Many of those who read my blog regularly will know that I talk very openly and honestly about my experiences with depression and how it affects me day to day. I’ve recently been through a very dark and lonely few months but thankfully those horrible black clouds have started to lift and I can get back to living my life. It won’t be a fast recovery. I’ve learnt not to rush things but instead to take my time (the wisdom that comes with age!) and I still need plenty of rest so I can recharge my batteries which have been running on fresh air.
During the last few months I have continued to tell people about my depression in the hope that I can help others come to terms with their illness and seek proper help and I know from emails that I have had some success and have made a difference to quite a few people. This is fantastic news and is crucial in the fight against the stigma of mental health but still too many are afraid to talk about depression in case they are stigmatised. This only helps to perpetuate the illness and means that it can last longer than if help is sought early.
At the outset, my mission for 2011 was and still remains to help eradicate the stigma attached to mental illness and depression. I believe in this very personal campaign because everyone deserves a chance, and because depression can strike anybody at any time often leaving a trail of devastation in its wake. We all need to be prepared and armed to cope with the onset should it strike.
Four months into the year I would like to think that I have done quite a lot to raise the awareness of depression, its symptoms, the help available and convince people that if you talk about it openly, the support is there. I have been lucky. I have received a lot of support and wonderful comments from friends, family and colleagues and it does make a difference.
There is plenty more work to do, and I have lots of exciting projects to look forward to but we have made a start.