Imagine you have been dropped off at a party. You hadn’t been invited but you are told that you should go and make the most of it. You go in and people turn and look at you. It goes quiet for a while but then people get back to what they were doing before you walked in.
Some people are dancing others are drinking and talking to each other. After a while, you talk to others and things seem to a be a little more comfortable the longer you stay. They have explained why they are there. All seems to be going well.
Then you order a drink and you cannot taste it. You order another one from the bar and it again is without flavour and taste. Others ordering from that bar don’t seem to be having the same problem. Asking someone else they dismiss it and say there is nothing wrong with the drink and I should just enjoy yourself while you are here.
Walking back to the dance floor you notice that some people have stopped dancing. They have sat down. You go over to them and ask them if they are okay. They explain that they had been dancing and now all the fun seems to have stopped. They don’t even remember why they came to this place in the beginning.
Suddenly the lights that were once colourful and flashing turn to a greyish dull colour and the music to a monotonous buzz. Someone grabs you and tries to get you to dance. Point blankly you refuse. They insist and you try to move but it’s like walking through thick mud and all your movements are slow.
This isn’t turning out what you expected. Things have become awful to look at and you just sit down. You know the best thing to do is leave.
6223 suicides were reported in the UK 2013. 78% of these were male. It was reported today that this is the highest suicide rate this country has seen in over a decade. With the increased awareness of mental health issues, why is it that this rate is increasing?
I have heard it all before where people have been told to “pull yourself together”. You have nothing to be sad about. But time and again people aren’t understanding what mental health truly is. It’s not just that continuous feeling you get of being sad it’s much more than that. If your team loses you feel bad. After a few hours, you are upset. But try telling the true supporter it’s only a game right after they have lost. You wouldn’t think of doing it as you would try to be more sensitive.
As with the party so, many take the decision to leave life. The purpose, reason and joy of life have gone and all you are left with is the pain.
I never used to suffer from anxiety until the mid-nineties when the ugly face of depression reared it’s head. I thought those who suffered were either attention-seekers or lunatics and sometimes both.
Reading comments and people’s opinions after the suicide of Robin Williams has made me realise that we still have a long way to go in educating people. One blogger even dared to suggest that we should actively stigmatise people who have committed suicide so it would be a deterrent to those who had contemplated such. In that case would shouldn’t show compassion and love to cancer sufferers who by their lifestyle had brought the disease on themselves.
Last night was a wake up call. I realisation. I can no longer function in group environments. You might think this is some sort of “love me” statement. It isn’t. I am just not the person I was 20 years ago. Yet some how people expect me to be.
I used to be the life and soul of the party. Not any more. Give me a glass of wine and my sofa. Keep me away from crowded places. I think this has been a mixture of getting old and not wanting to be amongst silly drunk people who don’t know how to go out without getting into an argument or a fight.
But it’s not confined just to pubs and busy bars. I really don’t like going to the cinema. I need to be at the end of the aisle in a church or anywhere where people gather.
So what should I do about this? Nothing. Not a thing. I am happy when I am at home or with just a handful of people. If you ask me to go out and party I will probably politely decline. My friends know this. Not that I hate you or I am being rude.
My name is Philip and I am social-phobic.
So much is bandied about these days about people who say that they suffer from depression and anxiety. It almost seems inevitable that a well known celebrity will tearfully admit after an indiscretion has been unearthed that they blame it on their depression in a time when they said were to be “at their lowest”.
I have heard many ‘youtubers’ openly admit that when they were going through their teenage years they suffered from depression or self-harm in one for or another. Somehow that depression is miraculously cured and life to them is nothing but a rose garden.
I have the utmost respect for Stephen Fry who is open about his mental health issues. He seems to carry a mantel of hope and yet utter realism when it comes to coping with this disease.
At the moment I couldn’t care less if I lived or died. Some people haven’t the ability to comprehend the enormity and seriousness of the disease. Some see it just as an excuse to either whinge or be negative. All I ask is support. Someone wouldn’t openly criticise if another had been suffering from cancer or another serious disease.
Stephen Fry once describes being depressed as a rainy day that envelopes us and there doesn’t seem to be a way out or an end to the horrible feeling. For me, it is the bleakness and the loneliness that really seems to cover every part of my life. Spending time on the moors or on a hill in the middle of nowhere seems the only way I can describe it.
If it is the literal change in the weather that has caused my latest episode I am unsure. I am trying to find a trigger that may have caused it like so many people why they ask “Why what’s happened?”.