Thanks so much to John, for being the first person to share, and for being brave enough to share in the public sphere that is the internet.
“John is 18, and was diagnosed with depressive disorder in March 2016. He was on medication for a year and a half, but now has managed to get off the meds and be stronger than ever.
While on holiday in the Alps in February 2016, John became severely depressed and experienced the darkest depths which those of us who have been there can empathise with. The temptation to take the easy way out was extremely strong, and the only thing that stopped him for that moment was the desire not to put his friends and family through the consequences.
John had injured his knee in 2015, and due to a series of complications and medical muck ups John faced two years of no sport. Being a sportsman, this prospect triggered the deep depression that he found himself stuck in.
John lost all motivation to achieve anything, in any arena, and really felt he could not face the future.
However, John attributes his recovery to both meds, and the realisation of the love for him felt by all the friends and family around him.
From going from complete academic apathy and being incapacitated, John began to re gain his drive, and really got down to work. Fast forward to January 2017, and John’s work pays off. He is offered a place to study at Oxford University, and is there today.”
The turnaround in this story certainly gives me massive encouragement for the future, and hope it does others too. John also emphasised to me that meds were just one of a lot of components that helped him turn himself around. Of course, meds are massively important. (I’m bipolar would never dispute that one!) However, it is just one piece in the make- up. John clearly values his family hugely and them him, and it’s important for us all to remember that there are always people who care about us. ALL OF US. Sometimes they’re difficult to see, but they are always there. He also wanted me to give a shout out to mental health charities, like MIND, who are just one of the examples who are out there for us.
One other thing… I think it’s really interesting how physical health for John was very linked to his mental health. And of course it works both ways: just as physical injury can be detrimental to mental health; keeping active and forcing ourselves to take exercise also supports our heads.
Send me your mental health success stories at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Big love to all.