Just because you can't see or feel it doesn't mean it don't exist. Depression is a silent killer.
I'm 26 and suffered with mental illness most of my life, mainly with OCD which took over my life at times and mild depression where I was able to cope with it until just under two years ago when it all changed.
I don't want to go into too many details about what happened to me that triggered it off, but I'd hit rock bottom and I honestly couldn't see myself coming back from it, even people I loved thought I was gone.
I'd never imagined myself to self harm but that's what I started to do, I wanted to punish myself for feeling this low about life.
Shortly after my friend knocked on my door to see how I was doing, I tried to hide it from him, but he started asking questions. I'd never been in this situation before and I'm sure my friend hadn't either. This was my first experience of someone who was close to me seeing me suffer through my mental illness.
I deteriorated dramatically for two months after this and without my friends and family I don't think I would be here now. With different people I would react differently with them. I pushed my family away like my mum, brother and step dad, I didn't want them near me. With my friends I felt more comfortable but with only certain people, the most important thing was they were there.
I remember Christmas Eve, my work mates came to see me and tried talking sense into me but I sat there staring at the tv with no emotion. The more they spoke the more I zoned out, until I finally broke down in tears and cried for hours non stop. I literally didn't know what or where I was in life, I didn't know what to do. By being there for me, they started to realise how depression worked and that you can't just tell someone to get better.
When I finally went back to work I was broken, I had no energy, I could only work for four hours a day as my body and mind was that weak. One of my bosses at work told me that what he went through with me made him understand mental illness a lot and he learnt a lot from my situation. I know a lot of people have really bad experiences of talking about mental health at work, so this was a big positive.
I found that different people react differently with you, some distance themselves from you, other are too pushy and ask you loads of questions and then you have the people who sit there and listen. None of them are right or wrong, it's just how people deal with it. For me, knowing they all had the same intentions of helping me get better meant the world.
Running and boxing have helped too, I had a fight back in February, lost in a split decision but in my head I felt like I'd won the world title because I had achieved what I set out to do with support from the friends around me.