Mental Illness, Mental Recovery, Remember To Brush Your Teeth


I shy away from discussing my mental health here these days. I am torn on the helpfulness of the mental health internet community, on one hand it's amazing to find support that doesn't require face-to-face, getting dressed contact, but on the other side there is an under-tone of competitiveness at times. The 'I've-cut-deeper', 'I have 12+ diagnosis', 'I've been in hospital more times than you'. The 'I have xyz and it is who I am'. I don't believe that the well-mind really wants to be associated with these things, or maybe I just have a large disgust for my past. But if I could impart any advice on anyone struggling with depression, anxiety or any other mental health condition it would be this: Remember to brush your teeth.

It's a silly, often over-looked thing, but if you know the crushing weight and boredom of being mentally unwell you'll know that even the smallest task of brushing your teeth twice a day is an insurmountable task. I know that at my most unwell I didn't brush my teeth for months on end. In hospital it was the last thing on my mind.

Now, clear sailing from mental health services I am acutely aware of my teeth. They are not bad and I am surprised that they are still in my mouth; but I have a fear of seeing the dentist, purely because I have a feeling that the dentist will want to pull some of my teeth due to receding gums. It's not the pain I'm scared for, it's that I may not be able to afford it, and a 28-year-old with false teeth is not a good look.

I know that is seems like such a silly piece of advice, but I think that's ok. I know, I know, I'm not alone in going months without brushing my teeth due to feeling rotten. I know I'm not alone in regretting this. In a world full of how-to and advice, sometimes it's the little things that serve us well, and yes, it is 100% ok to feel proud even if the only thing you managed to do today was brush your teeth.

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