Some people with depression are made to feel like it is their fault for feeling the way they do and are told to simply ‘get out more’ and ‘snap out of it’. Similarly, those who have anxiety or OCD are told to ‘pull themselves together’ and to ‘stop worrying over little things’.
The other day, I wasn’t feeling quite right. A few things were getting on top of me at work and at home, and I was talking to a friend about how I felt. We were discussing whether I should take a day off, and he said that he would never admit that he wasn’t coping to his work, and would probably just say that he was feeling a bit sick.
To the HR manager sitting at your desk, perhaps sipping a cup of coffee, whilst going through the big pile of application forms. Please do not just throw mine in the bin, as soon as you see I have a mental illness. Take the time to see the positives; the value I can bring to your organisation. You may see me as a ‘challenge’ or ‘problem’, but if you support me and give me a chance, I will show you the hard work and commitment I am capable of.
“Depression is an illness, not a weakness nor a trait”.
This is probably one of the most powerful phrases about mental illness that I have heard. For anyone that thinks depression is a temporary emotion, just like happiness or anger, think again. Depression is an illness and nothing to be ashamed of.
My name is Andy. I’m married to my wonderful wife, Sam, and I have a two-and-a-bit year-old toddler, Ben. And for the first year of Ben’s life, I suffered first post-natal depression, and then full-blown clinical depression.