It’s World Suicide Prevention Day today. Words that are hard to write, and hard to say. They’re hard because 14 years ago (that’s half of my life) my best friend, my beautiful mum, ended her life. I among many others am one of those who are left behind trying to navigate the devastating grief that comes with being bereaved in this way. I believe my mum could have lived.
Living with Asperger syndrome (AS) and mental health issues is not an easy feat. It never is. Imagine yourself in a room full of people. All those people are laughing and mingling. Meanwhile, you aren’t. You’re sitting there in the corner all alone, watching everyone make nice with each other. Nobody even acknowledges that you’re there.
A diagnosis is a terrifying, yet relieving, confirmation. Confirmation that life shouldn’t be this hard. Many wait years until they are categorised by mental health professionals. And for many people, such as myself, a diagnosis can be a gateway to another difficult and long path.
I come from an Indian background and have lived in the UK for over 30 years. In 2007, I was diagnosed with severe depression but had had many episodes from 1989 up until then. In 2008, I was then diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder and have had several relapses since that time. As a result, I am now better informed about my mental illness and know how to seek out and get immediate help and support.