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Mental health is not a stigma. Its reality and an opportunity to embrace it.

Posted: September 8, 2023
Mental Health - “We envisage a society in which mental health problems are an acceptable and, in some ways, valued part of the human experience.”- Michael Slade

Stigma - a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person. A contrasting definition is a visible sign or characteristic of a disease.

Unfortunately, the stigma of poor mental health is often associated with something negative and mark of disgrace”. Which I am not quite sure why people would think this way. No one has ever asked for the effects that come with poor mental health. The wide range of effects that come from poor mental health are devastating in nature. When individuals experience poor mental health, they may start to withdraw and can experience debilitating symptoms such as depression and anxiety. Poor mental health can also affect physical health, as individuals might react by neglecting their physical health through inconsistent eating habits, poor hygiene, and general malaise.

Poor mental health is different for everyone. While there are some similarities, person will not experience it the same way. Poor mental health and its symptoms are unlike anything you could imagine. Some may classify depression or anxiety in a way that seems normal. Let’s face it, most people who experience depression or society, will do so for a short-term. Often, they have control over their mind and outlook while they experience it. Those who “suffer” from depression or anxiety do so on a level that you could never comprehend.

Have you heard someone say, they went through a dark period in their life? Well, that is could be a battle of depression. Everything you feel, is dark. There is no hope, and no will. All the things you enjoy, no longer provide you with hope or joy. The objects that surround you, seem far away and obsolete. There is no connection to reality with poor mental health.

This article is about awareness, and hope. If you know someone battling poor mental health, try to relate to what they are experiencing. No one is asking you to feel their pain. Don’t try to understand it. Because you won’t. Just be there and ensure them that they will get better. Guarantee them, that they will get through it. At least, they will get to the point, where it is manageable. HOPE is not built upon unrealistic outcomes. There is clear evidence for why someone with poor mental health will get better. Despite how bad it may seem. Break down each day in a series of 15 minutes or longer. Just get through the first 15 minutes. Then focus on what you will do for the next 15 minutes. Eventually, the entire day will have past you by, and with treatment, things will get better. I GUARANTEE YOU, THEY WILL. You must keep up your normal day to day routine. Even if you feel like you can’t. A regular routine is what will enable
you to continue fighting.

This is my input on this topic. I am not a doctor, nor should you hesitate from seeing one. There is no shame in seeing a specialist. This is the only way you will feel better. Do not forget that you are loved.

Our guest today is someone, that is making mental awareness her mission. This isn’t a topic she decided one day to get behind. It personally has touched her life. Let’s find out about our guest Ania Thomas.

 

ABOUT ANIA THOMAS

Ania’s musical experience has transformed her from a young rock enthusiast into a trained pioneer of rock n roll, breaking boundaries of popular music. In 2018, Ania performed with Steve Vai at the ‘Big Mama Jama Jam-A-Thon at Musician Institute. In 2019, Ania co-founded Gritty in Pink, an LA-based all-female musician collective alongside Shiragirl, and last year
recorded a lesson of “Come As You Are” on Fender Play. Check out Ania’s previously released EP: Ania in Chains. Her recent single collaboration “I
Don't Really Wanna Know” with CJ Eriksson (Incubus, Hanson, Alien Ant Farm, U2) and her new music video for her single “Grass is Greener,” a collaboration with Chad Bombard (Weezer, OFF, AFI, Tracy Bonham, L7, Serj Tankian) will be premiered June 7, 2023. Ania is originally from Koszalin, Poland and having ventured to the West Coast she studied music at University of Southern California and Musicians Institute.

 

ANIA THOMAS ‘GRASS IS GREENER’ MUSIC VIDEO

‘Grass is Greener’ that premiered on April 1st, 2023. This colorful manic rock video is a commentary on modern consumerism and never being fully satisfied with what you have in life no matter what you own. In the current digital age, our lives are consumed by flashing images, alerts, and the constant narcissism of social media. While the flood of this current technology overwhelms us every day, there is no easy way out: the same bombardment of posts, images, and videos take over our minds and make us surrender to the chaos of social media and overload of information. Ania, Polish guitarist and songwriter, blends gritty and poppy female vocals, distorted guitars, and vintage synthesizers to create her own brand of musical power. Music video Grass is Green provides a unique perspective on social media and the current harm it gives to the younger generation. The purpose of the song is to start a conversation about mental health and how to dissect the complicated status of it in our daily lives.

