mental health

The Big Scary S Word

I am not sure what more I am supposed to do or who to turn to.

I was referred more than 2 years ago for psychotherapy by my GP and to this day had no luck. Hundreds of patients are on this waiting list. Why is it that mental health is treated so differently to other conditions?

If I had been diagnosed with a physical medical condition that meant I was at risk of death, I would not have to wait 2+years for a mere assessment.

It is this kind of situation that leaves sufferers feeling hopeless and isolated. Around 4,400 people end their own lives in England each year. That’s one death every two hours – and at least 10 times that number attempt suicide.

We need to really work on this system and make sure that anyone who is suffering from mental health problems has someone to talk to and access to treatment.

I myself have been in hospital for planning to take my own life. I had it all planned and genuinely believed it was my only option to not feel this way anymore. I won’t go into details… but I am very very fortunate that my wonderful partner, Nick, and his family are so understanding and supportive.

I read a fantastic line recently in Matt Haig’s ‘Reasons to stay alive’ – ‘I didn’t want to be dead, I just didn’t want to be alive’ I know I have a lot to stick around for, but it makes it very difficult to enjoy these things when all you can think about is how much you’re hurting.

I have thought about it a lot over the years, which I know will come as a surprise to the people who know me. I generally come across as pretty jolly and do genuinely enjoy lots of things in life… when I’m well.

Now that I am in a good head space and feeling a better version of myself, it shocks and upsets me that I ever felt like that and terrifies me that I could feel that way again. Unless you have experienced that feeling and that overwhelming need, I really don’t think I could put it into words.

It is like the whole world doesn’t want to know you exist. You’re invisible. You genuinely feel like the world would be better without you and that you’d actually be doing those around you a favour.

A lot of people say and/or think that suicide is selfish. My point of view in the moment as a sufferer, is that it seems more selfish to keep myself alive and be a burden on the people I love and to taint their lives with my issues.

Suicide is not selfish, it is a symptom of depression. It does not mean you are weak, it does not mean you’ve given up… it means that you have been strong for far too long.

I want to take this time to send my thoughts to anyone who has ever felt this way and to anyone who has lost someone to suicide. There ARE people ready to listen – give them a go:

Samaritans – for everyone
Call 116 123
Email jo@samaritans.org

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) – for men
Call 0800 58 58 58 – 5pm to midnight every day
Visit the webchat page

 

Papyrus – for people under 35
Call 0800 068 41 41 – Monday to Friday 10am to 10pm, weekends 2pm to 10pm, bank holidays 2pm to 5pm
Text 07786 209697
Email pat@papyrus-uk.org

 

Childline – for children and young people under 19
Call 0800 1111 – the number won’t show up on your phone bill

 

The Silver Line – for older people
Call 0800 4 70 80 90

 

This is something we need to be talking about.

Stay with me here.

7 comments

  1. Wow, this brought back a lot of memories of me aged 15. I didn’t want to hurt anyone, not even myself. I just wanted a blackness to envelope all the pain i was experiencing. I took a load of placebos as my GP just thought i wanted to skive off school. Ate his words when he discovered I had a very rare condition. Thank you Alice for this amazing blog xx

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  2. You are so right, we do need to talk about suicide more. It is like a dirty secret, and those who say the suicidal are selfish are clearly lucky enough to not know how it feels. We don’t want to die, we are as scared of that as the next person, but we are more frightened to keep living, that is the point. Stay safe, and keep getting this stuff out there!

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  3. People who say that suicide is selfish are in no way in touch with reality. They have probably had a charmed life and would have to look up the definition of depression.
    Suicide takes a lot of guts. A lot can go wrong and you can end up living with huge disabilities because of it. It is a simple … In essence your just trying to make the pain go away and you have tried all of conventional methods of trying to make that happens. If there was more help and resources may some people would actually get better and not have to resort to the most final painkiller of all.

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  4. Fantastic post and very true! I have felt suicidal in the past and I received very little support. It needs to be talking about more openly and people need to have a greater understanding of the desperation people feel when they are experiencing suicidal thoughts. Take care X

    Like

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