For me personally, the shock of suicide reduced my ability to accept the demands of daily life. I felt like I had lost my connection with the person I had once been. I knew I had to do something with my grief, but I didn't know how to begin.
Mental health issues are definitely not first world problems because the benefits, stability and access to services of the first world are irrelevant to mental health. Obviously those with greater wealth can access better medication, private counselling and a range of treatments for mental health illness, but, the car you drive, the house you live in or amount of cash in your bank account is immaterial when you are trapped in your own mind by the pain and turmoil of mental health illness.
I don't want to live my life as "Fiona's daughter". There are a few people I know at the moment who think of me this way, and it feels like such a burden. It also doesn't do justice either to me or to Mum. Mum wasn't just a mother: she was so much more than that. And I may be her daughter, but I am so much more than that, too.
The weight or size of a person will never tell you how ill or how well someone is with an eating disorder... The myth that eating disorders can be seen or measured is a dangerous, stigma inducing and potentially fatal story that needs to stop being told.
I was seventeen when my brother and best friend, Simon threw himself from the top of the local multi-storey car park. He was nineteen and happily, he survived on that occasion. It would be another thirteen years before he finally succeeded and took his own life at thirty two.
Most men simply don't have the tools or sensitivity to respond when one of their mates talks about his fears or inner feelings. They'll typically crack a joke to keep things safe, brush it off with a "don't worry mate, have another drink...", or change the subject to sex or sport.
I used to make things worse for myself when I felt I was about to be hit by the black dogs of mental illness. Just before it hit me I would go into overdrive to convince myself and the world that I'm completely normal busy doing things - people to go to places to meet.
It's encouraging that we're having more public conversations about gender inequality. But we're not yet talking enough about women who are at the sharpest end of this inequality, whose needs are the most complex: those who face the most disadvantage.
Everybody takes naked photos nowadays, and it is not somebody's fault that their trust was broken by somebody else. This is not a punishment for being 'promiscuous'. This is not anybody's fault except the person who did this to you.
I am determined not to allow myself to be limited by my fear of interacting with people. Whether I was born with an inclination towards social anxiety or whether I happened to develop it, I'm desperate to overcome it.
The focus on productivity in society has breached many aspects of our lives, we risk falling into the trap of seeing sleep as an inconvenience, a hindrance to productivity and time that could be better 'spent' elsewhere. In truth, sleep is one of the best investments of our time and in ourselves.
Alongside daily experiencing the debilitating symptoms of the condition, such as muscle pain, intense fatigue and cognitive impairments, those who suffer with ME also have to fight even to have it recognised. Here are four of the most common issues in the diagnosis, and treatment, of this life altering condition.
I have been writing or discussing depression for a few years rather than brushing the experience under the carpet. Whilst moving on to a happier and more hopeful phase, I realised I have a duty of care to share.
too often the only time we see and hear about famous people living with mental illness is when they're not well and thrust in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons - giving us a distorted image of what life is like with these conditions. The reality is many, many people with a mental illness go on to live healthy, productive and personally fulfilling lives.
One in five people get depression at some point in their lives. While any of us can feel low at any point depression occurs when these feelings linger for weeks, months or even years and make everyday life hard.
The panic started. What if? Have I? I want to point out at this point that I am not a judgemental person and am not stigmatising people who have HIV. It was my bodies reaction to hearing it said and reading about it - that was the judgemental thing.