What’s MenPhys I hear you say? It’s a rather basic term I’ve coined for the result of physical intervention and effort in mental health cases and conditions. Before being hospitalised for the fourth time, my physical activity was extremely minimal, partly due to lack of motivation emanating from depression, partly due to bad lifestyle choices and lack of good practise. Since my discharge a month ago, I have been going to the gym at least 4 times a week – and I’m much better off mentally for it! I feel energised and suffer less episodes of low mood. However, I can’t lie, going to the gym takes huge mental strength at times – but it’s nearly always worth the effort. It seems like a natural, quick and long lasting way of releasing endorphins and improving mood. Throughout my 5 years struggle, there’s hardly been any emphasis whatsoever on exercising to help combat the effects of depression. My MenPhys state has come on leaps and bounds since I’ve been exercising.
It almost feels like I’ve knocked a huge brick wall down that previously guarded an unknown country/territory – a country that is fuelled by freedom and empowerment. A country where control has been grabbed back by its citizens and individuals who suffer from mental health conditions aren’t forced to live like victims. In this country we talk about ability – even in the face of adversity and disability. I’m pretty proud I found this country, prouder still I have a visa. Who knows, if I’m strong enough to routinely cross the border in my darkest moments – perhaps one day – I’ll be able to fully ‘escape to the country’ and start anew.