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.


My recovery is tied to the support of friends, family and teachers

When I was 14 years old, I was suspended two weeks before the official start of the Christmas holidays. I’d been self-harming for months at my boarding school, while firmly believing that I’d been exceptionally secretive.

Fortunately, I was surrounded by a group of people who pulled away every lie and excuse until I had no choice left but to accept help. At the time, I hated them all. Despite the hours that these people had spent trying to understand and support me, I felt deeply betrayed.

People shouldn’t make assumptions about my schizoaffective disorder

“But you seem normal, you can’t have schizoaffective disorder? I know of someone with that and she can’t work, and she can’t go to Uni. You do both, maybe you’ve been misdiagnosed!”

Thank you for your opinion, however you do not have as much specialist knowledge as my psychiatrist.

When I was eight years old, I had overwhelming feelings of self-hatred and intrusive thoughts.

When I was nine years old I was suicidal.

Ron saw through my mental illness to the real me

I first met Ron 10 years ago, when we were both hospitalized on a psychiatric ward. It was my first hospitalization for depression, whereas he had schizophrenia and had been hospitalized multiple times before. We connected instantly, despite the strong disapproval of the hospital staff, and formed an intense bond that would last for years.

Some people still don't 'believe' in depression

When I’m really struggling internally, I overcompensate externally. Think Ross from Friends when he finds out about Rachel and Joey. That episode struck a chord with me because I’ve lost count of the times when I’ve tried to put on a good show and ended up looking like an absolute idiot. I’d get all loud and animated; try to be funny; try to convince others and myself that there’s nothing wrong. They say the unhappiest people are the ones that seem the happiest. For a large chunk of my school days, that was me. My face was laughing and smiling but my eyes weren’t.

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