Be aware of my opinions and emotions in this post.
I will be talking about mental health on these pages and want to reach out to those in distress.
I could bore you with statistics. I could bore you with the economics. You can find all of this on the WHO’s website here
. Statistics are important but they mean nothing to the individual.
So I want to talk about me with the hope it will help you.
Depression is not cancer.
Cancer is a bitch. Yes. So much. I hate it too. However, cancer is not a superior disease. No-one will ever want to wear a black ribbon to support those in need. Although I totally would and I think it is something that actually needs to happen! There is such a taboo, such a stigma. But why? Yes the brain is an unknown territory but we know enough to say most mental health problems have a significant biochemical component. How is this any different from someone suffering from diabetes? It is not just the general public who think this but many of the medical profession. Trust me when I say I know how depression is treated within the NHS.
Depression is not the new black.
It is not cool to be depressed. I hate the media portrayal that people use depression to gain attention. There is nothing good about admitting you have depression. Yet it seems that people use it as an excuse for disgraceful behaviour. Subsequently you feel as if you cannot admit to something because what you have experienced is so very different to what you read in print.
Depression does want to kill you.
For the past few years I have survived but certainly not lived. I love my Bean but he has been my bubble of protection. This is a heavy burden for him to bear for we both know that without him I would not be alive right now. My suicide was planned down to the finest detail. I was so very close to taking my own life I had my own kit ready in a bag for that one night. The only thing that stopped me was knowing I would hurt Bean so very much. I know that you may not think you have that person, whether they be a parent, a teacher, a friend or a lover but you do. Someone out there cares for you more than you will ever know.
If you smile you cannot be depressed.
If you’ve met me you I’m not sure you don’t think I’m depressed. I can laugh, I can smile, I can offer occasional witty repartee. Do you want to know the secret. I’m a very good liar. I think we probably all are. I can fake happiness incredibly well. I’ve tried to explain how depression feels for me before. The best I can come up with is it feels like you are in a thick fog and everything is concealed and mysterious. It feels like it has become part of you. Everything takes longer. Your brain is able to confuse itself and is consistently befuddled. The energy you once had has gone because you are trying to push against a fog which feels like it is thick enough to be cut. For me it was (and still is) the fact I cannot be a proper helpful member of society which saddens me the most. I don’t want to be at home all day. I hate it.
I hid my sadness well because I knew if someone saw me smile they would not believe I was truly broken. I wanted to hurt myself to have some physical sign that I was not faking. I don’t want you to have to feel the same. I want you to seek help before you think you need physical scars to prove that you are unwell. The mental scars are enough.
Finally this is the important bit.
One of the best things about being online is the fact I can talk about these issues. I started off slowly, in anonymity, revealing things. It was me admitting to myself that I was not well. I really do understand that so many of you can’t. I didn’t tell anyone close to me for a long time.
But, I am getting better. That is the important thing. For so long I thought this was impossible. For so long I thought I was just being lazy and useless.
I want you to know you can talk to me. I don’t have all the answers but I do have many ears.
It needn’t be on these pages but my email is always open firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have no-one to talk to, please talk to me.
You are not alone.
It’s a cliche to say the first few words are incredibly difficult but they are so very very difficult. No-one wants to admit that they are unwell but it is nothing of which you should be ashamed. Recently in my group therapy I spoke about things I never thought I would say to another human being and it was incredibly eye opening. In fact group therapy is one of the best things I have ever experienced. Depression and many other mental health issues are so isolating. You do feel like you are a freak and that you are a fraud because no-one ever talks about it. I promise you are not alone. Even if you think you are, you’re not. I am there with you. I am trying to get better every day and I want you to know you can too.
It continues to break my heart to know that there are so many people suffering like I have suffered. Just please know you can be better. You cannot see it right now but things can get better.
It’s not just me, some people genuinely do care. It’s sort of what we do.
I’m not just talking about health professionals. Not everyone in the NHS cares. I’m talking about the people who were put on this earth to make people better. I have always wanted to make people better. I want to help you get better.
Take the risk. I know it feels overwhelming but to make that connection, to make that leap into the unknown, to let someone in to help you is a risk. But I promise it is a risk worth taking. I promise.