There is no immunity; mental illness can come out of nowhere and affect anyone at any time.
These are some of the extracts of what the former NHS director of Mental Health recently shared about her battle with depression that left her suicidal within 10 days and admitted in an inpatient ward for 12 weeks. You may think that with her background in the field, she would would never have had to walk this journey, yet there she was in hospital relying on the support of her former subordinates.
“I’m sharing this awful picture and my story to help increase understanding of the impact of mental illness and to celebrate my recovery,” she said.
I lost my mind, lost my self esteem, lost my pride, lost my sense of who I am, lost my confidence, lost my job and my income, lost my driving license and my independence.
‘So so so far from who I normally am; a confident, competent, extrovert, professional, independent woman. This is what mental illness has the power to do.
Please don’t pity me for having a mental illness. Instead, wish me well for my discharge and full recovery,’ she added.
‘But I am slowly picking up the pieces… like a smashed vase, glueing itself together in to a beautiful mosaic. I will be strong again. I will be OK.’
I never knew the extremes depression or any other form of mental illness can push you until someone so close to me was diagnosed with the same. And because their struggle and pain isn’t visible, we are quick to think that they are not trying hard to get better or that they exaggerating their situation or even just seeking attention!! In my case, i was in total denial, i could not come to terms with the fact that the person i was looking at had become the exact opposite of the sweet, happy individual i knew who was so full of life.
It took lots of reading for me to try to understand the struggle and in that spirit for the next 7 – 10 days, i will be sharing some information about mental health; the causes, signs & symptoms, complications and treatment. Hopefully someone else will benefit from it.
Together we can promote Mental Health awareness and fight the Stigma attached to it.