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The earlier you ask for help the better it will be

Sunday 26th March 2006 is a day I will never forget. It was the day my dad, Eddie Herbert, lost his long battle with depression and I witnessed at first hand just how powerful it can be.
The memories I look back on will always be the happy ones of my dad and I will cherish those most, however I also have memories of him suffering depression. These are the ones I try to put to the back of my mind as it was such a difficult time for him but also for me and my family.

In his last few remaining years I saw a change in him. Depression was shrinking the life out of him. He lost interest in a lot of the things that he would usually enjoy and it was as if he had lost all joy in life. In the end, depression was his life. He tried to get help and cope with the illness but by this time the severe depression he was suffering was too strong to cope with. Eddie Herbert no longer had depression, depression had Eddie Herbert and it wasn’t going away.

If you let it, depression can control your life as that is what it does. It’s important to know that help is available to those suffering and there is no shame in asking for help. 1 in 5 of us will deal with depression at some point in life so it’s useful to know about depression and learn how to manage it before it takes over your life like the way it took over my dad’s.

In recent years, depression has had more coverage and it seems a lot more is now being done to help those suffering. I still believe a lot more can be done and I personally believe it should be a subject covered in education. A lot of young people are experiencing depression and not being able to deal with it. It’s my belief that if it’s a subject covered more frequently within education more lives could be saved and not lost to depression. I’ve read several heart-breaking stories of young people taking their own lives because of depression, yet if more is done to cover the effects it can have and ways to manage it I am sure many more would speak up and ask for help.

Only recently, someone I know had a bad episode with depression and they spoke about it and wanted to get help. As someone close to that person they spoke to me and I simply shared my experience and advised the best thing to do is not let it get the better of you. If you feel yourself having a bad day, try and not shut yourself off, be active, speak to someone you know about it because the worst thing to do is to keep it bottled up inside. There is always someone there who can help, don’t feel ashamed by admitting you have depression.

I wrote this article to give people an indication of what depression can do. It’s not an exaggeration that depression can control your life but it is something that can be controlled with the right help. By the time my dad asked for help, time wasn’t on his side. It doesn’t have to be that way for everyone though. The earlier you ask for help the better it will be. Depression may never be beaten, however it can be managed. No matter how bad it gets, by taking the right steps and talking to the right people, bad bouts of depression can and will pass.

“Depression is not a sign of weakness, it means you have been strong for too long.”

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