Tuesday, 19 January 2016

For some, death will come quicker than help..

I’m fed up with mental illnesses not being taken seriously and most importantly, the ‘support’ I’ve received since being diagnosed with depression, is ridiculous and I feel as though it needs to be discussed..

Depression is a thing I’ve suffered with a great deal, especially recently. From the age of 16 ½ to the present day I’ve been through the mental monster. I’m not afraid to admit that I suffer from depression, rewind a month back and I hadn't told a soul but this condition is a big part of who I am (just like T1 diabetes) and I’m taking steps every day to deal with my new reality. Unfortunately, I’ve lost ‘best friends’ due to the withdrawn part of my personality. Another thing that this mental monster has stolen from me is my ability to attend college, I haven’t been to a lesson in about 2 months, something that I’m not proud of. I’m on medication to calm me down as I’m naturally an anxious person and go to weekly private counselling (CBT therapy). To my upset, I had to give up my part time job but I’m in a lucky position where I don’t need to worry about finances. I’ve stopped counting the amount of times I’ve seen the beige walls of my GP surgery let alone gone through the automated appointment system - sigh.

Don’t get me wrong, there are good things in my life, I’ve got three university interviews this week, a fantastic and loving family as well as a few good friends. I live a comfortable life, own a beautiful cat and am well fed (to put it politely). I’m physically able to get out of the house and have the freedom to do as I please. Since launching this blog I’ve felt so much more optimistic and am passionate about inspiring the next generation of T1D’s.
But I think that’s the real tragedy, I have all these great, positive things in my life - and yet I am blinded to everything that is good about them. Instead of appreciating these things, my brain has a nasty habit of switching me to the negative side. That’s the thing about depression. To the outsider, depression is simply people moaning about stuff and getting sad for no apparent reason. I almost sympathise - if I were someone else looking at my own behaviour, I don’t think I’d do anything else apart from shrug. The thing about depression is that it strips you away from the inside, eating its way out until you’re cancelling plans with best friends, and you’re getting frustrated with people you’d sooner hug than do any harm to.

This considered, it is absolutely remarkable to me that in some sections of society, mental illnesses like depression aren’t taken seriously. I present to you this,
If I were to break my leg, my college wouldn’t expect me to be in all of my lessons within a month, so why should the same strategy not apply to depression. At the end of the day, I am clinically ill. Arguably, depression is actually worse than some physical illnesses because it eats away at every single part of you. Socially, physically and of course mentally. On my really bad days I cannot stand to be around people (even family) which makes the whole lonely side of depression even worse. It really is a big black cycle, which on some days, feels like it’s not even worth getting out of.

It’s also irritating that the NHS, as good an institution as it is does not seem to understand the funding that mental health projects need. It’s fairly easy to get an appointment with your GP or psychiatrist from the local authority, but for CBT I was counting on a commendable charity (Off The Record) to help me before I realised it was a three month waiting list. Which is quite a small time compared to some waiting lists. Luckily, I’m in a financially stable position to pay for private sessions where I had to wait just two days for my first consultation. However, it wouldn’t be a problem if that psychiatrist from the local authority could help with well-funded methods that utilizes modern techniques.

To me it’s just not fair, it really isn’t. It’s crazy that men, women, teenagers and even children take their own lives because the care simply isn’t accessible to them. We are a first world country, and whilst we’re not exactly rolling in money for the public sector it is inconceivable to me that this problem remains untouched. Depression is quite often seen as a taboo subject and is looked down on by some members of society. The lack of discussion of mental illnesses is in my mind an illness of our society, and that’s really upsetting to admit.

Now I understand my words don’t really mean a lot, it is entirely possible, perhaps that I lose this battle, and as a result I simply become another name added to the lists, the statistics that are sky-rocketing and reaching all time highs. But all the time that I am here, it’s important that I write on subjects that matter. I truly believe that a well-funded, taboo-free mental health service would change the lives of so many people - including my own. I’m not saying this blog post is going to change the world, because let’s be serious I’m about to celebrate reaching 1,000 views, but if we all just talked a little more about mental illnesses each day I really believe we could improve care for future generations. So let us just take a moment to ask people how they are, and not judge a book by it’s cover. Everyone is hurting, everyone has their own story and everyone is just taking one step after another. Do you want your children to be suffering in silence like many of us are now? Because I know I damn well don’t.

Depression is an illness that has changed me, and will continue to, and the things I’ve experienced I wouldn’t wish upon anybody.

P.S.  Thank you so much for the 1,000 views (in advance) Love and light <3


Amber xx

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This blog does not provide medical information or advice. I write about my own experiences of living with conditions (T1 Diabetes, Anxiety, Depression) but please don't think that you should take what I'm doing and apply it to you. We're all different and manage our conditions in ways that suit our schedules and personal thoughts. Get yourself to an appropriately qualified HCP.

http://www.samaritans.org/ // 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline) (UK)


  1. Keep up the amazing work Amber cx

    1. #numberonefan
      But in all seriousness, thank you Vic. xx