We need to talk about Mental Health but we also need the Government to address this very stark and real crisis that is unfolding in front of our eyes. A sticking plaster is not sufficient and it never will be.
There is a very old joke; it has appeared in different forms over the years, most famously in Alan Moore's seminal graphic novel Watchmen. Most retel...
But what happens when the rough days outweigh the smooth? When you lie awake at night, dreading tomorrow's performance? When your life really does feel like acting: you stutter along, feeling awkward, forgetting your lines?
UK parents of children with depression have an exciting and opportunity to contribute to this project and to have a say about the treatment of depression. The project team have developed a Survey Monkey questionnaire that allows parents to give their opinions on the most important questions that come up when choosing care or treatment for depression, and we would love to hear your views.
From the age of 13, I had dealt with my own mental health issues and at 18 I ended up having suicidal thoughts myself, but it was something I'd managed to put behind me. I'm just glad that I was there that day to be able to give something back following the help and support I'd received years earlier, and use the skills I'd learnt to help save someone's life.
The human mind can be deceiving at times. But if you're suffering from a mental illness, it becomes your enemy. It makes you believe things you don't want to believe. It makes you think about things you don't want to think about. It makes you feel useless when you're not useless at all. It can completely overpower you and it forces you to think negatively. No matter how hard you try to stay positive, your own mind doesn't like positivity and wants to make you suffer.
I was always curious what the effects of a long silent retreat would be? Would I be enlightened? Would I have a nervous breakdown? You have both experiences but they alternate minute by minute. Just when you think you've reached Buddhahood because your mind is clear, the familiar negative thoughts smash in and shoot you down; reminding you what a jerk you are.
Her book performed a rare feat. It penetrated the unfathomably isolating pain of mental illness. Her writing assured me that I wasn't alone. Her writing was unblinking in its honesty and it showed a complete lack of self-pity. It lacked the jocular cheerfulness that writing on depression is often mired with.
The fact that the holiday freedom (even in small doses) gave us pleasure suggests, that there is something, which we do not sufficiently build into our daily lives; something which we are in danger of burying until the next extended break.
As parents we will never reveal we are actually very lonely. We are on the outside looking in, at both society and our child, unable to find a way to reach both. We are isolated. Isolated from society due to our caring role. Isolated from our friends and family, turning down invitations to parties, days out. Isolated from our child as we are never truly allowed 'in'.
Completely out of the blue I was feeling very low and the only change in my life was this little pill. So of course recognising the difference it made, I immediately stopped taking it. But not everyone has the awareness to realise that it could be the pill having this effect on them, particularly when they haven't been warned that it can have this side effect.
Going public with regard to mental health issues, past mistakes and life errors that most people would probably choose to closet, rather than use as examples in a book to help others was a huge gamble to take, but for me it was a venture worth the risk.
They give you medication to stop depression and suicidal thoughts, but the medication itself induces suicidal thoughts for the first couple of weeks. For that reason, I'm glad I slept for so much of the time. When I was awake, I'd just be thinking about how sharp the knife was that my boyfriend was eating with.
Life post-overdose had a different intensity to it - I couldn't run from my struggle anymore. I couldn't keep stuff shoved down and carry on regardless. I couldn't neglect my needs because saving myself after overdosing (I called the ambulance) was cementing a promise to myself - I was going to do this.
Two years ago yesterday (August 11th), Robin Williams committed suicide. Before his shock death, he had suffered from severe depression. A lot of people would not expect someone so adored and so successful to suffer like that and end his own life. However, that is not the case. Anyone can suffer from depression, no matter how great your life has been.
Don't ever give up on love. One thing I believe to be true is that, life is ALWAYS conspiring on our behalf, and I have absolutely no regrets in any of it, no matter how hard it got (and boy did it get hard!!). Keep the faith, keep looking ahead and allow your heart to soften, and your dreams to blossom. Don't let life toughen you too much, often when there is a heartbreak it can be a blessing in disguise to allow an even better match in to your life.