Thursday, 6 February 2014

It's Time to Talk



If you've read my Moments that Mattered post you'll know I was suffering with depression and the people I needed to help me completely turned against me.



I don't blame them (well, not completely, they were meant to be my friends after all) but I think part of this is down to ignorance. There's just not enough understanding about mental health.

When people hear someone has depression, often the response is to just get over it.

"What have you got to be sad about?"

 It's not that simple and that needs to be understood. I distanced myself from everyone and just wanted to be inside my (relatively) comfort zone with my family. I made excuses constantly and was often so uncomfortable around other people. I became a shell of my former self and at times I just felt numb, there was no sense of happiness or sadness, just a numb feeling that I just didn't understand. I could have been told that I'd won a holiday and I would have been non-plussed. 



Pleasing other people when going through this was such a challenge, trying to be around people when they needed you, trying to smile and make conversation when inside you are screaming. It's really very difficult. 

I felt like the only purpose I had was to look after my son and when one little comment was made about my parenting it made me feel so low I'd think 'I can't even get this one thing right, what good am I to anyone?'



didn't want to see anyone but when things were being arranged I couldn't let people down. Sam tried to get me out and see his family, spend time with people and take my mind off things. Sometimes it was a good distraction but it was only temporary. It was so hard, I felt like I would let everyone down if I didn't just go with the flow but for my own sanity I just wanted to hide away. It was a constant battle with myself. I felt like I'd put everyone through so much that they just didn't need. My parents had to deal with me being ill from when I was 14 and I felt like I'd caused them enough stress. My friends had their own weddings to plan, they didn't need the added task of checking on how I was feeling each day. I just felt like a burden to everyone. At my very darkest time I remember drafting a letter in my head, not exactly a suicide letter, but a letter telling everyone how close to that I was. I pictured my brothers and my parents reading it and I realised how much heartache me not being around would cause them, more so than anything I could put them through now. Not to mention how it would affect my son down the line. But I just couldn't find a way out of this.

For a while I kept it all to myself. Only sharing my thoughts with my doctor and my partner. Even with my doctor I kept a lot close to my chest. I thought if I answered a question wrong she'd tell me I was an unfit mother and take my son away from me. I just felt ashamed to admit I had a real problem. And I didn't even understand why I was feeling like this, how could I explain it to anyone else?  My partner said I needed to tell my best friend, I needed someone else to talk to. I eventually plucked up the courage and confided in her. Sadly she ended up using my depression to her advantage, turning my friends against me saying how she 'couldn't deal with me anymore' and urged them to feel the same. When I questioned her about her actions and spoke more about my depression in more detail she said she thought I would just be 'over it' by now. She was fed up with me being so hard to be around and she didn't have the energy for me anymore.



Needless to say this girl is no longer in my life and I'm much happier without her. I was lucky I had other people around me pull me through it. But since I've told my story I've found this has been a common occurrence. This has been the case for so many people and it saddens me that people suffering with a mental illness go through things like this. They are struggling enough without the hurt from others who just don't understand. 









Today's Time to Talk campaign is to get people talking about mental health. I think this is a great idea, it needs to stop being a taboo and then there should be more understanding and hopefully a lot more support from friends and family. This could result in less people suffering in silence. 




I urge you to go to the hashtag #Timetotalk and get talking about mental health.





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17 comments:

  1. Lovely post. It's pathetic that your so called friend behaved like that and I hope you now have better people in your life x

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  2. Great post Jenn. The #Timetotalk campaign sounds interesting! There's definitely a lot of ignorance surrounding mental health and it's a real shame :( I myself suffer with depression and I do have a tendency to push people away and isolate myself when I'm feeling low. I don't have a huge amount of friends these days but the ones I do have are understanding of my issues and more supportive of me during the hard times. I think that's more important than having a large number of what I call 'fair weathered friends' who are only there for the good times and don't wish to stick around when the going gets tough.

    Mr Joiee

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    1. I totally agree! You know a true friend when they help you through the tough times! x

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  3. So brave of you to talk about this so openly and I'll be reading your full post straight after writing this comment. A member of my family's suffering from depression at the moment and it's so difficult at first when you don't know much about it, you don't know how to help but all we can really do is be there for him as much as possible. I wish you the best xxx

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    1. I think this can really help give people more understanding so they can help their loved ones who are suffering

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  4. i'm sorry that you received such an awful reaction to your depression, people's lack of understanding is definitely one of the reasons why i haven't been open about my depression and anxiety before. I hope you're doing ok now and have got some better support in your life :) x

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    1. I totally understand! I hope people will start to understand more and everyone can feel more comfortable talking about it.

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  5. Thats as bad as being told to cheer up, I'm so sorry you went through this. I hope that now you have true friends around you x

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  6. Something that definitely needs to change. Nobody should shy away from talking about mental health issues. Nobody understands how it is until they go through it! x

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    1. Exactly. I hope people will start to speak out more x

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  7. I can't believe your friends treated you like that! It's awful that people don't classify mental illnesses as anything serious, hopefully the people you have in your life now are more understanding! Xx
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    1. I really do. I'm glad they're out of my life as it's a big chunk of the problem gone now. x

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  8. Mental health awareness is an important issue which needs to be talked about more. It's ignorance of the facts which make people behave in the way that your 'friends' did and I'm sorry that you had to go through that.

    I raised money for Mind last year after my friend passed away due to his depression and I really applaud you for seeking the help you needed - a brave step in itself. You can read my post on raising mental health awareness here.

    Great post.

    Love Zoe x
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    1. Thank you for such a lovely comment! Well done on raising money for Mind, it's good that they get help like that.
      I'll go straight over to read your post now! x

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  9. This post was so very well written. There is definitely a need for awareness.
    I went through post-partum depression and many did not understand me. "get over it" was a common phrase I heard. Thank you for being so honest and opening up about this issue.

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