It’s been a while since I’ve posted as I needed a break after a tough week.
This won’t be an easy post as many of you acknowledge that this isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do anyway, but it’s been helping others. Also, it’s Depression Awareness Week, a time to speak up in solidarity alongside fellow activists.
Depression: Taboo word VS buzz word. “But everyone gets low” VS “I will try and understand”.
There’s more now then there ever has been in the media. It’s out there. People are either supporting it or mocking its realism. It’s ability to debilitate. To take lives.
I now work running a youth wellbeing project for 10-14year olds to raise awareness of their emotional health, resilience and look out for their peers. A core mental health project for 14-25year olds to get free access to tools that can help, real stories of bravery and courage that kick stigma where it should. It’s all free. Delivered to groups from 1-400 by young mental health activists with their own past/present experiences of mental health problems.
This wasn’t around when I was a kid. There’s still petitions to get mental health education on the curriculum, right now. Luckily, there’s a few projects being funded – like mine – that educate children and young people on this area of their health, as we fight for parity of esteem, between physical and mental health care – and support the recovery, personal and professional development of young people living with a mental health problem.
If only this was there when I was at school. If only we could talk about it…’normally’, the fact that are brains might not always function, social – norm(ally). That our mental health tips like a scale, depending on what’s weighing on them.
My mum had depression. Clinical, I believe. There’s many different types. Apparently she had it since being a young lass. It affected her in different ways. Some would say it was in half her genes. Who knows? We can only interpret based on our knowledge, education, love and understanding. Then we can determine whether we choose to believe it’s nature or nurture or both. As long as we do believe and do treat seriously. A life was taken. Hearts were broken.
I have depression. Yes, me. Happy, smily me. I love life. I could score high on any depression detection doctors test a small percentage of the time. But I struggle. Sometimes as a result of my internal make up which is not easy to control like hormonal imbalances which optional medication and/or herbal medicine can be prescribed for. Sometimes from life events that knock cortisol levels out the window sky high and mess with my ability to produce serotonin (the happy hormone). I’m tired, a lot. As a nation tired of being tired it’s quite boring to say. I sleep more than the average person as I work on overdrive to function ‘normally’. I feel physical pain and hurt that are difficult to describe in words.
Depression affects people differently. You can find out more by visiting sites like Depression Alliance http://www.depressionalliance.org. Or follow a personal favourite of mine: The Blurt Foundation. http://blurtitout.org
Depression is one of many mental health problems. It can develop into others. It can stay as it is. It can be helped. It might get ‘cured’…but as it stands, it’s our responsibility, to believe, check in, and look out for others struggling.
Try and dig a little deeper on your next ‘how are you?’ dialogue…