“Depression is like a bottomless black hole in my chest, where my heart used to be. It leaches all of the colours from the world, turning everything is the same dull shade of grey. That pit of despair keeps growing; swallowing all of the light and happiness inside me until one day, there is nothing left but the pain. Depression makes me feel ashamed. It makes me hide behind a fake smile because I don’t want to burden people with my selfish problems. More than that, I know I don’t deserve their help. You forget the person you used to be; you forget what happiness feels like; you forget that there is a difference between living and existing; you forget how to feel anything. At times the pain is so agonising and all-consuming it feels as though you are being torn apart. Depression feels like constantly gasping for air; as if you are drowning in that deep, dark void inside of yourself. Depression is hopelessness. It is nothing, and it is everything.”

“I was too young to witness every moment of my parents’ awful divorce, and this is probably the main reason for my mental health issues. I started to self-harm when I was about 12 years old and have been doing it until recently. This was the only way to get rid of the tension inside me. I attempted suicide a few times as well. I have borderline personality disorder, an eating disorder and depression. I find it hard to get help and I have been refused treatment many times. I always felt hopeless and really alone with my issues. But if this helps someone feel a little less alone, even for just a moment, then my own journey will have had a purpose. Your life matters; you are important and your pain is important – but it does not have to define you.”

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