It is a mental health condition which, like every mental health condition, is often brushed under the carpet and ignored.

If you’re reading this, imagine feeling like you’re carrying the whole world on your shoulders one day as opposed to the next.

Some days, you may feel happy and in a good mood. Other days, you’ll feel anxious, unhappy and depressed.

I raise awareness for mental health as it is close to my heart, and I aim to help everyone going through a similar experience.

I was officially diagnosed with anxiety on the 9th June 2017 after going through a horrific experience at college in 2016 and then losing a friend of mine a few months later, among other personal reasons closer to home.

By suppressing the real emotions I had at the time, I felt more anxious and almost disconnected myself from reality.

Although I have my family and friends who are the best support networks whom I can turn to for support, I felt lost and alone in myself.

I held back my real emotions for so long that it took for me to finally break down and come to terms with loss and grief.

Mentally, I was at ease once I opened up and showed real emotion as it was a release of emotions I once suppressed.

Even now, my mental health sometimes makes me feel happy on some days, but other days, I might feel down even when I don’t want to.

In my first job which I quit after securing myself the self-employed job I left right at the end of November, the stress of the first job I was in got to a stage where I eventually realised that my mental health was suffering and I needed to do something about it.

I started looking around for jobs around the middle of May because the strain of working in a job in retail took its toll on my mental wellbeing and I was affected by the job on an emotional level.

Even the pressure of working in a full-time self-employed job got too much, because, at times, I felt down as I knew I made as best of an effort as I gave being self-employed a try and it didn’t work out.

The support network in my second job was wonderful as everyone supported me as I was honest and open about my mental health.

I would never want to suppress my mental health and then have my mental health affect me eventually.

Although I’m now in a good place where I’m in two part-time jobs that provide me all the support I need, both emotionally and financially, I still, at times, feel down from the way my first job made me feel both emotionally and mentally.

I’m not going to sugarcoat how I really feel. Anxiety with mild bouts of depression is horrible. It’s like carrying the whole world on your shoulders and you feel like the whole world is weighing you down and leaving you unable to speak up.

There have actually been occasions where I have had panic attacks and it’s horrible. Once you’ve had a panic attack, you’ll never forget it.

It takes courage to open up and say how you really feel, and to be honest, my experience of living with anxiety and mild depression hasn’t been all that great given I have the odd down day now and then, but it gives me comfort to accept that even though I’m not okay at times, I know I’m not alone and I can speak openly more about how I really feel.

It’s taken a lot of courage for me to open up and be entirely honest with you all about my anxiety and mild depression and it feels like a weight has lifted now I’ve opened up.

If you are someone or you know someone who is suffering from mental health, please tell me your experiences with mental health as I want to hear your experiences and how opening up about how you really feel changed your perspective on life and how you feel now you’ve opened up about your mental health.

Again, it feels like a weight has now been lifted off my shoulders now I’ve opened up and been honest about my mental health and to be honest, I want this to encourage positive change and I want this to give you the courage to open up about your mental health like it did for me.

Alex Smithson


    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, that really means a lot to me. Opening up about my anxiety and mild depression lifted a weight off my shoulders and it’s made me feel more at ease and has given me the confidence to open up more about how I really feel. Again, thanks so much for your kind words and support, it really means a lot.

      Alex Smithson


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