Mental Health & Wellbeing Matters: getting yourself checked if something feels off

Coffee image for Film Stories' regular mental health column
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In our regular spot where we chat about mental health and wellbeing, just a word or two on recognising when things aren’t quite right.

Hello and welcome to the spot on the site where we chat about mental health, wellbeing, and things that may be affecting us. This is a weekly column, that’s been running for a few years now. Across that time, hopefully there’s an article or two that are of use to you, amongst the many that won’t be of any relevance. But hopefully we write something that may resonate.

This week, we wanted to have a little chat about symptoms, and the need to listen to them.

It’s been brought a little to the fore by a story of someone not too far removed from this site, who took heed of what their body was telling them and went to get a quick check up. Going necessarily light on detail, it was a good job they did: they got treatment for something that could have been a whole lot worse, and they’re now able to move forward in life.

Sadly, most of us know people who’ve ignored symptoms though. As such, most of us also know somebody who’s paid a price for that. In the worst cases, the ultimate price.

It doesn’t have to be like that, but there does need to be a bit of going against human nature. Because most of us too don’t like to trouble people. We read in the news of a stretched health service, of emergency patients struggling to get care, of waiting lists. It has the effect for many of deprioritising ourselves.

But please don’t do that. Nobody knows your body and your feelings better than you, and nobody understands instinctively if something doesn’t feel right. If it doesn’t, get it checked. I’ve practiced what I preached here, and learned something non-threatening about my heart (other than the fact that it’s made of stone, obviously). But I only got into the habit of following the mantra of self-care more closely when I lost a friend who perhaps didn’t.

Health services, both physical and mental health, may be stretched, but they are there for a reason. You are one of those reasons. Sure, it might take a couple of weeks to get to a GP, but get the appointment in anyway. If there’s something that you know is outside the norm, then there’s really no point messing about. And if you need to distil things down to the bare cold minimum, it’s cheaper and less of a strain on the services around you to catch something early than late. Either way though, this is what the services are out there for.

Look after yourselves, folks. Do put a little bit of time aside for you. And we’ll be back with this column next week. The very best to you all, and stay safe and well.

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