Mental health problems affect 1 in 4 people every year and no one should feel ashamed. By sharing our experiences, together we can end the stigma.

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The people in my corner make my anxiety and depression much easier to deal with

“There’s nothing wrong with not ‘getting’ it, it’s being there that matters.” – Nick

“It’s OK to not be OK”

I didn’t fully understand that at first. I used to hate myself for not being able to just get on with life, and think it’s my fault I’m like this. Since my treatment, I slowly started to get it, that this isn’t a choice or attitude problem and I’m not just attention seeking. Accepting that this is part of me and I can’t change that. I can now say to myself when I feel like the world’s falling apart around me, “I’m not OK, but that’s OK”, and that helps to give me grounding and a brief moment of clarity.

Men's relationship with mental health is a challenging one

“Sickness can surely take the mind where minds can’t usually go,” proclaimed rock behemoths The Who. Listening to this as a young man empowered me to acknowledge and embrace my own mental health demons, which are many. The reason I wanted to blog about this difficult subject (hard for me to write about and hard for you to read) is because it’s so important to talk about. Suicide is the leading killer amongst UK men under 50! This equates to a man taking his own life every 2 hours.

Having people in my corner helped when I was suicidal

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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.

We need to ditch the 'One size fits all' stereotype of depression

Blogger Nicole

I don't know what's worse: not being able to stop crying or feeling completely numb and emotionless. I watch my friends get essays and tests back. I watch their faces light up as they realise they did better than expected. While I look at mine completely emotionless. It doesn't matter if I got an A or a U, I feel nothing.

When asked by my therapist to rate my pleasure rating for all the things I've done in a week, it doesn't matter if I've done the most mundane of tasks or if I've done something exciting. My pleasure rating remains the same: zero.

Knowing people are in my corner means I don't have to hide my mental health

Blogger Faris

The first time I wanted to share how imprisoning my mental health was, I didn't really know where to start. So I decided I would make a video, not think about it too much and whatever came out, at least it would be honest. I was at a point of desperation and didn't really have much to lose. This was nearly three years ago. It was shared by multiple publications at the time, including Time to Change.

Talking about my suicidal thoughts showed who my friends are

Everyone should learn to ask "are you OK?" and not judge the answer

Suicide is a big word! From seeing it portrayed in the media to reading people’s personal stories, either a family’s experience or the person themselves, it can be scary to even think about. My journey with it began when someone close to me experienced suicidal thoughts, but I never really understood what they were going through at the time, how it could affect someone mentally and physically – feeling so low and wanting to never tell anyone about what you’re going through.

Living with anxiety is like walking through sand

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People always have a lot to say about mental illness. Now I’d like to have my say, so I have decided to write my own story of what living with a mental illness means. This may not resonate with the feelings that many of you go through, but I do hope that it gives an idea of my everyday life and will therefore give you a better understanding.

There should be no shame in experiencing psychosis

Blogger Sarah

Three years ago last month, my mind lost touch with reality in a very rapid turn of events that culminated in an acute manic episode of bipolar affective disorder. Having been diagnosed with bipolar in 2004, I had not experienced any mania or hypomania (a lesser manic state) in ten years, although I had fallen into a suicidal depression just six months earlier.

My friends helped me survive mental health problems at uni

Blogger Leigh

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. 

We need to allow others to open up about mental health

"I spent the best part of a year feeling alone, in a dark corner of the world where you are invisible and isolated."

You hear stories of how exciting, liberating and hard-working life at university is. You get told that the many parties and mingling with like-minded people will be ‘the best time of your life’.

When I think back to the start of 2009, when I started a web development course at Manchester Metropolitan University, I remember the good times, the parties, sharing a pizza with my friend who I moved to Manchester with. I had a great time at university.