“From around the age of 10, I constantly felt down; never happy or content. Negative feelings such as hopelessness and sadness engulfed me. Being so young with such ill feelings, I was hardly aware of the fact that not everyone else felt this way, although I knew what I was feeling wasn’t normal I brave faced it and carried on with life hoping for the best not knowing what else to do.
Since I was born, my mum battled with cancer which eventually took her from us just one week after I turned 10. Combine this with having no friends in my primary school, getting bullied and having relationship difficulties with my family – things were not going well and my life was in a downwards spiral into a dark black hole that sucked all the happiness and courage I had.
A year passed and things got worse. The feeling of sadness intensified until they became feelings of depression and at my worst points, suicide. The small thoughts began to take over my brain; day and night the demons came out to play. No matter what I did, no matter where I went, the thoughts were always there. No escape, no peace, no hope. See that’s the thing with depression, it’s not always triggered by a specific event, sometimes it just happens for reasons unexplainable or for no visible reason at all. It’s like a whirlwind, it hits you out of nowhere, and doesn’t care what’s in its way – its goal is destruction and it sucks you into the darkness where you feel powerless.
I began to exclude myself from everything, from everyone. My hobbies no longer existed, I had no energy, no motivation, no lust for life, I just wanted to sleep forever; to me, life was meaningless and because of that, at depressions worst points, I did not care whether I lived or died. The life that I once loved and cherished, I was now wishing would end. For many the hardest part of that, especially when there’s no particular reason for it, is you just don’t understand why. You feel guilty, even though you know you no longer have rational control over your feelings.
It didn’t help that I had no one to speak to, no one that I believed cared enough. Due to the many mental health issues in current society not really being understood as much as they could be in my culture, I couldn’t confide in my family because of fear that their reaction may have been inconsiderate. I had no friends to speak to either as I was bullied throughout primary school. Because of my practically non-existent space to vent depression just weighed heavier on my shoulders. Waking up and constantly having to battle with the thoughts inside your head is by far one of the hardest things I think anyone can ever do, it is such a personal experience and often even if you do have someone to speak to you just can’t believe any positive words about your being. So many people fight this battle silently day and night.
All people suffering from such issues deserve to get the right treatment and the right care to be able to carry out and enjoy their day to day lie without such a heavy burden on their chest but there simply is not enough funding for these services. Personally, I had to wait over 2 months to get any counselling and that is a considerably short amount of time as I know of waiting lists for counselling treatment spanning over 6 months. It is shocking how underfunded the mental health services are in the UK considering it is one of the biggest issues we have to face as a society.
Depression is a silent killer and despite more societal focus on it, it is still on the rise which essentially means more could be done to tackle it. Many can’t put up the fight against it, it is incredibly tiresome and you feel like you’re fighting a losing battle this leads to thousands of people each year committing suicide. To me, the effects of this could essentially be considered a ripple effect, one suicide affects the lives and emotional well-being of many. With more and more people being diagnosed with depression each year, it is vital that more is done to fight it.
Even to this day I will have my good and bad days, I go through phases where I’m surviving and other phases where I want it all to end but I know deep down that things will get better. Things still are not great but they’ll get there eventually. You mustn’t lose hope otherwise it is even more of an uphill struggle.”
This is my story. Many others are going through a similar or more difficult battle. If you are going through a personal battle, it is okay to speak out about it. People are here for you and together we can end the stigma surrounding mental health.