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This week is Depression Awareness Week and I’d like to share some things that I’ve heard from the wonderful people that I work with:

“I just felt so sad that all I felt like doing was sitting in a dark room on my own.  I couldn’t stop crying”
“I didn’t even know that I was depressed, I kept going to the doctor because I felt so tired and I always had a headache but they couldn’t find anything wrong”
“My family always tell me to be strong.  But I don’t know how to do that”
“Every morning I would stand at the side of the road and think about just stepping in front of a bus or a truck.  But then I would think about my daughter and how much she needs me”
“I just could not make myself get out of bed”
“Nothing that I did felt like it had any value – even if I got positive feedback, I would still feel like a failure”
“I felt useless as a man – I was meant to be strong and support my family but I couldn’t do anything”
“My colleagues think that I am crazy.  I know that they talk about me behind my back about me being admitted to a psychiatric unit”

I know that some of you are reading this and nodding your head.  You are not alone!
There are millions of people who have depression yet very few people talk about it.  It is still seen as a shameful thing rather than just the illness that it is.
Because people can’t see it, they presume that it is not there.
Please use the fact that it is Depression Awareness Week to talk about it with your family and friends.
Be the one to start the conversation.
If you have never experienced depression, maybe you can use this opportunity to reach out to somebody who needs you.

The great advantage that I have is that I work with people with depression every day and I know that you will get better because I see it all the time.
Even if you feel that things are never going to get better, they will.
Do everything that you can to look after yourself – ask for help, get support, take treatment that works for you (and include fresh air, sunshine, music, colour, massages, dancing, exercise, hugs and healthy eating into the mix).

You can and you will do this!
You are an amazing person!

Keep holding on: