BBC Radio 5 Live: Hussain's guest edit

What I wish I’d said to my friends with mental health issues

Hussain Manawer is a poet and musician who has struggled with his mental health in the past. On BBC Radio 5 Live he asked: 'How can I help a friend who's struggling with their mental health?'

Having undergone my own mental health battles for a number of years now, a lot of people in society automatically assume you’re able to spot signs and symptoms in other people that you’re close to.

This is not necessarily the case. I have friends and family members in my life that know me very well, they know when my mask is on, when my wall is up and when my emotions are guarded.

I don’t like to say it, but sometimes I am not that great at noticing these warning signs in others. Even though we spend a huge amount of time together, sometimes that can be the exact space that they use to install emotional distance within our relationships, without realising.

I found that because I spoke quite openly about my depression on an ongoing basis, I took up a lot of time in a lot of the friendships I am in, quite simply ‘making everything about me.’ Even now in this article I feel like I am doing that, but there is a point.

If you are anything like me, and you are the loud mouthed one in your friendship group who feels the need to express yourself at every God-given moment, sometimes you need to take a step back and realise that every single person in your life is going through something you know nothing about (at one stage anyway).

Full article here

hussain manawer