I have been in university all day today and we started discussing depression and suicide, which got to me a little bit due to my own occasional suicidal thoughts. It also made me realise that a lot of people don't understand thoughts like these, and consider them to be 'selfish', when most of the time it is completely the opposite.
People don't think of mental illnesses like physical diseases such as cancer - they don't think they are slowly killing you. But they are progressively chipping away at your self-esteem and self worth, until one day there will be nothing left to give. No reason to live. Depression slowly sucks away your reasons to live - first internally and then with other people when they get frustrated and can't bear to be around you anymore. Depression is just as difficult to treat as cancer, and can be just as likely to relapse in the future.
Mental illness may not always physically kill you but it can make you feel dead inside. Depression can numb your emotions and make it so difficult to even get out of bed that life just seems pointless. It also makes people more likely to physically die; suicide was the cause of 5981 deaths in those aged over 15 in the UK in 2012, and depression caused 32-47% of these. This just goes to show that mental health must be taken seriously and causes so many people distress. The stigma around it needs to change, and we need to start talking more openly about it.
Fortunately I am lucky as I have recovered to a point where I hardly ever think about dying anymore. I have battled my depression and come out the other side - I won't allow it to kill me. I believe that everyone can get to this point where they feel strong enough to stay alive and live through the bad periods, it just takes a lot of hard work and a bit of help from other people. Read my tips here about depression self-help if you're interested.
Anyway, sorry for this morbid post - our session today just got me thinking about how important it is to talk about. I have spent this evening dancing around my housemate's bedroom once again, although she was dancing along with me. We were creating something exciting for over the weekend, but all will be revealed on Saturday as I don't want to give too much away in case a certain someone is reading this!
Look for something positive in each day, even if some days you have to look a little harder.
PS Please donate towards my sponsored skydive for Mind here, or text MIHV99 £1 to 70070 - thank you for your support!