The more I write about mental health, the more people message me and share their experiences. It’s wonderful to hear them, not about their suffering; but the fact that they feel comfortable enough to talk about their mental health and the problem’s they are experiencing.
There’s one thing that comes up over again, which is what made me seek help, and how do you help someone who is struggling. I’m not a medical professional, I have no medical training and all I can do is share my own experiences. So here it is.
When I was in my third year of university, one of my friends committed suicide, I found out afterwards that he suffered from schizophrenia and despite living with him, I had no idea. None of us did. I’ve talked openly about this in the past and made it the reason that I wanted to be more vocal about mental health. What I did however was hid my own troubles and used this as a reason. I’ve suffered with depression (and everything that comes with it) for several years now. It took a full break down in work, my boss offering to take me to the doctor; I then took anti-depressants for 18 months, a low dosage and then slowly came off them.
When it comes to providing support to others, the likes of Mind provide extensive information based on different conditions. But, the most important thing is that you cannot force people to get help, what I always try to do is know the routes, or what is available. The Samaritans number is 116 123 and anyone can ring it, for free, at any time.