Our Mental Health Matters (in 2017)

Mental health has never been on par with physical health. This needs to change. Our mental health is just as important as our physical health. It always has been, and it always will be.

Some people shy away from talking about how they feel because they are scared of being judged by others. There is no shame in admitting you need help with life’s challenges. Sharing this with a trusted person is a strength, rather than a weakness.

Let’s discard these taboos finally, and talk about what really matters.

Mental health matters. You matter. We all matter.

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Mental Health And Literature

There is a great tradition of mental illness in fiction. The most memorable book on this topic is Charlotte Brontë’s, Jane Eyre. Since the first publication of Brontë’s classic novel in 1847, our understanding of mental health has changed, considerably. Women who have a mental health problem are not locked away in attics, or spoken about by other people with fear or contempt, in third person narrative. No longer is mental illness seen as a disease, curse or punishment. 

Contemporary women have a voice, to tell their own stories. Stories that are honest, real and absorbing. I am an author who has written a romance book that delves into the subject of mental illness. My debut novel is called UnShatter Me. It was published by US Publisher, UrbanEdge in August 2015. UnShatter Me tells the riveting story of nineteen year old Alena Pavlis, a college student who is trying to heal from a traumatic childhood experience. The novel explores her deep-rooted issues, the challenges she faces with PTSD and the problems she has in her relationship with boyfriend and fellow student, Phillip Gregson. The book shows Alena’s momentous journey to recovery and how she tackles her past demons. It is a raw, gutsy story with a strong romantic thread running throughout. 

Some people say I am brave for writing this type of book. I say, I am doing my part to raise awareness of a very important subject, that can sometimes be misrepresented in the media and press. In the literary world, authors have an opportunity to tell the true story of their hero or heroine, without negative stereotypes being played up or emphasised. We, as authors, give those with mental illness a real voice and platform to share their stories and experiences.

So far, I have read one book on mental illness that I found immensely compelling. This book is Prozac Nation, by Elizabeth Wurtzel. Prozac Nation is a really good read and I highly recommend it. Reading this book helped me to understand what having a serious mental health problem actually felt like. I got so deep into the psyche of the female protagonist and was so connected to her. As an aloof nineteen year old undergrad reading this book, I could totally relate to what the lead character was saying. 

These are the five books on mental health that I would like to read this year:

1) She’s Come Undone, by Wally Lamb 

2) Too Heavy a Yoke: Black Women and the Burden of Strength, by Chanequa Walker-Barnes  

3) Mrs. Dalloway, by Virginia Woolf; Maureen Howard

4) I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, by Joanne Greenberg 

5) Girl, Interrupted, by Susanna Kaysen 

 
It is important that authors like myself write books on mental health and mental illness, to raise awareness in today’s society and to allow those who do not ordinarily get a chance to speak, to do just that. 

Here are my links if you want to know more about me:

 My website: http://www.michelledianalowe.com

Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/MichelleDianaLowe
Twitter Page: @michelle_d_lowe

My debut novel, UnShatter Me

UnShatter Me by Michelle Diana Lowe

Positive thoughts, positive lives

The first step to unlocking your potential is believing you are worthy, you are special, and believing you have the power to fulfill your destiny. Once you have those beliefs, you’re well on your way…

Positive thoughts are important for everyone’s mental health and growth. Investing in ourselves – our minds, bodies and souls, too, will help improve our lives and move us forward to enjoy new opportunities, experiences and social connections. 

In our lives, on our journeys, we can choose happiness and positivity, and learn how to deal with life’s challenges and setbacks. When we need to reach out to others for support on the way, it is not a sign of weakness, but a clear indication that we understand our needs and requirements to reach the next stage of our lives. 

With conviction, belief and a little help from others, we can strive to be all we can be and all that we are capable of.

Life is the best voyage you will ever make. You will connect with many souls along the way. Some souls will be like a passing ship in the night, whilst others will stay with you forever, playing a key and important role in your life. In this life, you are an ocean concentrated in one small drop of consciousness. You will be taken on a step by-step journey of self-discovery. On the way, you will find many things and learn a wealth of knowledge. But most of all, you will have a chance to find yourself.