I'm here now. Obviously. And whilst I would never wish to put myself through any of it ever again, the very least I can do is spend a good portion of my time ensuring no one else has to do it the hard way. So; that's what the websites are for.
One in seven of rotten tomatoes top horror films list are directly about mental illness - though more could be argued to have roots in the topic - films about possession for example, which was originally derived from a fear of the different.
Having suffered from life-threatening bouts of depression for four years before my eventual recovery at the start of 2012, I have a lot of experience with feeling suicidal. Here's my list of 10 things to do when you're in that awful place where you feel as if all hope is lost.
Some days I can forget about it. I don't have to double up on ibuprofen and paracetamol, stick menthol heat patches over my neck or wear a hot water bottle draped on my shoulders. Unfortunately, those days are few and far between.
Why mindfulness? I've mentioned a lot that I had a mental car crash seven years ago. I said, to quote Scarlett O'Hara (sort of), "I will never go crazy again". And so I've kept my promise to myself and haven't had an episode of depression for seven years.
With the clocks going back on the 26th and the nights drawing in, leaving for work in the dark and getting back post sunset is a sure fire way to drain our energy levels and leave our mood as grey as those rainy skies. Here are some quick tips for boost your mood this autumn...
We know now that we need to raise the awareness of the dangers of low self-esteem, and one of the reasons is because low self-esteem can lead to depression and other serious conditions such as anxiety.
Lonely. The word hit me like a dull blow down the phone line. For a man of his years to admit to loneliness to someone he had not met and hardly spoken to before seemed beyond belief. I know elderly men: my grandfathers and their peers don't 'do' emotion, and would balk at sharing them - even with their nearest and dearest, let alone a stranger.
You call in sick with a moderate physical ailment, because it's easier to tell your boss you have a migraine/food poisoning/the flu than go into the intricacies of something you may not understand yourself. Have you ever been told to 'be strong' or 'get over it' by someone who just can't fathom the incorporeal nature of what's affecting your life?
When someone takes their own life, whether it be a friend, a family member, a total stranger, or a celebrity, we wish we could have known, that we could have helped find a solution to their problems somehow. Every time I heard the announcement at the railway station, that another life's light had been put out, I desperately wished I could have been at that person's front door...
Eating disorders carry the highest mortality rate of all mental illness, with 1 in 5 sufferers dying from complications associated with their illness, or through suicide. Every life lost to an eating disorder is 1 too many; especially when it could have been prevented.
For years, I've been inching to get to the bottom of male suicide - not just an American thing or a British thing, but a problem worldwide. Statistically in the US and UK, men above 50 years of age have a high rate of suicide- roughly 75% of suicides in both the US and UK are male and worldwide there is an average of one suicide per 40 seconds.
I began to feel the worry as a physical sensation - it would start as a warning prickle in the top of my head and then spread like fire until it extended all across my scalp. This, I supposed, was a panic attack - but there was little I could do to stop it. As time went on, anxiety morphed into paranoia - the attacks happened more and more frequently, and the fear of them happening became all-encompassing, almost as bad as the symptoms themselves.
But people who were raised by a narcissistic Mother are depleted of these traits and, as adults, are left with a legacy of difficulties which manifest themselves in all areas of life but particularly in relationships.
On a late sunny afternoon October 2nd 2014, I skipped out of my new Doctor's surgery feeling like a teenager. Having just received the news about my present state of health, I had every reason to radiate joyfulness and exhibit my delight and gratitude.
I'm tired of being asked why I got depressed. I have no problem talking about how it has impacted on my life, and that of my family and friends, I think people need to know exactly how much mental illness can take over and infiltrate every aspect of life. But I have a very big problem with the perception that this could somehow be my own fault