The stigma of suffering with mental health problems remains an issue for many people around the world.
One of the more common conditions which fall under the umbrella of mental health is depression.
Despite there being an increased dialogue and awareness surrounding mental health in general, depression is still largely misunderstood as being ‘weak’ or just ‘having a bad day’ when in fact, it is a debilitating mental health problem for millions of people.
In reality depression can be life changing, hard to manage over the long term, can sadly lead to suicidal thoughts and can affect men, women and children of any age.
The World Health Organisation has predicted that by the end of the current decade, mental illness will be the second most prevalent condition in the world with only HIV/Aids being more common.
A worrying prediction and one that underlines the argument about why we still need to be more open about mental health.
Depression can last for weeks, months or years.
Prescriptions of antidepressants have soared over the decades and the condition is only now becoming something less of an elephant in the room.
With growing media coverage, more and more people coming forward to admit to having suffered or always having to be aware of their mental wellbeing.
The trend for modern celebrities to open up about their own personal struggles with depression and mental health problems and the increased influence of those sharing on the World Wide Web in the form of blogs and online journals shows that something that may have once been considered shameful is now something to share.
Those who may be suffering in silence can be inspired to face their fears and hopefully get help to begin to overcome the depression they may be experiencing.
Famously, renowned author J.K.Rowling has openly talked about her struggles with depression before she wrote her bestselling series of Harry Potter novels.
After having cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) she managed to overcome her bout with the illness, but referenced the difficult time through her writing when she created the Dementors who fed off the happiness of the characters in her stories.
A cathartic process no doubt for her as an individual but drawing on her experience openly about depression to her largely young audience can only help to remove the stigma of the ‘dark dog’ as depression is often referred to as.