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A Painful Reminder
Posted by ASharp
11th Nov 2013

Firstly an update:
Back in April I wrote a blog post titled 'Me vs Mental health and a mountain', about my experiences of depression and anxiety, and how I would be raising money for SANE by attempting to climb Mt Kilimanjaro, the tallest free standing mountain in the world. In total I raised around 3,500 for SANE, by reaching the top and completing the immense challenge despite my mum being evacuated due to altitude sickness on day 3. I am so proud of this achievement (read the previous blog to see what a challenge it was going to be).
I spent the rest of my summer pretty depression free (other than one horrendous week which resulted in an attempted suicide - I was fine however and completely unharmed), and began a new school in September feeling pretty good for once.

Onto the story:
Having felt stable and relatively happy for two months today I had a rather bad blip, which prompted a painful reminder of how badly mental illnesses can impact your life. I suddenly felt terrible around break time and ended up in tears at the health centre where I was given a little room to sit in until my mum came to collect me.
I have been talking to a guy at school for almost two months now, and I really like him. As I got home I received a text saying, "where have you disappeared off to?" and I explained that I had gone home as my depression had really kicked in (i had previously outlined my issue). 5 minutes later I was told that he "cannot associate myself with someone who breaks down so easily let alone consider a relationship with you - there's too much baggage for me to deal with. If you can't deal with the menial issue of school then you absolutely cannot handle a relationship". This hit me very hard. I was so upset that this sort of attitude to mental health issues still exists, especially amongst people whom I know and like. The conversation continued in which I (WRONGLY) ended up feeling that I needed to apologise and that I had done wrong when I was told, "surely medication would have cured you if you actually had depression and the doctor gave you something". This level of ignorance is unbelievable, and I was particularly shocked that it came from a 17 year old - most of this age have felt some sort of "low" due to hormones if not a mental health issue so you would think they could sympathise to a degree.
This conversation left me feeling even worse than I did when I left school at lunchtime. What I would have liked and would have found helpful would be if *unnamed* had shown some support for me in a time where I felt afraid, humiliated and vulnerable. This little incident has reminded me how important it is to beat the stigma of mental health - sufferers have enough to deal with without the battle against the ignorance of others.

If you're feeling down today please hold onto the thought that however bad you feel now, there is hope that you CAN get to a more comfortable place and that slowly together we can overcome the stigma of mental health. - don't forget about the amazing services SANE offer to help you out as well :)

Amelia x

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