The twenty-third of September this year marked the 10 year anniversary of my last and most serious suicide attempt.
I had been plagued by depression and anxiety since my teens. This had resulted in many episodes of self harm, which included cutting myself and engaging in risky behavior. I attempted suicide at the age of 16 and spent four days in hospital. The aftercare I received was dreadful and as a result nothing changed in my life.
By the time I attempted suicide again in 2005, I was a mother to two young children. People who don’t understand the power of depression may feel that my actions were selfish, however, I felt the opposite. I felt I was doing the right thing for everyone around me, as they were better off without me.
Thankfully this time I was hospitalized for two months and was given proper aftercare which helped me to reevaluate my life. Since then I have educated myself about depression and in particular, heat depression symptoms to look out for in myself. When I feel that there is a chance I may be feeling a little down, I do something to stop that slippery slope from the beginning. I talk to a friend, go to the gym, treat myself to a shopping trip, or, when I need to, I see a counselor. I see no shame in asking for help and I would like everyone to see it the same way.
Action Mental Health have a great slogan, ‘It’s OK to not be OK’. This is the message I want to get across to people, there is no shame in struggling with your mental health. Please reach out for help. I am a success story, I survived suicide and am now proudly a student of QUB.
Lets remove the stigma of mental health and get talking to each other.
This week, QUBSU are promoting the Think Out Loud campaign. To get involved, visit www.qubsu.org/WhatsOn/ThinkOutLoud/