doing so
- Disassociation. When you are so depressed and consumed you are no longer yourself. It feels like you are in a videogame. There is no emotional connection to reality
- When you are so tired you do not manage to get to places in time. It takes you a lot of energy to get up, get ready and go
- Not knowing that something is wrong in the early stage, and hurting other people with your behavior, and this is of course not done on purpose. This results in people accusing you of the things caused by the illnesses you could not control
- The amount of migraines you struggle with when you go through depressive episodes which makes dealing with everything a million times harder
- Anger, agitation, irritability and the feeling of having little to no self-control. This often gets to a point where you cannot bottle it up anymore, and you go down a downward spiral over the simplest, smallest of things because you cannot manage your emotions. Basically, depression is anger turned inwards
- Thinking depression will be passed on to your children, and you cannot explain this because it is not tangible. Fact: children are more likely to develop mental health problems if their parents experienced them
- This one is for the ladies: your period reacts to your emotional stress level and depression can cause you so much stress because people don’t understand, your period sometimes either stops or it just keeps going and becomes super irregular and painful
- You are not able to talk and voice your thoughts because depression makes you believe your opinion does not matter
- Sometimes you think: am I just exhausted because of my sleep schedule? Or because my mind hasn’t stopped working or stressing for days? That constant need to rationalize your mental health makes the depression symptoms even worse
- Preoccupation. Depression can make you preoccupy yourself with game apps and simple things I know I can do or change because I feel that I can’t change or control anything else in my life
- Promiscuity. You get so down and depressed you just want to do anything to feel better, even though you hurt yourself at the same time
- The internal frustration that you are too scared, guilty or embarrassed to speak out because there is still so much stigma and lack of services, and people who say they are there for you when actually they aren’t. So you just end up drowning in your own thoughts and your depression or anxiety worsens
- Paranoia. You think that people are getting annoyed with you and the awful symptoms
- One minute you’re having fun with your friends and family, and then it hits you hard and begin to shut down without an explanation, nothing to have triggered it. Suddenly you have trouble enjoying yourself with people you are happy around
- Foggy thinking, making it impossible to concentrate or remember anything
- Gaining weight because you don’t know what else to do. Or the weight loss because you are just not hungry and don’t have the energy to cook
- You’re guilty all the time. Hurting friends and family, lying about why you can’t do something or go somewhere, not going to work, staying in bed all day, not taking proper care of your responsibilities… It’s consuming and never ending
- The uncertainty. You don’t know if you’re going to wake up in the same horrid mood, a worse or better one. Not knowing if one day you’re going to stop functioning. Not knowing whether you will be able to keep your job while keeping your head above water
- Cancelling plans last minute, having your friends and family think you don’t love then when this occurs constantly
- You don’t know if your thoughts are real of just effects of depression feeding you lies. You feel betrayed by your own brain and you’re not able to distinguish the true and depressive thoughts
- The need to put on an act so everyone thinks you are OK, but inside you feel worthless. Sometimes you just want to shout that you are suffering and cannot cope, but you’re made to feel like you are not allowed to show weakness. The exhaustion and the physical pain caused by holding back tears because you have to appear to function well at home, at work and in social situations
- Not knowing how to explain why you are depressed. People constantly ask you “What’s making you depressed?” or “Why are you depressed?”. It’s hard to keep saying that you have no clue. Because if you knew, you would have loved telling them and fix it, but it’s tough… you just don’t know why. You just are
- Awareness. Awareness of all the things that are wrong, but the inability to fix any of it
- The physical and emotional pain and weariness and feeling like you have to apologize for all of it. It’s exhausting!
- Wanting to put yourself in dangerous situations. Depression isn’t always about laying in your bed, it also can be the urge to be self-destructive. People don’t talk about this because it’s a kind of a grey space. You’re not really suicidal, but you have a kind of urge to put yourself in dangerous situation
- When you’re typically a super responsible, organized person, and you slowly feel all of it start to unravel. You start showing up late to work, falling behind on tasks, stop eating, start praying that your kids (if you have them) won’t notice and you put on that fake smile and try to keep it all together. Through tears and self-doubt, you pull through for them because they need you
- Thinking you’re no longer in love with the love of your life. Becoming paranoid of them thinking they’re bad for you. It causes the partner to feel unloved, no matter if you still say ‘I love you,’ they can feel it
- When every decision, no matter how small or big, becomes an insurmountable burden because of your indecisive mind. Then the guilt of having made a decision that always seems to be the wrong one. And then more guilt that makes you think you are useless to anyone in the world including yourself
- Selfishness. You tend to isolate yourself and put your depression first, and the rest second. Depression takes the spotlight, and everyone and everything else is in the backseat
- Constipation. Whether it’s because of something bad you ate, the medication or because all you do is sleep. It takes you weeks to start getting back to normal, and nothing prolongs the cloud in your head than feeling bloated and sick on top of lack of motivation and self-deprecation
It is important to remember that no matter how much you are struggling or how overwhelming your symptoms may feel, you are never alone and you are worthy and deserving of help.