 

INTERVIEW WITH ANIA THOMAS AND GUITAR THRILLS MAGAZINE

GT: Hi Ania. I am very proud of you for taking up this mission. This is something that is affecting many of us to some degree. We want to help others who are battling through the symptoms of poor mental health. There are some who would shy away from this topic, even if it affected them personally.

 

GT: What are your recommendations for those that are battling the symptoms from poor mental health?

Ania: My first recommendation would be that it is ok to talk about it and it is ok to ask for help. I think we shouldn’t judge people in society based on how they feel. “It is ok not to be ok” - one of my favorite quotes regarding mental health. I also want to add that they are free helpful resources. Sometimes we all need an ear! Life is too short, and we should enjoy every moment. “We need to minimize the roller coasters.”

 

GT: Not everyone will recognize the signs. It could occur immediately, or over a period. What specific signs have you discovered, to help others identify that they need professional assistance?

Ania: I think some of the signs are “coping signs”

 

  • Tearfulness or frequent crying
  • Lower productivity
  • Less Involvement in activities that they previously enjoyed
  • Appearing low energy despite adequate sleep
  • Irritability of frequent anger
  • Poor appetite or increased appetite
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Excessive sleep
  • Being to self-critical
  • Difficulty concentrating

 

GT: What is the message that you are sending to those that you speak with?

Ania: I am sending a message of hope and encouragement. I want people to be patient and wait through the hard times. The light is at the end of the tunnel. Bad situations, horrible moments end so don’t give up. When nothing goes RIGHT go left. Try something NEW. Giving up is NEVER AN ANSWER. I promise things and life gets better.

 

GT: Have you had feedback from someone experiencing symptoms of poor mental health, contact you?

Ania: Ive had some friends, and some fans share stories about their hardships, but i think after sharing and writing to me being able to be themselves and share their story helped them.\

 

GT: Why do you think there is a stigma behind mental health?

Ania: I think the stigma comes from how were raised.. and what beliefs have been passed down fromour parents, schools, and environments we were raised in. Nature vs. Nurture.

 

GT: What are some main points that you focus on with your new video? Grass is Greener.

Ania: I think the video is supposed to show the complexity of the “comparison” game via social media and how we live life vs how we perceive things to be…. Kind of the “Keeping up with the Joneses.” We always think Grass is Greener. but we never know what it feels like to live someone’s life. That is why you must take care of your grass that you have.

 

GT: Would you personally recognize the symptoms of poor mental health? If so, what action would you take?

Ania: Yes! If I am struggling, I admit that I reach out to talk about my problems and find solutions. Sometimes it doesn’t have to be a therapist... but it could be a trusted family/or friend. Connect to your friends and family when you’re going through something.

 

GT: Lastly, what is your message to anyone out there reading this article? Maybe there is someone experiencing it, and they do not know that they can beat this. What would you say to them, that alter their course in life?

Ania: You are loved and important. You will get through this, and I am here for you. It feels as if its game over but believe me you will become stronger and bad things will pass. Please have hope and believe. You will get out of this situation. Your life can turn upside down in a day. YOU CAN WIN THE LOTTARY TOMORROW... OR FIND MILLION DOLLARS ON THE STREET…- no, but seriously, when nothing goes right go left.)

 

GT: I know you have also been successful as a Guitarist. What have you been accomplishing in the music industry? I know you have recent releases; would you like to talk about them?

Ania: Yes, it; s been a crazy year! I have recently played a show with Godbombs at the Whisky a Go-Go; we opened up for Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankestein and the band Orgy this year. Then recorded a few songs with Pink Motel. Excited to be putting out content!

 

GT: You have been a guitarist for many bands. Has each experience helped you in your music career?

Ania: Yes, each experience has made me a better guitar player and has sharpen my chops. I love playing music so every opportunity to play is a way to improve as a musician. I am training to become a session musician.

GT: That is awesome to hear. We are happy that you took the time to interview with us today. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help in making your mission successful.

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