Journalist Sean Parnell – health and freedom of information editor at The Australian – recently wrote a very personal piece about having depression.
In it, he describes its onset and impact and how, with the support of family and health professionals, he has sought to “tighten the leash on this black dog”. He notes:
One of my biggest challenges was overcoming the belief that, as a reasonably smart person, I could pinpoint what was wrong, and simply put myself in the right headspace to carry on.
By the time I was grappling with that challenge, the opportunity to take better care of myself had passed, and I needed help to know my new self better. Even then, it wasn’t easy. You don’t need to tell someone with depression to “get over it” because they will be telling themselves that already, in much harsher terms.
The article is both very moving and matter-of-fact. Parnell followed up last week with a great series on tweets on what he learnt from writing the story.
For help and more information
If you require immediate help please contact either Lifeline on 13 11 14 or (if you are under 18 years old) Kids Help Line on 1800 55 18001800 55 1800.
Both of these services can help you or, if necessary, refer you on to appropriate mental health support networks.
GROW Support Groups (National) – 1800 558 2681800 558 268
Suicide Call Back Service (National) – 1300 659 4671300 659 467
beyondblue info line (National) – 1300 22 46361300 22 4636
SANE Australia Helpline (National) – 1800 187 2631800 187 263
Australian Psychological Society Referral Line (National) 1800 333 491800 333 49