Most of my friends have mental health issues - it's normal, but it's still a struggle
I realised recently that most of my close friends have mental health issues.
This realisation didn't come as a shock or a surprise, nor did it come out of the blue.
Rather, it emerged as a gradual stream of information - conversations about feeling overwhelming anxiety would become more frequent and regular catchups would be prefaced with "how was therapy today?"
It revealed itself slowly and when it hit, it didn't seem like something abnormal or even slightly out of the ordinary.
We're all struggling in different ways because of course we are - who isn't?
For most of us, these problems crept up over an extended period of time, masquerading as mild stress or trivial body issues or maybe just feeling a bit sad.
They festered for a while, unrecognised and untreated, until one day they exploded.
I can't speak for all of my friends, of course, but that's what it was like for me: a slow burning wave of seemingly innocuous events that built over time until it did what waves are supposed to when they reach their peak - and came crashing down.
Everybody knows that growing numbers of young people are suffering from mental health related issues.
It's common knowledge that things like social media, societal pressures, and past traumas can trigger mental health problems, body confidence issues, and panic attacks.
Most people I know my age have experience of mental health issues. We take medication on the regular, we go to counselling once a week, we power through because we have to. This has become normal, but that hasn't made it any easier to deal with.
Despite the abundance of people speaking openly and honestly about mental health these past few years, stigma still exists - because of course it does.
Misinformation, myths, and general misunderstanding is still a massive problem when it comes to mental illness, especially the ones that aren't as widely discussed or are actively hidden away.
Most of the time, this isn't anybody's fault. We try our best to understand, we get things wrong, and we learn as we go - but that doesn't mean that everybody's as clued in as we'd like to think.
This November is Mental Health Month on Her.
For the next four weeks, we'll be chatting to experts about some of the more common mental illnesses that tend to affect women - and some of the less common conditions that aren't so widely spoken about.
We'll also be talking to the women who want to share their own stories and experiences, as well as engaging you - our readers - in the Her Mental Health Poll.
You can follow the rest of our Mental Health Month series here.
Want to get in touch? Email me at Jade@her.ie.