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.
It's only in hindsight I can see that Pete, my husband, wasn't going to survive. Whether it was alternative treatments or getting him to the right doctor or hospital, I was 'running on empty' frantically trying to find ways of helping him stay alive.
You do not need to be perfect. You don't need a degree in counselling to support your child. You just need to listen; listening to them can mean the world, and a hug can be very welcome. It might be tricky to talk in person; it might be easier to text or email, that's absolutely okay.
Sometimes it's hard to understand why they're attacking you, and it's bad enough when the keyboard warriors come for you in their scores... but what if a fandom comes for you? What if it's a celebrity you respect? What if someone says something that could really affect your brand? What if they try to destroy you, your business, your puppy, and the horse you rode in on?
I never encountered any abuse towards me, but I have read some distasteful comments about depression and anxiety in general. The important thing is by talking about your struggles, you are ready to deal with it and you are gradually conquering it, and it will make you a lot better.
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If I could describe depression, I'd say it feels like you're in a well and there's a rope that you can't quite reach, and when you look up at the other end of that rope, the person holding it is you. If you think you're suffering then hand yourself the rope, anti-depressants and depression are nothing to be ashamed of, just like any other illness you can get better.
What I am going to write in this post isn't going to shock people. There is no big revelation hidden within it. But I have come to the conclusion that if Jeremy Hunt isn't constantly nagged about the state of the Mental Health Service in England, nothing is actually going to be done about it.
The solution starts with you and what you can do to help tackle the stigma. If the fact that men are committing suicide at an astonishing rate isn't making you ask serious questions about our society after reading this, I don't know what will.
I am proud that I can talk about my depression because it gives me the accomplishment of completely removing the burden that has been plaguing me for months. I feel I can breathe again. I'm not saying that it's easy to talk to people about your depression, particularly if you, like myself, have kept it hidden for so long.