THIS IS A NEW SERIES WHICH CONSISTS OF ME LOOKING BACK AT ARTISTS I LOVE AND HAVE INFLUENCED ME THAT ARE UNFORTUNATELY NO LONGER ALIVE.
If you don’t know who Audrey Hepburn is, then where were you all your life? She was dubbed the most beautiful woman year after year. And, well, look at her!
This is the person in question in the late 1950s. Now you recognise her? Perhaps you might know her from this photo then…
I have seen her most popular movie, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which is where this photo is taken from, just last weekend and… wow. I can see why people loved her. Her energy, charisma and chemistry on camera with her costars was undeniable.
What some might not know, however, is that behind the cameras, she battled clinical depression and a speculated (therefore not diagnosed) eating disorder.
Let’s get on with it shall we?
A teenage Hepburn bravely ran missions for the Dutch resistance and dramatically escaped from Nazi soldiers herding her off to a labor camp by hiding for a month in a rat-filled cellar, living on scraps.
Although she binged on Belgian chocolate as a youngster, her wartime near-starvation drove Audrey Hepburn to “resent” food: the beginnings, of an eating disorder that would affect the wafer-thin actress for the rest of her life.
“I decided to master food; I told myself I didn’t need it,” Hepburn said of her war years. “Of course, I took it to an extreme. I forced myself to eliminate the need for food.” For years after, she suffered survivor’s guilt, haunted by images of friends and neighbors being dragged off to die.
Love and Depression
While she went on to fame and an Oscar in such movies as “Roman Holiday” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” she was trailed by depression as a result of several miscarriages and her failed marriage to actor Mel Ferrer.
Also chronicled in the book Audrey Hepburn: An Intimate Portrait is her affair with a then-married William Holden, whom she dumped after finding out he had undergone a vasectomy and would never be able to provide her with children. Her second marriage to Italian psychiatrist, Dr. Andrea Mario Dotti, was short-lived, a victim of Dotti’s incessant philandering.
The ED that wasn’t?
One of the biggest sources for the rumor that Audrey Hepburn suffered from anorexia and possibly even depression is her youngest son, Luca Dotti’s, Audrey at Home: Memories of My Mother’s Kitchen (excellent book with personal insights, by the way). In this book, he states that for much of her life she was very underweight, weighing only 88lbs. He also said that she had very strange eating habits, that were part of her disorder.
Wolders, Audrey’s last partner before she died, totally dismisses the claim about Audrey being anorexic by saying that it is “absolute bullsh_t, she had a good metabolism.”
Even Audrey’s second ex-husband Dotti, a psychoanalyst who specializes in these types of eating disorders, agrees with Wolder by saying she always maintained a “healthy but disciplined diet, based on her youthful training as a ballet dancer.” – Source People Magazine 1994
Up until Luca Dotti’s book was released, most people thought her slender figure was due to her intense ballet training. Ballet dancers are usually slim and slender, and often have boyish figures. It was not unbelievable that this was a natural result of the training and exercise that Audrey Hepburn went through in order to become a dancer.
As said above, as a child, Audrey was known for her love of chocolate. She was said to have loved Belgium chocolate so much that her mother had the kitchen staff hide her favorite treat. Audrey herself was even known to have said that chocolate was her one and only true love. It is hard to believe that a child who loved chocolate so much would grow up to be naturally thin. As several people, have pointed out, at the very least Audrey Hepburn had a strange relationship with food. While there is little concrete evidence that she was anorexic, she certainly had some known strange behaviors when it came to what and when she ate.
Reasons that prove Hepburn was NOT anorexic
- Her closest family members, two sons, two ex-husbands, and last recent partner who spent time with Audrey the most claim that she was not anorexic
- Her close friends and people who she hung out with on the sets of movies claimed that she always ate pretty good portions and had a good appetite, especially for spaghetti
- She was a ballerina. In other words, she was an athlete. This is not just some hobby of hers, she trained to become a prima ballerina as her career
- She was very energetic and didn’t complain about having chronic fatigue, which a lot of anorexic people complain about having
And that’s basically it!
Did Audrey Hepburn have an eating disorder? And why do you think so?
Let me know in the comments below 🙂 See you in the next one