Sunday 12 June 2016


Reader Winnie talks about the struggle of battling depression while also being a Young Carer for her mother...

Winnie says:
A while ago I got very depressed. I have a skin condition and at one point it got a whole lot worse and I was in hospital so they could sort it out. Things just seemed too much to handle and I fell into a depression that lasted quite a while. It was like dark clouds had gathered and they were all I could see. Nothing could make me smile and I had a lot of bad thoughts about not wanting to be there any more. I tried to pretend I was OK, so nobody around me guessed how I was feeling, but in the hospital a psychologist began asking me questions and encouraging me to talk about my feelings, and that was hard because I am not big on talking about my feelings! Eventually my skin began to improve and my mood did too, and I felt that things were starting to slot back into place.

As well as having depression of my own to contend with, my mum has a mental health condition called Borderline Personality Disorder... she'd been diagnosed for a while but was only told a couple of years ago. Basically, it means her moods can snap instantly from one to another without warning. I'd been caring for her without realising it for a long time, being her emotional support, but only when my own mental health began to suffer was I referred to a Young Carers group who offered me support and information about my mum's condition. I also met other Young Carers and knew I wasn't alone. I have an outlet now to go out and have fun, with people who understand what my home life is like because they are in a similar situation too. My mum feels better too knowing that I have some support - the Young carers group have been a huge help to us both in so many different ways.

There is still a stigma attached to mental health issues, but there shouldn't be - these things should be spoken about openly, as they are nothing to be ashamed of. Most of us struggle with something like this at least once in our lives and if you are feeling down or having bad thoughts about living, please tell someone, whether it be a friend, a teacher, a family member or a doctor. Never worry about being judged. Who cares? Well, more people than you might think. No matter how bad things seem, there are many people around you that love and care about you - but they cannot help unless you open up about how you are feeling.

Fabulous photograph by reader Matilda... thank you so much!

Cathy says:
A powerful and searingly honest post from Winnie... well done. Have YOU ever felt out of your depth while coping with life's stresses, or caring for people in your family? COMMENT BELOW to have your say, or to comment on Winnie's post.

1 comment:

  1. I know how it feels having depression and mental health, but I'm not a young carer I admire this girl. It is good to speak out about it because there is still stigma and I still feel embarrassed. i agree it is so important to get help when you feel like it is becoming a problem, I'm always so grateful of the help I have from professionals even if the help is so difficult.



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