The first time I started experiencing severe mental health problems was when I was in Year 10. I turned round to my teacher, A, and said; “what is the point?” - that’s when I first started opening up about my problems.
One of the many, many, untold and unseen effects of mental illness is what it does to you psychologically, as well as physically. It affects us in ways you wouldn’t imagine.
Take depression, for example. People think it’s just being ‘sad’, when it’s actually feelings of severe despondency and dejection. People don’t quite understand my story, and by my story I mean my battle with multiple mental illnesses, specifically depression.
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.
Mental health affects everyone in some way, shape or form; even the stunner behind the bar, the celeb who ‘has it all’ and ‘Bob’ next door. Problem is, you can't see it and it can be hidden - but it's still there.
I felt really low after some family issues and being a bloke from Africa, it's not something you let known. I was trying to plug my way through a number of emotions; feeling low, let down, abandoned, anxiety - you name it. I lost a lot of weight and couldn’t sleep.