Depression: A Little Reminder

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As everyone has probably heard now,  it came to light yesterday that Robin Williams passed away after suffering with years of depression which sadly resulted in him taking his own life. I wanted to write a blog post relating to this sad subject but for positive reasons, to remind everyone about the tragic effects depression can have on ANYONE and spread awareness.

I think one thing that amazed some people was how someone who was such a funny, talented and successful person could have depression in the first place. He had a beautiful family and an inspiring career. I think this goes to show how ANYONE no matter the amount of love, success or money surrounding them can fall into the grips of mental illness. People don’t choose to have depression, yes a sad or stressful event can trigger it but genetics can also play a part, but it is a chemical imbalance in your brain. Just because you can’t see what the person has to be depressed about, doesn’t mean they can’t be.

Another huge thing to remember with someone suffering from mental illness is. they may not talk about how they feel or events in their lives they found distressing and you don’t know the ins and outs of their life. So to judge them on the small parts of their lives you may be able to see or know doesn’t make what they’re going through any less real.When I was at my lowest point I could still joke and laugh around people, it was only my family who knew the true extent to how I felt. Someone can seem fine but inside they might not be, which is why we should be kinder to those around us, we don’t know what battles they are fighting today. Would you decide someone diagnosed with heart disease was over reacting because you can’t see what’s going on inside their body and you see no reason they would have got heart disease, no. I wrote a blog post on ‘The Controversial Topic Of Attention seekers’ which you can read HERE. Often when people can’t see what’s going on inside someone’s heads think they are exaggerating or attention seeking.

 I think we need to remember there are people around us all the time suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts. Someone can seem fine but inside they might not be. If someone tells you they suffer with depression or have thought about harming themselves, break down their walls, talk to them, advise them to seek help and most importantly be there for them. If you notice any signs of someone becoming depressed or you yourself have depression, please seek help, I promise you people only want to help you. I have been there and got help, I promise it’s not as scary as you think. Go to your GP and if they aren’t sympathetic, try another GP, talk to other people who have suffered with depression or are, look into private help.

Just because one person doesn’t understand or you don’t get the help you need, don’t give up and keep trying and fighting, you deserve to get better. Depression is a serious illness that can make people feel so awful they no longer want to keep fighting for their own life. We need to spread awareness not only when a celebrity sadly passes away because of the illness, but all the time. We need to stop the taboo surrounding mental illness, so people are able to openly talk about their feelings without fear of being seen as crazy and weak.

Below are links to places you can find out more information and help on depression and suicide. I have also linked some websites where you can confidently talk to people when you’re in a crisis, without needing to ring them. You can even message me on Twitter,  anonymously on Tumblr or on my Facebook page if you want someone to listen and talk to, all are linked on this page!

Links

www.samaritans.org

www.imalive.org

www.7cupsoftea.com

Depression .Vs. Sadness: What Is The Difference? 

Don’t Hide Your Mental Illness

Depression – My Story

Depression Is NOT A Flaw In Character

Stay strong,

Anna

The Controversial Topic Of ‘Attention Seekers’

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Its come to my attention (no pun intended) that some people have the view that anyone who self harms, makes a suicide threat or tries and fails to commit suicide is an attention seeker. I guess sometimes that can be the case and some people do these things because they want any attention. I don’t think that makes them a bad person, believe it or not there are reasons some people do these things in a non direct way of ‘attention seeking’  I don’t even like using that word to describe it.  It’s hard to understand unless you have been through it yourself. One thing I need to clear up is I am not saying everyone who does self harm or attempts suicide does it for attention, there are many reason why someone might self harm such as: self hate, a way of seeing the pain they feel inside on the outside, a release,  a coping mechanism or despair, there are so many reasons.

I am not saying that its okay and a good idea to do these things because you have a reason, I want people to realise sometimes people go to such lengths to show people how bad they really feel. If someone is doing it purely for attention then they must be lacking attention in an area of their life, so again I think saying their an attention seeker is a strong statement that’s of course in SOME cases, they are still struggling. Most people who self harm hide their scars, but eventually someone will see them and find out, or some times someone might want people to see them because of reasons I will be giving below but then when they do feel embarrassed and wish they hadn’t! Which I’m not going to deny I have experienced before, kind of wanting to tell or slyly show someone but being scared and then if it happens hating it and feeling stupid. Often its mixture of  a cry for help and one of the above reasons e.g release. Sometimes people are looking for someone to care.

I DO NOT condone someone showing off and promoting self harm, there’s a difference.

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Sometimes when you feel so much pain on the inside, self harming is a way of showing the pain on the outside not necessarily displaying your scars to everyone but unfortunately a lot of people don’t realise how bad someone can be feeling mentally because of a lack of understanding. People understand physical pain and hurt a lot easier, than mental pain. A person can feel so low and so alone and like no one understands how bad they feel so they don’t get the help they desperately need. But they know if someone accidentally or purposely sees or finds out they want to or do hurt themselves they seem to take more notice of the problem. I wouldn’t call them an attention seeker I’d say they are desperate for help because they can’t take how they feel for much longer! Ironic that people will call someone an attention seeker if they don’t understand a mental illness yet, when people around them fail to recognise how bad that person feels, they go to such lengths to make people realise but then they are again an attention seeker!

I have often heard people say ‘if someone wanted to die, they could have easily committed suicide properly’ and I think that’s the bit people don’t understand, I have been there, felt so low where all sorts of things go through your mind. When I think deeply about those thoughts and feelings I  was experiencing I didn’t want to die and be gone from the world and everyone I love forever, I just wanted the pain inside to stop. People are willing to attempt suicide to stop how they feel there and then, others yes may genuinely want to die, but I think a lot of the time its despair, because I do think its true if you really wanted to be gone you could do it. But I don’t think a lot of people suffering genuinely want that, they wan’t to be heard, understood, helped and to get rid of what emotions they are feeling.

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At the end of the day calling someone who is clearly struggling with an internal battle whether it be for ‘attention’ or another reason an attention seeker is unfair and helps nor you or that person, take it seriously. There will be a reason behind what they are doing and one day that cry for help won’t be a cry for help, they will take the self harm too far or succeed with their next suicide attempt, don’t let the person get that far. I was worried about writing about this subject as I know it’s a very sensitive and controversial topic and I didn’t want to give out the wrong message. I wanted people to see that ‘attention seeking’ doesn’t always mean someone’s not suffering.  I do hope someone out there related to what I wrote about, if you have ever been called an attention seeker yourself or just found this  informative and helped you understand this topic more.

Stay Strong,

Anna