I could probably write a book in Layman terms about mental health but it would take a considerable time. True that many more people would understand it but there are probably many out there anyway. So what I’m going to do here is write about the types of mental health and outside influences that can lead to depression.

As I’ve stated else where, I’m not an expert, I didn’t go to some Uni and read a library of books. I didn’t study day and night and write-up on case studies, but I do know quite a bit. You see up until 15 years ago I knew nothing of the spinal cord, but after a life changing accident that left me with a C5 incomplete spinal cord injury I know a hell of a lot about it now. It’s the same with depression, though I’ve been suffering depression all my adult life and back into childhood, I really knew nothing about it, until I had what I thought was my first breakdown 4 years ago. I needed to know how this illness functioned and what it fed on. And what I believe it feeds on is the fragility of the mind.

During my time in Kingfisher Court and at ADTU I met some of the most amazing people, all with various mental health conditions and there through no real fault of their own. They were the kindest and most thoughtful individuals, individuals  that society would of once shunned. In truth society would still shun 1 or 2 of them but that is societies fault and not the fault of the individuals concerned.

Now here is a small list of mental health conditions, other illnesses and external influences that can lead to depression, they are not in order of severity as each one is relative to an individual:

  • PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)
  • Anxiety/Panic attacks
  • Psychosis
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • OCD
  • Cancer
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinsons Disease
  • Debt
  • Bereavement
  • Unemployment
  • Abuse (physical/emotional/psychological/sexual)
  • Rape

Well the list can be endless and some can be connected, for example; an individual who has been abused can turn to drink and drugs, which in turn can lead to psychotic episodes. I deliberately left out drink and drugs from the list because there are many reasons people can turn to them and basically it could be any of the above and many many more. You see, I get why people turn to drink and drugs, it numbs the pain of depression because as I’ve stated, the list of reasons someone can fall into depression is long and the problems are great. Here is a scenario: George has just found out that he is being made redundant, George is in his late 50s and the prospect of finding another job is slim. Another couple of years and his mortgage would of been paid off. However his redundancy doesn’t cover his next months outgoings because he hasn’t been in his job long enough. He has bills to pay, a mortgage and a car to run. Now a lot of people can cope with that burden but someone like George can’t. He then finds himself in a downward spiral not knowing what to do or where too turn to, he doesn’t want to trouble his friends because he feels that they wouldn’t want to know because they have their own lives (he is falling into depression). He then goes down the pub to drown his sorrows, but its not his sorrows he’s drowning, he’s actually numbing the pain, he’s forgetting his problems and so he descends into that downward spiral.

You see George has a fragile mind, he doesn’t have the same coping mechanisms that most others have. But that’s not his fault, it’s just the way he is. But I bet George is one of the kindest people you’ll ever meet. But life has dealt him a cruel card and he’s tried to find peace at the bottom of a bottle of vodka. Chances are he’ll find himself living on the streets, people walking past not caring about the drunk on the park bench, not knowing how he’s ended up there and generally not giving a toss, because by now George is an aggressive drunk. But that wasn’t what George used to be. He was unaware of the help and advice out there, but even if he was he probably thought they were too busy with others.

You see, even though I never turned to drink or drugs I get why people do, it numbs the pain that the darkness brings upon you. I will add here a list of charities and organisations that offer help and support and I will update as time goes by.