I went to a funeral last Friday. Fortunately for me, it wasn’t someone I was close to, but it touched me deeply and I was acutely aware of how much the family and close friends must be suffering to lose someone they loved in such a tragic way. The woman, who wasn’t much older than myself, committed suicide after a battle with bi-polar disorder.
As I said, I didn’t know her well, and therefore wouldn’t presume to talk about her case and her suffering, but it does raise the issue in general about how people suffer with these conditions and how often they, sadly, don’t find the help they need to deal with them and embrace their lives again.
As well as the sadness and grief I felt today, I also felt anger. I felt the tragedy that, in today’s society, people still aren’t aware enough of these issues to be able to help those that suffer. But I realise that a part of the problem with mental illness is that it’s very difficult to understand what someone is going through unless you’ve gone through a similar situation yourself.
How can you know how someone can reach the point where they wish to take their own life if you’ve never felt that low? How can you understand the bleakness that overtakes everything? How can you even begin to imagine how someone who is well loved would think that their family would be better off without them? How can you believe that every bit of hope has gone from them, that they don’t believe things will ever get better?
Luckily for me in my story, I never lost hope, even if at times it was only a small glimmer. The vicar at the funeral today read out a quote from Anne Frank -“Where there’s hope, there’s life”. And I truly believe that hope is what keeps people alive when they are in the depths of their suffering.
But as well as hope there needs to be professional support. I know that the help I provide isn’t mainstream, and I would never profess to be able to cure people of anything. However myself and other such health professionals can provide help to ease the emotional suffering people go through. Kinesiology and homeopathy helped me when I was going through my depression and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.
I have no issue with people who prefer to go down the mainstream route of medication but, please know that if whatever you are doing isn’t working, whether mainstream or alternative, there are other options. There are many therapies and treatments out there. If one therapist isn’t helping, try another one. If one modality doesn’t resonate with you, please try a different one. If what was helping, stops helping, it may be time to change to something else. Whatever happens, please don’t suffer alone and please don’t ever lose hope.
I know what I went through with my own depression. I know the emotional pain I suffered. I remember countless times when I phoned my homeopath in hysteria, not knowing what to do with myself. I remember the times I’d lie in my bed in unbearable emotional agony, not being able to find any relief.
Back then, I didn’t feel I could talk about any of this. At the time I felt that I was probably over-reacting, or I was being weak and crap. Because I never received a proper diagnosis of my condition, I often questioned whether I actually had one.
So I did the opposite, I tried to hide it. I tried to present a positive, together front for the world. I tried to be OK. And because I lived alone and I was OK for a lot of the time, it worked pretty well. I expect very few people, know what I went through.
I still find it hard to talk about this now, but this isn’t about me. I’m sure many people have gone through what I went through and suffered alone too. This is about encouraging people to get help. This is about encouraging people not to give up when things seem so bleak you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. This is about trying to prevent the suffering people go through when one person feels they have no alternative but to give up.
So please, if you or anyone you know is suffering from emotional pain of any kind, please seek help and know that you don’t have to go through this alone.
Tags: depression, emotional challenges, emotional health, my journey