My name is Chris and I’m the Senior Developer, and Creative Director, at O’Brien Media – most of our clients, past and present have come into contact with me at one point or another but many will be surprised to know that my life is complicated by, at times, poor mental health. I want to share my experience of living with mental health conditions to coincide with World Mental Health Day 2019 in the hope that it might help others feel more able to discuss their own mental health.

“Mental health is just like physical health. Not “almost” like it, not “kinda” like it, and certainly not something that can be fixed with a smile (although a positive mindset does help!). I’ve been a long term sufferer of the sometimes debilitating effects of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). PTSD has also left me with other mental health complications that have been brought on by or brought to the surface by the stress. I also suffer from anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder along with Epilepsy which just adds to the stress.

All of these are managed. I have good days and I have bad days but I have some great people in my life who understand my condition and help me when I need it. Having mental health problems doesn’t mean you’re a write-off, personally or professionally. Yes, I’ve made some changes to the way I live and work to accommodate symptoms but with the help of medication (something that should always be considered if a medical professional thinks it will help) and talking therapies like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, I’m in a place where I can live my life.

A diagnosis of anxiety, depression, and any number of mental health conditions can feel a bit like a giant wall being put in the path you want your life to take, consider it a temporary hurdle, you’ll work through things and come out the other side stronger. Mental health is just like physical health, you need to give yourself time to heal.”

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