I feel very strongly about mental health issues. I have suffered from what everyone always just called "black moods" now and again all my adult life. I didn't know what this meant and would just go to bed to let these fleeting feelings pass. But you can't do that when you are a mum or well, busy at work can you?
And then I got worse. I contemplated throwing myself out of the window, of deliberately crashing my car, telling myself I wasn't worthy of my family's love and that they would be better off without me. I was terrified of how my children would be affected by my mental illness.
My upbringing was to ignore, shun, dismiss or ridicule people who are mentally ill. I was told by family, friends and the media through news reporting and entertainment that those who "succumbed" to a mental illness were either weak, dangerous or just a bit odd. These people either deserved our pity or we should be scared of them. They didn't amount to much and if they were people in positions of trust, authority or power, then well they couldn't have been very good in their job, if they ended up cracking up.