In light of it being Mental Health Awareness Week, Louise Pentland (AKA Sprinke of Glitter on the YouTubes) has spoken to ‘Glamour’ about how she has personally suffered with her mental health. The YouTube star, known for being a constant ray of sunshine by making us laugh and boosting self love, wants to address the important conversation of taking mental health disorders like anxiety seriously rather than brushing them off, and seeking out the help you need.
“Over the past few years I’ve experienced horrible bouts of anxiety, usually when I travel,” Louise told ‘Glamour’. “I hate being away from home and the familiarity of my surroundings. Perhaps it’s a control thing, I’m not sure, but it brings on a fear of feeling trapped. When that moment hits, my whole body tenses up and my mind spirals, thinking the worst — that I’m not safe and can’t get home.”
Preventing the brushing off of anxiety is something Louise hoped to tackle in opening up about it and, in turn, telling ‘Glamour’ how she has since come to terms with panic attacks being a part of her life and something that should be addressed rather than ignored.
Louise also admitted that she had, in the past, been less than empathetic towards those who felt anxious, thinking that they should, “pull themselves together.” Now, though, she has realised it’s definitely far from being that simple.
“I think anxiety is more common than we realise and it manifests itself in a thousand ways. Sometimes you can’t even pinpoint why those feelings come about, but they’re real and they can be extremely debilitating.”
Since facing her anxiety head on, Louise has given us advice on how to deal with both anxiety and mental health in general.
“I went once a week for six months, and I’d recommend it to anyone. When we feel stressed, anxious or panicky, our thoughts are a scribble; sometimes a massive mess in our head. My counsellor taught me how to put all my thoughts in a straight line, and to think more rationally when I feel overwhelmed.”
2. The STOP method
“First I stop and take a deep breath. The brain can trick us to think we’re in danger, but deep breaths help slow a speeding heart rate, which psychologically calms us down. Next, I observe what’s going on in my body (Am I in pain? No), remind myself I’m safe, then proceed: just keep going. It sounds simple, but it works for me.”
3. Other therapies and medication
Louise stated that counselling of course isn’t for everyone, and that there are other options. The main thing is to seek out help from a family member or professional in order to get the ball rolling so you can start to feel better.
4. Talk more about mental health
“Accepting my anxiety, seeking help and just giving myself a break was the best thing I could have done. My advice? Listen to someone’s struggle; open up about your feelings and keep the mental health conversation going.”
We most certainly agree with Louise that it’s a key conversation that we need to be having more. Mental health for many has become a taboo topic and something that they keep locked up in order to be perceived as ‘normal’. But it’s completely fine to be vocal about the things we’re dealing with in our life. Just like with Louise, speaking out about it could really impact someone’s life for the better.
Add to the conversation by tweeting us @maximumpop using the hashtag #MHAW16 and share ideas for how people can deal with feeling panicky.