Living with depression in a country that doesn’t care
Check out Fiadh's video portraying what it's like to be labelled with depression
This is an opinion of a young person and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of SpunOut.ie. It is one person's experience and may be different for you. If you'd like to write something for SpunOut.ie please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
"I don't know how many more times we have to clarify that mental illnesses are very real ailments just like a cyst in an ovary or a crack in a femur."
I'm a very happy content person at the moment, but I wasn't always. I wasn’t ready to post this. I don’t think anyone ever is. I was going to wait a week or two, or maybe forever. But goddamn it after seeing how fabulous our government have been at ignoring Mental Health and depleting its funding, I don’t really know what I'm waiting for. The hashtag #IAmAReason is going around because 12 million euros are being taken from the mental health funding and being put into other areas of healthcare. Is this our government’s way telling us mental health isn't a problem?
I'm not going to go on a rant about our government. I don't want to make this about politics and our silly government because it goes so much deeper than that. This problem with stigmatising depression, and even stigmatising the word 'stigmatising' because of its association with mental health, that runs through our everyday lives is harrowing.
People can't speak up. Talking about feelings is not condoned, especially for men, and when women do speak up they're often called over dramatic or whiny.
I wrote a bit of a poem a while ago because I was suffering badly from with depression. My story isn't unique, there are millions of us in the world who suffer in silence because mental health is still a taboo issue and we're made to feel so isolated. I made a little video to go with this poem because visual storytelling is what I'm focused on at the moment.
Every single problem in our world comes down to education, or lack thereof. What people don't understand, they fear, or they call 'exotic' or maybe even 'romantic'. Depression is most definitely not exotic, it's physically and mentally debilitating.
Some people say part of the problem of depression is being unhappy with where you are, and knowing or feeling you should be doing something else. People NEED others to talk to about their dreams and wishes, their fears and worries.
We have a problem of suicide in this country, it's a very real cause of death that outweighs others and most of the time is labelled as a selfish act of a coward. I don't know how many more times we have to clarify that mental illnesses are very real ailments just like a cyst in an ovary or a crack in a femur.
The reason I'm speaking about depression is because that's what I have had experience with. If others have a light to shed on other disorders, I urge you to do so.
I hope this video helps shed just a little light on the struggle people with depression go through, and that's before they get labels thrown at them, and ALWAYS keep an eye out for people around you. Even if they're not your 'friend', sometimes all a person needs is a real smile in their direction or a word or two to remind them there's still a reason to be here.