Depression and other mental health issues are often talked about in terms of spotting it and treating it, and we relate experiences and how we got help etc. but seldom have I seen anything written about how depression feels to a sufferer, so that is what I hope to show you.
I went through a phase in my journey where I was sharing my anxieties with women and men. Generally it was well received, sometimes not. It didn't bother me. But by me becoming aware of my anxieties and not taking them personally or seriously I was able to let them be as there were, and they had less power over me
One big downside of trauma and depression is that you come out of it feeling like roadkill. To give up a long standing depression is to have a signifi...
I started to wonder why this didn't happen to me at other times in my life, which were also pretty high on the trauma richter scale. Like when I worked in retail, or I had a gigantic needle stuck in my hip bone, or when my boyfriend dumped me on our anniversary, or when I was forced to read out a poem about my invisible pet gerbil in the year two leavers assembly.
A year ago on 16th May 2014, I was making daily calls to the Samaritans and was coping with suicidal feelings so strong that I could barely leave the house due to the dangerously close proximity of a train station nearby where I vividly pictured the end of my life taking place.
As you twist and turn and spiral round depression's star everything else in your life can become a distant noise, a murmur in the background like Charlie Brown's teacher. You are aware of a presence of others but they are minor parts in your play, in your event.
I can only speak from my own experience, but I didn't talk about it openly because I was worried about being judged. People always saw me as "strong", and I didn't want to suddenly become "weak". I didn't want people to walk on eggshells around me. I was worried people wouldn't understand how I could have been leading a dream life in Paris, while simultaneously feel like my world was falling apart.
Don't turn a blind eye to problems that need addressing. Children can suffer from mental health problems too, keep that in mind.
I have been avoiding the commentary in the aftermath of last week's UK elections. The crowing triumphalism on one side, and the unfocussed rage on the other, have been too much for my hangover to bear. Take a breath, Britain, and let's think about this properly.
It's Mental Health Awareness Week so a good time to reflect on the crucial role businesses can play in supporting mental heath issues. There's not just a moral case but an unquestionable business case for doing so: each year one in four people experience a common mental health condition - such as stress, anxiety or depression - and the overall cost of mental health to the UK economy is estimated at £70 billion per year.
A doctor recently told me that no company will want to hire someone who has prolonged absences, as if I hadn't realised that myself. As if finding a job isn't hard enough, keeping one is even harder. It's a catch 22.
Antidepressants are too often handed out as a cure all. Yet writing a prescription is not enough. It is like sticking a plaster on a gunshot wound. Special needs parents want to be able to manage, they want to be able to cope, and more importantly they want to be empowered to do this.
Music therapy has been consistently put forward by organisations such as Nordoff Robbins, to help those with a variety of disabilities and difficulties, including autism, dementia, neurological disorders and those suffering from drug and alcohol problems.
It's much like mental illness, with mental illness I see glimpses of life occasionally, like feeling the sun on my skin or smiling at someone and seeing them smile back. The little glimpses of life, of freedom from this illness that remind me that it is out there and it is possible.
Now in my fourth year of a part time PhD I am attempting to tell the stories of stressed, anxious and depressed teachers in a different way and carry on the conversation. If you are reading this and would like to tell me your story for this project then please let me know. And if you are out there, in distress, talk to someone.
Depression is often accompanied by shame, and people try to hide their symptoms. We know from statistics that men find it harder to admit to depression or anxiety, which is why three times more men commit suicide than women.