When I was 12 I lost a family member to suicide.
I remember a little bit after we found out I was sitting on my dads bed with him, he was crying unconsolably his head in his hands. I was just really confused. I genuinely didn’t have a clue what was going on. In April of last year my best friend Lucy came to visit me in Dublin.
On the second night we went out and I told her how I had been feeling. First she said: ‘loads of people have depression Aoife, don’t worry’. I thought ‘me? depressed? naaaah thats only crazy people’. I googled it (of course) and I ticked every box. I had this perception of depressed people looking absolutely ‘mental’ like, literally scary. Obviously I was veryyyyy wrong.
I booked an appointment with the counselling service in DCU a little while later and they genuinely could not have been better. I was diagnosed with severe depression and advised to see my GP immediately. I contemplated suicide constantly, every single day. I knew exactly how I was going to do it, where, the time of day etc. I had absolutely no will to live.
However, on the outside you would not have noticed a thing. I would have really terrible days where the only place I would feel safe would be my bed. I would just lie there. No music, no netflix just me and my awful, awful thoughts. Sometimes I would get so panicked thinking that it would be something I would never escape. I truly believed that I would never ever be truly happy again.
Depression consumes you.
It makes life unbearable. It controls you and it makes you feel like absolute shit. I can’t describe it properly because it truly is an indescribable feeling.
If you’re suffering from depression please, please PLEASE confide in somebody. The best decision I ever made was to tell Lucy. She has supported me and continues to support me. You need support. You don’t have to do this alone, you don’t deserve that kind of life! It does not have to be this way forever.
I am posting this because of the stigma attached to depression and mental health, not just in Ireland, but worldwide. Over 800,000 people die a year due to suicide !!!!! EIGHT HUNDRED THOUSAND !!!!! thats almost a quarter of the population of Ireland.
About one in six people will suffer from depression at some stage in their lives. Basing that off the number of my Facebook friends thats roughly 95 of you. I’m sure the majority of you would never have guessed that I have depression (sounds weird to say). Just because somebody is able to go about normal daily life doesn’t mean that they’re not fighting something deep down within themselves. Different people experience and deal with depression in different ways.
You really don’t know whats going on in somebodies head. If you have a friend who’s been acting strange/out of character then please reach out to them. This is something that I’ve only recently come to terms with. I used to be SO embarrassed. I’d shake handing my prescription to the pharmacist. I wouldn’t dream of telling a soul. If you told me that in a years time I would be posting something like this on Facebook I 110% would not have believed you. Ive come a very long way thanks to my amazing support group. I’ve learnt how to manage it.
If mental health becomes more of an everyday issue that matters to us all then the stigma attached to getting help can be reduced.
This is all really hard to put into words.
For anybody suffering – You’re not crazy, you’re amazing & you’re loved more than you know. If I can get through it all then so can you. Let’s fight the battle together!
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