Mental Health Matters | When you don’t want to get yourself checked

Coffee image for Film Stories' regular mental health column
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In our regular mental health slot, a few words on getting yourself checked when you’re not feeling quite right.

Hello and a very warm welcome to the part of the Film Stories site where we stop for a bit to chat mental health, wellbeing, and the things that may be affecting you or people around you. This isn’t a place for miracle cures, just for a chat. And then we go back to nerding on about movies and stuff.

This time, just a chat about not feeling right. More to the point, not feeling right and not doing anything about it. Granted, a few words on a website might not make a fat lot of difference, and knowing the hassle it takes to get an appointment with GP in the UK there’s too many obstacles sometimes to getting yourself seen. But still.

I think once you hit your 40s in particular, everyone has a story of someone who got seriously unwell, sometimes worse, because they didn’t get themselves checked, or get to the bottom of something physical or mental that wasn’t quite right.

Confession: if it wasn’t for writing these columns most weeks, when I had an incident myself back at the start of the decade, I might not have done anything either. I didn’t feel that I could write articles recommending people do one thing, whilst not heeding the words myself.

Thus, I walked into an A&E department and got myself checked. They found something, but nothing serious. Yet it explained something that hadn’t been right for a little while.

It was a bit more of a mental leap for me to go and get checked than it should have been, and since then, I’ve heard of three or four stories of people who didn’t. They are not very nice stories.

I don’t have the magic words if there’s something niggling you and you know in your heart of hearts something’s just a little bit off. I can’t come around to your house and walk you to see a doctor, a dentist, a counsellor, a friend, or any kind of medical professional.

I just think it’s worth doing. No matter how much you value yourself, you do matter. You are worth it. Sure, there may be people ahead of you in the queue who may appear to be in greater need, but that doesn’t mean your needs don’t matter. The oft-repeated adage on this site is just because someone in the waiting room has a broken leg, it doesn’t mean a broken finger doesn’t hurt too.

Please, if there’s any concern in your head, get it checked. Not least because we appreciate you here, and we’ve got a lot of movies in the future to talk about too.

Take care all. This column is taking a week off next week, and will return at the start of April.

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