February 1, 2013

Nicola, a Time to Change bloggerOver the months and years I’ve suffered from anxiety and depression, I found I was only able to talk to a few people. The few friends who I revealed information to were supportive but didn’t really understand so I didn’t tell them as much.

I really appreciated their kindness but just couldn’t be completely myself. However the ones who I felt safe with and who I was able to talk to about everything were my family and three teachers.

They just gave me time, a smile, a thoughtful comment, a joke, a distraction. Without these people I wouldn’t have got through the first time I had mental health problems and now I have fallen back into that mind-set, I wouldn’t be so determined to beat it again if it wasn’t for their selfless support and guidance.

There’s one comment which stands out for me and which I’ll never forget… In Sixth Form, after failing a piece of coursework, my teacher (who knew I liked football) whispered to me that “footballers don’t score goals when they are injured”. This personalised comment meant so much to me and helped to relieve the anger and frustration that I felt because I wasn’t doing well at school at that time.

It’s so important that people have someone they can talk to. It doesn’t even have to be about mental health. You could discuss X Factor, football, a good book;whatever it is, the fact someone has taken the time to talk to you means so much.

I’ve written this poem to express how I feel at the moment about but also because it is time to change. I would like to dedicate it to everyone who has helped me but also to everyone who is living with a mental health problem and the special people supporting them.

Poem about depression and mental health stigma

Why am I ashamed? I’ve got nothing to hide.

Why is it a secret? It’s just a different side.

This constant feeling of numbness, is hindering my life,

The sharp pains in my chest, cutting like a knife.

The questions and frustration, the never ending tears,

The sense of being lost, just emphasizing my fears.

Staring at the ceiling, the time just passes by,

Why oh why won’t my body, respond to anything I try?

I admit I’ve got depression, that and anxiety too,

But really if you look, I’m still the same as you.

Don’t think of me as different, just smile and be kind,

I’m still who I was, just trapped inside my mind.

Why should mental health, be a whispered conversation?

The time has come at last, to discuss it as a nation.

Together we’ll break down, the stigma and misconception

Together we’ll show pride, for having beaten depression.

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