I am here - Ben

I suffered a state of depression some time back when I was involved in an emotionally violent relationship while at the same time trying to complete a degree at university. The relationship eventually ended and I did complete my degree. In those difficult years I felt so low, confused and lost and did not know which way to turn. There were times when I felt suicidal. I had thought of ways of killing myself - playing it through my mind like a little movie. I thought of how it would look and how all those I knew would react to it. Those thoughts really frightened me at the time. I used to say to myself "how can this be ... how could you be thinking this way-" When I look back on it now I find it really hard to believe it was me.

It all got that way because I just felt so helpless and confused and didn't know what to do or which way to turn. I thought it was the only thing to do to make all the pain and anxiety go away. You may think you have no where to turn or that it is all hopeless. But you have to believe that things will get better. I sought help from all sources - friends, family and doctors. While at times it felt like all the help and advice only made things worse, I knew that having people around to talk to did in the end bring me around and help resolve things. I have tried various medications and some made me feel worse and some made me feel better. I don't take medication anymore and have not done so for at least 7 years. I feel I can now take control of my thoughts and emotions in situations and deal with things affecting me without letting it get the better of me or needing to resort to medication. I have now been able to address things in my life and deal with issues. I suffered the loss of my mum to cancer when I young. Dad had a 'get tough' and get on with life attitude. I had to go back and address things from back then that I just pushed away.

I feel so much stronger now and I feel better within myself because I know I have the ability to overcome whatever is now thrown my way. Life is a process and we are growing and evolving each and every day. Don't ever throw it away. There is so much out there. We need to be strong and stick together and help each other get as much out of life as we possibly can. I have had friends and family who have been in the same situation so I know that depression and the threat of suicide is a very real issue.

I would never like to go through the same experience again but if I do, I know that suicide is not the answer. You always have to believe that no matter how bad things seem they will always get better. You have to say "I can overcome this, I will get through it because I am strong". Help is out there. You are not alone and you don't need to be alone.