On 5th February, it is Time To Talk Day – a campaign by Time To Change to encourage people to talk about mental illness for five minutes. As part of the campaign, Time to Change want people to share why they are taking part in the movement using five sentences. Here’s mine:
My name is Gemma and I have experienced depression and anxiety.
My mental illness has affected my life massively. I have had to give up work. Being out of the house is stressful – I have to force myself to go out and I don’t like being in loud and busy places. I am constantly on edge and paranoid when I am out. I have lost friends because of their lack of understanding of my depression and anxiety. I struggle to be around people and so I have become quite isolated from friends. My confidence is at an all time low. I feel useless, worthless and guilty as a result of my depression and anxiety.
My greatest source of support has been my husband, parents, siblings and two friends who I have felt able to talk to about my depression and anxiety.
My hope for the future is that I can make a recovery and learn to accept that I have nothing to feel guilty about.
I’m taking 5 on Time to Talk Day because I want other people to realise the impact mental illness has on people. It is very real and can affect anyone. In talking about mental illness I hope to reduce the stigma surrounding it.