Ross' Story

My mum killed herself due to depression just after I turned 12. At the time I didn’t know much about depression as it wasn’t a widely discussed thing, but as I grew older I learned more and looking back at family videos/photos and remembering her as she was, I didn't see it in her at any time. She was a lovely, happy, kind hearted Nurse who devoted her life to make everyone else feel better. She constantly had a smile on her face and was so full of love. If it wasn't for me finding out as I grew up that she was on anti-depressants and attempted suicide multiple times before she succeeded, you wouldn't have known how she felt inside.

After she died, I went into a downwards spiral, I turned to Drugs and Alcohol when I was 14. I repressed all my feelings, I destroyed my body, my mind and my health. I was always in debt, I put on a lot of weight, stopped caring and became suicidal. While all this was going on, I put on a brave face as if nothing was wrong.

I am now 28 and at a point in my life where I have my own house, I’m debt free, I have a 5 month old son, I’m getting married in 6 weeks and I have recently taken on a role at work as a Mental Health advocate to help others and battle the stigma that surrounds it. I wouldn’t have been able to do any of that without doing one key thing.... talking to someone.

I finally realised that I don’t have to face it alone. So many people are willing to help, either it be a message, a hug or just sharing a memory they have. I realised I have been such a positive impact on a lot of people and I am valued as a person. It took me over 16 years to talk to anyone or to even realise people care about me. It’s never too late to speak and accept any help you need and are given.

Despite what I’ve achieved or how far I’ve come, the dark dog still hangs over me and in my mind I don’t believe it will ever leave. But I finally accepted the fact I needed to start seeing someone and had a total of 16 weeks therapy. It helped me so much and I can’t stress how important it has been to me. If you struggle, no matter how big or small, I urge you to talk to someone, whether it be a professional or just a friend, support is the most important thing.

My mum didn’t have the help and support she could’ve had and Mental Health wasn’t as widely talked about back then. Luckily times have changed and it’s reasons like this I share. The more its all talked about and more people realise they’re not alone, the easier it will be to get the help you need.