The following blog posts are written by people with personal experience of depression. By talking openly, our bloggers hope to increase understanding around mental health, break stereotypes and take the taboo out of something that – like physical health – affects us all.


Reach out if you see someone in need

I remember the first time I vocalised and admitted the fact that I was struggling with depression and anxiety. Following seven years of sporadic periods of chronic anxiety and panic attacks induced by both smoking marijuana as a teenager and my parents’ break up, I was at university, 22 and suffering a reactive bout of depression triggered by the break-up of a tumultuous relationship.

You can't tell someone is depressed just by looking at them

It’s interesting trying to explain the agony that depression brought into my life to people who are not depressed. I find that people who haven’t fought that particular battle have difficulty understanding what I mean when I say I was not in physical pain per se but I was in excruciating torment nonetheless. Physically, I’m sure my body showed no signs of peril.

Depression makes me feel worthless, insignificant and burdensome

Depression has been a part of my life for over 10 years; yet I still don’t fully understand it. So, how do I explain what “it” is to someone who has no experience of depression in their life?

In all honesty, I’ve rarely been asked to explain what depression means to me. You say the word and people either turn away in fear or they try to relate in attempts to console and/or fill the silence. When really, all I need is for someone to ask “And how does depression affect you?”.

Some people are high-functioning, but that doesn’t invalidate their mental health

Many people might think of a period of poor mental health as being incapable of getting out of bed in the morning, or a severe lack of motivation and reluctance to do anything. Certainly, for many people these symptoms are prominent at times.

However, some who are living with a mental illness, or generally struggling with mental health, are high-functioning. They still live out their day-to-day lives like normal. They go to work, socialise, and function like anyone else.

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