It's very difficult to talk about suicide to others without encountering horror and fear. This must be an offshoot from when attempting suicide was considered a criminal offence. Coupled with what we imagine someone must be feeling to want to take their own life.
Society breeds stigma, but by keeping these stories behind closed doors, sometimes so do we. Even if we have the best intentions. We perpetuate it by thinking these normal, more-common-place-than-we-realise, stories of illness such as addiction, have to be secrets. Maybe they don't.
Anxiety has a nasty habit of controlling your life, and I feel education is one of the areas in which people suffer most. For me, at least, university turned out to be something of a cure, albeit of the toughest order, rather than the devil's own work.
Spare a thought also, therefore, for those who don't fall into the stereotypical profile of a skinny young girl who wants to look like a Cosmo cover girl. The elderly, the children, the middle aged and the men who also suffer from conditions that take over a whole life.
I feel like the most despicable person for admitting this, but part of me is dreading having this kid. I'm scared and I'm anxious. The excitement I felt first time round is notably absent. Sometimes I forget I'm pregnant at all, and it feels quite nice.
Whilst a rational mind would say sorry to the friend, and forgive themselves, you have a little voice in your ear that tells you that it's because you're a bad friend, employee, or person, and that 'you don't deserve to be happy, ever!'
It's no secret that the public perception of mental illness is unfortunately still pretty negative. A person who has previously suffered with an episode of mental illness can be seen as 'delicate' or 'unstable', even after they have recovered.
The list of things which can go wrong in a young person's life is a long and ugly one. From a troubled home life featuring violence or emotional abuse, to bullying, health problems or being the caregiver for family members; young people are often carrying more than just the burden of growing up.
In my 20s, I'd tried endless self-help books in an effort to become someone else. I hated that I always felt anxious and lacking confidence. I was determined to rid myself of these defects so that I could finally be happy.
From what I've heard off of older, worldly people, I've found that your twenties is a decade you could potentially afford to piss into a can. They're like SATs (those tests at the end of primary school. Were they even called SATs? Who knows).
Google will provide an answer to pretty much anything, but I'm afraid there are some things that Google just can't help us with. Google can't tell you what you should be doing with your life, or reassure you that you made the right decision yesterday. So, in our fragile, digitally reliant states, we worry. And more and more of us are worrying more of the time.
There are some who argue that depression is not an illness. ''Pull yourself together. This is a first world problem if I've ever seen one. Come with me to Africa and I'll show you people who have a right to be depressed." All I can say to people who say such things is that I'm not able to rationalize it like that.
The holidays are supposed to be fun. Right? Then how come most of us are stressing out and worrying for weeks ahead of the Big Day and dreading the day itself? What happened to all the love, joy, reunions, gift giving, laughter and merriment associated with this, the biggest of all the holidays?
There may not be a sign of snow, but this Christmas is still set to be a special one for me. I am now a dad, and with fatherhood comes a new outlook on the festive season. Yes it's fun to wail to Wizzard with a whiskey in hand, but above all, I want it to be a magical time for my son. It's this new responsibility that makes me feel obliged to remind the nation about the dangers of a drink too many.
New Year's Resolutions seem to revolve around abstinence. Don't do this. Don't drink that. Don't you DARE eat that, else you will be this... It's actually a very negative concept if you approach it in that manner. The words 'don't' and 'shouldn't' aren't very helpful to anyone, let alone an anxious girl. I've learnt lately how powerful language can be.
I think it's normal to feel a bit weird at this time of year. We build up Christmas to such a fever pitch of twee imagination and rose-tinted memories that it can end up feel disappointing and miserable. Sometimes, surrounded by a barrage of Good Will to All Men and Joy to the World and Christmas Cheer, we feel lost and alone, longing for a feeling we can't find anymore.