If your friend is experiencing mental health problems, there are a lot of things - big and small - that you can do to help. These stories are about the good and bad ways that friends have responded to someone with a mental health problem.
Dealing with depression and anxiety can cause a multitude of different side effects. It can turn you into a completely different person; one that your friends and family wouldn’t even recognise. My issue seemed to be my short temper and snappy outbursts.
From an early age, I have really struggled with any form of relationships, friends, family and romantically. My friendships never lasted for any length of time – I was too “intense”, “needy” or “emotional”. I still have the same problems. Getting close very quickly, then worrying that they don’t like me. Why haven’t they texted me back? What did I do wrong? Why haven’t they checked how I feel? Why am I always the one to text them? They hate me.
I have experienced mental health problems since I was 15 and, for a while, I thought I would never be able to achieve anything. Even now there are times when I feel so alone, I sit in the dark crying whilst the voices inside my head scream at me and make me doubt everything. They even make me doubt that I have friends, that I have anyone who cares about me. Today though, I took a step back and realised that, though in my darkest moments when I don’t think anybody cares, they really do. I want to talk about six people in particular.
During my life, I have suffered with severe depression. Being a professional sportsman and trying to put up a front all the time became exhausting. I reached the top of my sport, but getting there resulted in my breakdown, and subsequently my suicide attempts and early retirement. The chronic lack of self esteem and while trying to remain confident to family, friends and for my career was too much.