To coincide with Movember, we’re continuing our awareness campaign Men’s Wellbeing Matters, and throughout November, we’re sharing a series of mental health blogs written by men in order to break stigma and open up healthy and helpful conversations.
Our fourth blog written by Ricky, who attends our Friday Peer Support Group at Brickfield, shows how physical health issues can impact mental health and what helps to lift your mood.
“Hi I am Ricky, I am 60 next week and I have been attending groups at the Brickfield Centre for over 15 years and I have been known in the past to rustle up a fantastic toasted sandwich in the Brickfield kitchen. Recently, I have been attending the Friday Peer Support group and love coming along to the gardening project on a Tuesday afternoon.
About six weeks ago, I started to struggle with my breathing, and experienced palpitations and just felt very breathless. At times, it felt like someone was standing on my chest and I couldn’t breathe in our out. I was really scared and called 999, an ambulance was sent to my home and I was taken to Epsom Hospital where I was admitted to a ward where I was given oxygen, antibiotics and steroids to try and make it easier for me to breathe. My partner came and saw me on the ward which lifted my spirits and the worry over my physical health had an immediate effect on my mental health. My mood was quite low and I didn’t manage to get much sleep which also had a detrimental effect of my mental health.
I have suffered with acute anxiety for many years but being physically unwell made me feel very sensitive and vulnerable, but I knew I had to be in hospital. When I was discharged, I was given more medication to help improve my breathing and the doctors prescribed a long-term drug which should help.
I got through this worrying time due to the treatment I received at Epsom Hospital and having my partner, Jen, around has been an enormous help as she understands me and my anxiety, and she can relate to how I feel.
Coming to various MFT groups at the Brickfield Centre has helped me in so many ways too. It helps to get me up and out of my flat, I meet new people and catch up with friends, I get a real sense of belonging, I communicate more at groups and it improves my confidence.”
Want to blog for us?
Did this inspire you to share your story? If you would like to contribute to this blog series, please email Connie, our Communications Lead at firstname.lastname@example.org. The blogs can be poems, song or videos – whatever format you feel most comfortable with!