My mind and PH
Raya Mynot, 23, has lived with pulmonary hypertension since she was a baby. In her latest blog for us, she explains how her mental and emotional health has been impacted over the years.
“In life everybody definitely has their own struggles and highs and lows. However, living with something as serious as PH can really have an effect on emotional wellbeing and mental health. I myself have experienced low points in life when having PH.
PH is a condition that can limit what you do in your day-to-day life, and it can affect the simplest of tasks, which can become very frustrating. For me personally, it really affected me when going through high school and college.
During high school there were a lot of tasks and activities that I couldn’t take part in due to my health conditions, and this definitely had a negative impact. I had to miss out on certain lessons and activities (PE, sports day, and some school trips) which made it quite difficult for my peers to understand, meaning I wasn’t included as much. This left me feeling pretty lonely.
It wasn’t until the last couple of years of high school that I had a friendship group that tried to understand, which was really nice. Our favourite thing to do was go and have dinner at the pub right next to school, so it was easy for me to walk to.
When I moved up to college some of those friends went to the same one as me, so it was really nice to have people there who already knew about me. However, getting some of the new teachers to understand was a little tricky.
In college I had to complete a certain number of hours of work experience, and this was really difficult for me since I had only done half a day at the nursery I was getting my experience at, due to me being too tired to complete a full day.
The nursery was so supportive of me and helped out wherever they could, however the teacher who monitored it all was very pushy when it came to me completing my hours and didn’t understand why I had to have so much time off if I was tired or had appointments.
I think this is what frustrated me the most, and it got me really down as I felt I wasn’t going to be able to pass my course. My mum was a massive help in helping make sure I got my pass, which I did in the end!
It definitely gets me down a lot when people don’t try to understand PH or why I can’t do certain things.
Throughout school and college I learnt how to cope by myself a lot, which in turn made me a stronger person and gave me confidence to advocate for myself.
Now I’m an adult my low days are definitely a lot less because I make a conscious effort to fill my days with things I enjoy doing and can do independently, and this has helped to improve my mental health so much.
I also started therapy after college which really helped me to work through all my negative emotions and frustration. It’s always okay to reach out for help when you need it, and it was definitely one of the best things I have done.
Sometimes our emotions can become very overwhelming, and it can be a lot for our brain to work out and cope with. So never be afraid to ask for support. I also get so much support from the people around me; my family and my girlfriend are honestly amazing when I have my down days.
Don’t let negative emotions control your days. Fill your days with things that make you happy, and people that make you smile. Don’t focus on what you can’t do, put all your focus on what you CAN do instead!”