‘Some people think that letting a mental illness get you down makes you weak.’

A fifty year old woman from Harold Hill who was sexually abused as a child, has spoken exclusively to the Havering Daily about living life with mental disabilities.

She shares with us her struggles to get through the day and how each day can bring a new challenge.

Hazel said ‘There needs to be support for all ages. You tend to hear about extra support for youngsters and the elderly but nothing for middle aged people. 

Mental health is a hidden disability and there needs to be more awareness of the hidden disabilities and understanding of them.

Most families have someone with mental health problems. Some people try to hide it but it eats away at you and can make you very ill. Whether it be anxiety, self harm, PTSD or any other form of mental health people struggle every day to get through.’

Hazel was abused as a teenager by a member of her family and her scars have never left her.

I struggle with flashbacks especially through the night and struggle to sleep. Some days I don’t want to leave the house, I just want to hide away. 
Last few years has been tough. With benefits changing and assessments for each one. Feels like I’m always being judged by people that don’t fully understand how I feel and how I struggle to cope day to day. Unless you’ve been in that position it’s hard to understand. 

I have two therapy dogs that help me through each day. It’s not easy but I try. Some people think that letting a mental health illness get you down makes you weak, but I know the more you suffer the tougher you become. You need to learn from the disability so that it doesn’t beat you. You need to beat the illness and then you will be the toughest person you know.

Mental health issues are affecting many people on a daily basis, do you feel the Government should provide more funding? Please let us know your views on this topic.

If you need help with Mental Health Havering Mind are there to help.


One thought on “‘Some people think that letting a mental illness get you down makes you weak.’

  • 6th September 2019 at 12:59 pm

    Yes, there should be more money for mental health. We work with children with ADHD and the impact this can have on a child’s life is massive. They are at a higher risk of being excluded from education, leading to a life on benefits, they struggle with relationships and, as ADHD is hereditary, this can be a destructive circle of events for families, with high divorce rates, sibling rivalry and family breakdowns. With support these children can achieve, they are bright and have a creative mind but because our children have to fit in the same box as the rest of the class it can ultimately lead to issues in the classroom. We have worked with children with ADHD for over 20 years in Havering and we have seen the fruition of our work with our young people going to University, achieving results so they are now leading successful lives in responsible jobs and are not reliant on medication or a burden on their community. We are a small Charity, our statutory funding was taken away three years ago, we survive because we have strong fingernails and we know with support children with ADHD can be successful. ADHD is one the hidden disabilities but, as with all mental health disabilities, if the government thought about the long term outcomes and put money in when the children are young and the support networks were supported to deliver the services then it will ultimately reduce the costs in the long term.


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