It's up to the individual as to whether they want to seek therapy or medication but around that, there are little things that you can definitely do to help someone with depression. From my experience, and from the help of my wonderful partner, here are some things you could do to help a depressed lover.
The lack of urgency to make a positive change to the world of mental health treatment in this country terrifies me. Children's mental health cannot continue to be undermined or neglected. The government is failing our next generation, as well as the 1 in 4 adults who suffer from a mental illness. Change NEEDS to happen, not just talked about. After all, actions speak louder than words.
Imagine all your memories, amassed over a lifetime, handwritten in tiny lettering on a deck of cards, neatly stacked in chronological order. Then imagine someone deftly shuffling this deck: fancy fingerwork as they expertly weave and riffle the cards until there is no order whatsoever.
Aging is such a scare because most people start to judge and evaluate their life as they get older. When we are younger, we rarely ever measure ourselves in terms of physical and material achievements, but as we turn thirty or forty, we put this enormous pressure on ourselves and others about how things should and shouldn't be.
Please tell me how a successful, happy 31-year-old woman got to the point where she was sitting in her bathroom at 3am carefully dabbing neat bleach onto her skin? And above all, how on earth that woman was me.
The worst thing US psychiatrists have done is not to break with their principles - it's to forget their responsibility to everyone who suffers from mental issues to not perpetuate the stigma. And that is far more unethical.
'Oh god, have you been at the gym again?' I arrive to dinner with friends carrying a tell-tale sports bag, and inwardly wince at their reactions. The joking 'you're obsessed' comments, the well-meaning but misplaced concern that I'm doing too much, and even worse, the implication hanging in the air that somehow my attendance at a spinning class makes them feel bad, or a bit lazy.
Here is just a small piece from my book Seconds To Snap to try and take you into the mind of someone struggling with this awful illness. At this point in my life I was sectioned into an adult acute psychiatric ward as a teenager...
This New Year, Theresa May PM said: 'For too long mental illness has been something of a hidden injustice in our country' and announced that the government will support pilots of new approaches in response. Schools are a key part of that response.
A few nights ago, in the second half when it was the audience's turn to speak, a man asked how mindfulness would work for someone with multiple personality disorder. I asked if he was kidding and he and his partner said he wasn't and that he had a disorder called D.I D.
My wife has suffered through many things- and I will be the first to admit some of that suffering must be as a result of being married to me! Nevertheless, she has been able to turn those trials into something good - in fact one has been turned into something quite beautiful.
When this has been said to me on more times than I care to remember, it always sounds more like a statement than a question. OCD is one of the most misunderstood, stigmatised mental illnesses, and I think this is one of the things people say that gets to me the most.
It makes me irritable, and unforgiving. I live in this state of agitation, pushing people away because I can't stand to listen to them. I avoid eye contact when I'm talking so no one can read my thoughts. I 'mm' my way through conversations because I have no attention span.
Through huge amounts of intense inpatient treatment, medication and self-discovery I turned my whole life around to become a valuable member of society, a wife, mother and friend. I love my life and am truly grateful each day and thankful to all the people who saved it.
On Monday (February 13), I couldn't believe what I was watching. A show that has portrayed mental health incredibly over the years and been rightly praised for Lee's storyline at various points, ripped up everything and set it on fire.
Given all of this, maintaining a sound mind in the Big Smoke has got to be about finding things that are readily at your disposal and using them to minimise stress - to help you manage the mental health minefield of London from within. Here are some easy, city-centric suggestions: