Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

We need to talk about depression:

Natalie Trice on how mental illness needs to be discussed, addressed & supported
By Natalie Trice
Date: August 20 2014
Editor Rating:

This month we lost a talented, funny, amazing man.

A man who was a global star, a household name, an Oscar winner.

A man who was a husband, dad and father.

A man who on the surface had it all.

A man who was gripped by depression.

A man who struggled with depression, addiction and anxiety.

A man who just couldn’t get to grips with a diagnosis of Parkinsons.

A man who couldn’t carry on.

Robin Williams. RIP.

What makes this even more sad is that it takes such a high-profile tragedy and the death of an icon for the media and public to start talking openly about the ‘D’ word.

How can this be when figures show that 1 in 5 people in the Australia will experience a mental illness in any year. Every day, at least six Australians die from suicide and a further thirty people will attempt to take their own life.

Despite the figures, I think it is fair to say depression is a dirty word, a taboo subject, something scary that you would never want to admit to and others like to sweep under the carpet and instead talk about something a little more savoury.

Own up to it and it makes you weak, maybe a bit unsafe, unhinged, ‘mental’.

The thing about depression is that it doesn’t discriminate and it is a growing problem as the stresses of life increase.

Rich, poor, black, white, gay, straight, male female, good, bad, fat, thin – you are all fair game for an illness that can creep up and get you at anytime.

But that is it, it is an illness and one that no one would choose.

If you haven’t suffered then you would never use the words ‘but you have everything’ or ‘snap out of it’ and one the best ‘pull yourself together’.

These were words uttered to me by people who should have known better when I suffered Post Natal Depression with my first son.

Yes on the outside it may have looked like I had it all. Recently married to the man I love, a new house, lovely friends and family and a baby who cried and cried because he was lactose intolerant (we didn’t know this).

I had gone from being footloose and fancy free working in London with no real cares or worries to being a wife and mother in less than a year and there had a been a wedding and relocation too. I was totally overwhelmed, felt out of my deep, very lonely and life simply spiralled out of control. I felt ashamed and pathetic, yes I know I was lucky, I had a baby, I had the house, the clothes, my body went back to a size 8 in a matter of weeks but I had PND, a torrent of hormones, plaguing self-doubt and could not escape or cope.

I was lucky, I got help, had support, was loved and realised I was doing ok with my baby, that I could look after him, raise him and started to come out the other side. It was hard, I still feel guilty today for putting my husband through it and wish I had been one of those women who sailed through enjoying every moment, but that’s depression, it gets you and takes over.

When I heard Robin Williams had died this memories came folding back and I having looked on my social media feeds I think it was clear to see others were feeling the same. They were posting RIP messages, adding comments and quotes, ‘liking’ links for depression posts and sites.

It shows a level of solidarity, awareness and even admission, that mental health issues are out there and need to come out, be accepted, addressed and supported.

So many people are so good at putting on a show, covering the cracks and telling the world ‘I AM OK!’

However, behind closed doors, it can be so different.

The women with the perfect hair, 4×4 and gym membership may look like she has it all but look at the sad eyes and staff of Prozac in the glove box that reflect soaring credit card bills and husband who is playing away.

The teenage who got high distinctions at university, her parents are so proud but she is wearing a sweatshirt covering the scars on her arms caused by a razor.

Yes he has a city career, sharp suit and expense account but Mr Smith on the bus to work is teetering on the edge due to the stress of school fees, mortgage and a growing workload.

The thing is, depression is invisible, it is easy to hide but it is a dangerous killer and one we need to talk about and make ‘OK’.

All I can ask is that if you or someone you know is suffering from any mental health issues, be it addiction, anxiety, OCD, depression or self harm get help. It really is out there and life can be better. Talk to a family member, your GP or go online where there is a plethora of help available.

If you have diabetes, migraines or cancer, you would get help, so why not do the same for your mental health as your physical well-being?

* * *

If you need to talk with someone, telephone Lifeline on 13 11 14

Share This Tweet This Email To Friend
Recent Comments
2 Total Comments
Alex Ho says: 2014 10 16

Because depression is invisible, I think we need more communication, observation and care to know each other well.

Alex John says: 2021 02 04

BasePoint Psychiatry and WellnessDepression Program Dallas & Forney treats a variety of mental health conditions at our innovative center. Our providers often collaborate together, giving patients access to the latest innovations in all areas of mental health.

View All Comments
Post a Comment
* your email address will not appear

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

Post a Comment
* your email address will not appear

Please enter the word you see in the image below:33343

Your Comment has been posted
Related Articles
Study shows teens who are more active in the evenings…
Read more
Women with one child report significantly higher levels of depressive…
Read more
Some simple steps to help make sure depression doesn't get…
Read more
Depression can strike at any age.
Read more
Cry babies

Dry your eyes!
The newest additions are on their way from the Babies who cry real tears!


Latest Tech Used In Shipping Containers
Read how the shipping industry has revolutionised

Motherpedia cover-2

Win 1 set of a 4-book hardcover illustrated boxed set
Barbara Murray’s new 4-book Sound Stories is perfect for parents and educators and could assist with NAPLAN results

Motherpedia cover (4)

Where to celebrate Oktoberfest Australia
Get ready for this celebration!

Motherpedia cover-4

A Fortnight of Foodie Experiences at East Village
A taste of East Village. What's in it for me?

Globber my too fix up cover

We Try: Globber My TOO Fix Up
A scooter that grows with your child

Throw a winning cricket pitch

3 Steps to a Winning Backyard Cricket Pitch
Ex-Adelaide Oval legend curator Les Burdett shares his tips for getting your backyard cricket pitch test match ready this summer

A bike that follows your kids life cycle - motherpedia - cover

A Bike That Follows Your Kids Life Cycle
Check out the Bunzi 2-in-1 gradual balance bike!

Moonlight lifestyle

Moonlight Cinema to bring…
Moonlight Cinema announces brand new Western Sydney venue

Screen shot 2019-11-26 at 8.29.12 am

Your Magical Christmas Wonderland…
Adventure park is about to light up the night sky with its "Christmas Festival of Lights"

Screen shot 2019-11-21 at 11.11.36 am

The Preston Market Gets…
It's time to feel pumped up for the holiday season!


Bunnings team members get…
Help raise funds by buying a snag or donating at your local store.