Having a mate in your corner can make all the difference when you have a mental health problem. So, if your mate is acting differently, step in. It's not hard - read these stories to see how it's done.
As a young man with everything going for him, I never thought that depression would happen to me. By just age 26 I had achieved a bunch of my dreams. Director of my own record label, touring with my band all over the world to thousands of people, seeing my records on the shelves of HMV and voted Best Male Vocalist in Prog Magazine for the second year running. There was so much to live for.
A lesson that I have recently learnt and am finally starting to embrace is that there is no shame in doing things at your own pace in order to get by. It is not ‘lazy’ when you can’t peel yourself from your bed because your busy mind has kept you awake all night and you are too exhausted to face the day. It is not ‘antisocial’ when, at the last minute, you can’t attend that event that’s been planned for months because your heart is racing and the walls are closing in.
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 am 34 years old, and I have battled depression and anxiety for about 18/19 years. I have spent long periods in depression, and experienced periods where I have felt OK. However, in the last 12 months or so depression, anxiety and panic disorder took over my life. I struggled to focus on anything thing for any period of time, from work to going to the gym, or even just a shopping trip.