Let’s talk depression

You know the brilliant novel, ‘We have to talk about Kevin’ that’s what I feel about depression and mental illness.  In the 21st Century there is undoubtedly still stigma attached to mental illness and it is the Cinderella of the NHS.  Somehow an illness of the mind is not as important nor as serious as say cancer.  Why?  Depression kills.  One in four will experience it at some point in his life and the World Health Organisation highlights this as a massive global health issue.

Why is it we get more sympathy from a broken leg in plasters than a broken head or heart?  If we wore a cast round our head would it help?

As someone who has had the pleasure of experiencing both depression and cancer, I can hand on heart tell you that I would have chosen the latter.  Why?  Because with the recurrence I could see an end; I knew when my six cycles of chemotherapy would be over and the exact date of my last radiotherapy session which meant I had completed the hospital treatment.

With depression you cannot see an end.  Hopelessness is the worse.  You see no way out of the impasse, the dark hole you find yourself in. 


About cho wan yau

Teacher by day poet/writer by night. Words have been my first love and will be my last. As a child I locked myself into the toilet devouring books which transported me to distant lands. Poetry shared penned from 2009-2010 in a titanic struggle to stay sane at Heartbreak Hotel. Please check it out on chowanyau@wordpress.com. Any comments or feedback welcome. Why not share your story with me, because we all have one, don't we?

Posted on September 29, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. 100% agree. The stigma attached to depression is really ruining a lot of lives. I saw this really cool graphic where they thought about the way that people talk to people with depression. For example, people will tell someone with depression to “get over themselves and just go out and be happy” – what if you told someone with a chronic disease that?
    Depression IS a chronic disease, and the sooner the world accepts that, the sooner we can heal better.

  2. A classic example is the recent scandal of two big supermarkets here, Asdas and Tesco selling Halloween psycho costumes complete with machetes online. This is the image conveyed by the term ‘mental’ illness for many.

    This stigma prevents people from seeking help earlier causing a lot of marriage breakdowns and broken family. The sooner the authorities and the public view it as any other serious illness the sooner people can be helped.

  3. I think at this point in my life I would agree. God knows I’ve wished for death enough times throughout my depression. Maybe cancer would be a much swifter way to go than feeling like I will forever be drowning in sad darkness…

  4. Why beautiful Jade? I’m gonna call you Jade and not Jaded. Jade is a precious stone for the Chinese, women wear the bangle for good luck. If you fall the bangle will crack but you will not break your wrist. When my baby was born she had a tiny one.

    Jade you are young, oh that I was 30 again. That was the year I married incidentally. I was determined I would be a wife by 30 and I made it with 2 months to spare. You have two men who love you enough to know of each other but remain in your life. I am envious. I don’t even have one.

    Life is too short to be sad. I am qualified to say that. If I survived all that just to be able to save you some pain and wasted time being unhappy then it would have been worth it. All that suffering was not futile, in vain, pointless, just a bored sadistic God having a bit of a laugh. Let’s see how much she can take without actually killing her. You say you are tough how tough.

    The sun rises and sets whether we are happy or sad, we may as well be happy. I think it sometimes helps to know we are totally insignificant in the scheme of things and though our tragedies are massive and overwhelming to us Earth keeps spinning, people keep rushing after that illusive dollar, birth and death and so go.

    I am not belittling your pain but it helped me put things into perspective and freed me to live life live, not exist, which is what I’ve been doing since the separation 5 years ago. 5 years is a lot of wasted time.

    Stop agonising over which man to choose, just enjoy their company and love. Thank your lucky stars you have two men’s love. Over thinking should come with a government health warning. One day without any effort you will know which one you want to spend the rest of your life with. But word of warning, nothing is forever, not even love. So enjoy the moment.

    Over and out. Mama G.

    ps I’m glad we have found each other.

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