Depression: Never too young

Thursday 7 February 2019

kerri 2018As a happy-go-lucky teen I never thought about mental health, as a 29-year-old woman I now think about mental health every day and how paramount it is. Having battled with depression after the passing of my beautiful Mum, I know that each day can be a struggle.

What is depression to me? Depression is multi-dimensional, it’s silent, but it’s deafening. It’s secretive but it’s bold, it’s an impostor, it’s possessive, but it’s inferior, it’s hopeless yet hopeful. It’s lonely and uncompassionate, it’s desperation, it’s enduring, it’s shameful and misunderstood. It’s lies disguised in truth, it’s relentless, it’s disadvantaged, it’s self-absorbed, and it’s blinding, it’s friendless but tirelessly trying to befriend us.

Sometimes it is easy to assume that young people have an easy care-free life, as most of us are just outsiders glimpsing in. My mum died when my sister was just 10, just a child who still needed her mother’s love to nurture and guide her, I was 20. Having experienced this heart-breaking loss at a young age, I didn’t know how to handle my despair and to talk about my state of mind during this time. Therefore, I strongly believe that we must talk about mental health to young people especially and provide support and guidance to them.

We need to emphasise how important it is to be happy but equally what can be done if you feel deeply unhappy, not just administering medication but exploring all options. I recently read that compulsory health education will be taught in all schools in England from 2020. Students will be taught how to build mental resilience as well as how to recognise when their peers are struggling with mental health and that fills me with hope.

There are also lots of organisations out there who are doing amazing work to support young people with mental illnesses, and others like Young Women’s Trust who work to help young women see the potential in themselves, to feel more confident and more prepared for the workplace

Fighting depression is a daily struggle, and I am constantly working on myself to feel more content and I have taken many steps to do so. Here are my ongoing tips for coping during a tough time which I hope can be uplifting.

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