Today is World Suicide Prevention Day or Suicide Awareness Day, whichever name you wish to give it. As such, there was really only 1 thing I could write about as this is a cause that is not just close to my heart but controls my heart every day.
11 years and 11 months ago, I lost the closest person to me and the centre of my world to the most deadly of illnesses; depression. The person I lost was my very own mother after a long and fitful battle with something that many of us really have very little understanding of. It was no secret that my mum was ill and she was following the paths of therapy and drugs, etc. which no doubt helped keep her with us as long as she was but essentially, we still knew nothing about it.
In the ensuing (let’s call it) 12 years, I’ve had some pretty dark days and thought some pretty dark thoughts. I even had a period of 6 months where I felt something like what she must have felt for years. It was horrible and I was lonely but I talked. I picked a trusted person and I talked to them because I knew I wasn’t mad, I was just ill and now I’m fine.
Unfortunately, I knew I was ill rather than mad because of my past experience whereas luckily most people have very little experience with depression so they don’t understand it when it happens to them. The fear is that friends, family, work colleagues will all cut them off, treat them differently because they’re mentally ill…mental. In some cases this does happen, it feels completely insane when I write that but it really does happen. Today, I’m asking you all to help me and the others working on this same campaign to Stamp Out the Stigma. Get talking, understand mental illness and get wise to the symptoms of depression; you might just save a life! x
If you struggling to cope with something and need a friend to speak to, contact Blurt: http://blurtitout.org/
Blurt offer a mentoring service for anyone who needs a friend. It’s free of charge and you don’t need to give them any information you don’t feel comfortable with sharing.
For more information on depression, have a look at the NHS website. It includes information on how to recognise it in yourself or others and how to get help: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Depression/Pages/Introduction.aspx