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Battling Depression, depression, emotional well-being, Friendship, Health, Mental Health, overcoming depression, well-being

Words Too Many To Count…

Words, words and more words… Just 19 days ago, I started this blog about ‘Mental Illness’. More specifically depression, something that I battled with for 10 years. Now let me tell you, it was one hell of a journey – emphasis on hell – filled with many twists and turns. I made mistakes, learnt from them and moved on.

At the time I started writing, I didn’t even realise that May is ‘Mental Health Awareness Month’ that knowledge came about later. Like with many things in life you start with one idea which then evolves and takes on a life of its own, and that is what happened to this blog…

Over the course of the last 19 days, I’ve encountered many amazing people, who are battling with some form of ‘Mental Illness’ on a daily basis. Through their comments and observations, I was inspired to blog about things to avoid and things that could potentially help, but most of all I was inspired by these people’s plight against the stigma attached to the word ‘Mental’.

No one likes to be ill but stick the word ‘Mental’ into the mix, and suddenly you’re to be avoided. I was lucky, but sadly an exception to the rule, that I never felt stigmatised by my illness. Throughout my journey, I was surrounded by open-minded, loving, caring people and that made all the difference.

So if you know someone who is suffering from a ‘Mental Illness’ and chances are you do, reach out to them and let them know that even though you may not understand what they are going through perhaps you can lighten their load. After all ‘Mental Illness’ is not elitist and does not discriminate, and although I would not wish it on anyone, it could happen to you!


About D.J. Haswell

I battled with depression, brought on by stress, for 10 years. During that time, I made many mistakes, due in no small part to the fact that I perceived my illness as a failing on my part. It took me a long time, coupled with hindsight, to realise that I hadn’t failed in my life, but rather that the circumstance of my life had failed me. I started my blog to bring hope to those currently suffering from the debilitating effects of depression that there is light at the end of what may seem like an unending tunnel!


8 thoughts on “Words Too Many To Count…

  1. Hi DJ,
    Even though I’ve been suffering from some kind of depression / mental illness on and off for at least 10 years, I’ve never admitted it to myself. I’ve always thought it was my fault for thinking wrongly and tried to overcome my ‘lazy’ and ‘crazy’ behaviour. Or thought that my circumstances were hindering me, so I tried to change those. I have had friends and family members who have had depression and post natal depression and I have never thought badly of them at all. But now I’m on anti-depressants I do feel tainted. I feel even more of a failure, even though I know rationally and intellectually that it’s not ‘bad’ or a failure.
    Thanks for highlighting this, and I’m pleased you never felt stigmatised, because that is as it should be.

    Posted by controlfreak | May 15, 2013, 9:11 PM
    • Hi CF, I wrote in my very first post “It is only now, with hindsight, that I have accepted the fact that I did not fail in life, but rather the circumstances of my life failed me.” Do not feel, as you put it, tainted because you now take medication for an illness! Stay strong, with time things will get better…

      Posted by D.J. Haswell | May 15, 2013, 9:54 PM
  2. I have been suffering with bipolar 1 disorder for more than thirty years and I have been stigmatized by those “friends” who didn’t know how to accept me so they drifted away, always having excuses for not having time for me anymore. I lived in the shadows for a long time. I started my blog for the same reason you did. I have drifted off course a little but I am no longer hiding from my illness and am taking on the discrimination of stigma head on. Best to you for doing the same!

    Posted by kevindeisher | May 16, 2013, 3:10 PM
    • Hi Kevin, I’m sorry to hear that ‘so called friends’ have drifted away, making lame excuses – at the very least they could be upfront! Good for you for blogging about it. I commend you and hope you will find people equally as courageous as yourself! Take care and stay strong.

      Posted by D.J. Haswell | May 16, 2013, 3:18 PM
  3. Thank you for this post. You’re fortunate that you are surrounded by such supportive people; hopefully this trend will soon be the “new normal.”

    Posted by Today it Hurts | May 16, 2013, 7:54 PM
  4. Reblogged this on Tink's Journey to Wellness and commented:
    Depression is one thing but adding the word ‘Mental’ in is entirely frightening. The stigma is what brings about the cruelty and makes the road difficult.
    Your words lead to encouragement. Thank you for sharing. *Hugs*

    Posted by Tink | May 27, 2013, 5:27 PM

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