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Depression, Mental Health, And How We Deal With It!

A microphone, front and center for Chester Bennington

Last night, I was trawling Youtube for some live concerts to watch, to get my fix, missing live music. I found a concert that was a tribute to Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, who committed suicide in July 2017; and having watched the entire 3-hour show put on by Chester’s bandmates and friends, I don’t mind admitting that I shed a tear seeing the lone microphone at the front of the stage, where Chester would have been stood, front and center, hearing everyone at the Hollywood Bowl singing ‘numb’ for Chester.

It’s crazy to think that the passing of someone I had never met would invoke such strong emotions. I guess it’s a lot to do with Chester being born in the same year as me, being just seven months older than me, and fully understanding the struggles of depression, having had the same thoughts of suicide in my darkest days. I still struggle every day with depression, but my family has given me a reason to live, sadly, Chester’s depression and mental health issues were worse than mine, taking his own life, aged just 41.

It’s very frustrating to me that mental health is still somewhat stigmatized and our so-called leaders like to blame mental health for all manner of bad things, such as mass shootings while doing absolutely nothing to help those suffering from mental health issues. In fact, the current administration has slashed budgets to help people struggling with mental health. In my opinion, mental health is as important as physical health, ignoring mental health can cause physical health problems, trust me I know first hand.

Depression is not just feeling a little sad, we cannot simply cheer up. Clinical depression is a constant struggle, even on the good days, those dark thoughts are still present in the back of our minds. Unfortunately, there are people out there who are dicks, with no empathy or sympathy for people who suffer from mental illness, which leads many who suffer from mental illness, to hide their depression and mental health issues, eventually, in some cases, leading to suicide, feeling that’s the only way out.

Mental health should be taken much more seriously than it currently is; depression and mental health can take many forms, and left unchecked can lead to suicide. Especially right now with COVID-19 quarantines, job loses, mounting debt, and pending evictions causing mental health issues to flare up.

Please, don’t suffer in silence, there are many helplines that you can call and talk with someone and get help; such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (USA), or Samaritans (UK), and here is a list of suicide prevention hotlines around the globe. Don’t feel ashamed of your mental health issues, get help!

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