Being diagnosed with Mental Health, in particular Depression and Anxiety at the age of 14 years was not easy to cope with. I worried about telling other people that I had Mental Health, it was never taught on the school curriculum and it appeared to me at the time, that many wouldn't understand the condition.
For the past five years I've been campaigning and raising awareness of men with eating disorders with an aim to debunk the myth that eating disorders is a 'female problem.' Significant advances in awareness have been made in this short space of time to highlight the inequalities male sufferers face, but there's still a long way to go
Some people clam up, shut down and do not know how to speak as they struggle to heal and come to terms with the unexpected. Others go into denial and carry on with what they believe is normal. Some people who think they are helping, try to fix the situation for the person going through the difficult time.
My mum refused to leave me even in a room on my own, which was particularly hard considering she was also single-handedly raising my brother and sister, both recently diagnosed as autistic. When she had to take them to hospital appointments, she left me with my grandparents, she was so worried I'd hurt myself. And I often did hurt myself.
Students are known for their bad eating habits; baked beans have become a beacon for the university experience. It's not surprising really - we don't have nine to five schedules, or lunch breaks, or regular wages... We only have ourselves to decide that cereal for the third time in a day is a bad decision, instead of a detox. Which makes it dangerously easy for people to fall through the gaps. In the student culture of make do and make pasta, again, eating disorders can be hard to spot.
Dear Penny and Jim, I'm writing to thank you for having me on The Breakfast Show on BBC London last Thursday. I don't know if you remember me; you were running a news piece about the tragic death of Tallulah Wilson, a girl who suffered from an eating disorder and subsequently killed herself in late 2012...
In 2012, I decided that due to a number of significant events going on in my life it was time to try and continue treatment again. Despite my initial referral taking place in December 2012, I didn't see anyone till October 2013. When I did, I was told by the NHS mental health trust that I wasn't ill enough to meet their very strict criteria.
The All Black rugby player had been locked in his room for days, shutting out all contact with friends, family and fellow players. It was 4am when he finally picked up the phone to call a helpline. The reply at the other end was simple, "hello friend". It started a process that led to therapy that has been helping to change the life of Brent Pope for many years.
It's not been easy reliving what led me to attempting suicide. But it's also been something of a revelation. Looking back, I had always thought it was receiving my diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, a combination of schizophrenia and depression, which had caused me to want to end my life. But there was also a secret which I was hiding from everyone around me that I also could no longer bear to live with.
At a time where the government are cutting funding for mental health care, how are people supposed to get the support that they desperately need? If the situation is already reached the point that GPs have to decide whether someone's plea for help is 'urgent' enough to warrant support, what will further cuts do?
It takes a particular kind of creative, self-obsessive, imaginative, observant and courageous person to bare their very soul on stage. It is not always funny either, the image of the sad clown and smiley face, sad face masks of comedy and tragedy are emblematic of the tortured genius that inhabits some of the world's greatest comedians.
Should mental health stigma still have an impact of those suffering? Statistics show that almost everyone dealing with mental health has been, and still is, impacted negatively by the stigma surrounding it. Is it right that already vulnerable and isolated members of society should be made to feel more alone?
On 14 January 2008 I travelled to Waterloo Bridge to take my life. It was a bitterly cold, grey Monday morning and the rain was beginning to fall when I stepped onto the edge of the bridge, ready to jump. I can't remember all the many thoughts and feelings buzzing around my mind as I stood there looking down to the water below. All I can recall is a feeling of total despair. The very next minute of my existence seemed too painful to bear. I don't know how long I was standing there for before I heard a man's voice behind me say: "Please mate, please don't do this."
Seven years ago, the monster called schizophrenia introduced itself to me through an auditory hallucination (a voice). At first, this voice was reassuring and calming. After a short while, it became apparent that this voice was a wolf in sheep's clothing. It wasn't a voice that reassured me or calmed me down anymore.
Mental illness, how it is caused and what we can do to treat it is a pressing issue in contemporary society. Psychology has not always been perceived as a science in the outside world but in this fascinating - and free! - exhibition, the Science Museum has brought the scientific assessment and treatment of mental illness centre stage.