I’m Friends with the Monster Under My Bed

I’m posting this blog on behalf of an undergraduate student who wishes to be anonymous because of the very personal content of this piece, in which they discuss how they have dealt with depression.

Conor McGrath

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I think it is important for people to talk about their mental health in order to break the stigma. I realised however, how am I meant to encourage people to talk about their mental health if am not willing to talk about mine? I believe that having mental health issues is nothing to be ashamed of yet I am ashamed and scared to tell my story. Will people look at me different? Will they even understand? Will they treat me different? Then I finally came to the realisation ….. I don’t care! If sharing my story helps one more person feel less alone then I am going to do it. I guess I will just have to start from the beginning….

Depression.

Yep, I do not like that word either. When I asked my friends what they thought depression was I kept getting the same answer: “deep sadness”.  That could not be further from the truth! Depression for me was a sense of numbness, I felt like the tin man out of the Wizard of Oz – I needed a heart. I was a robot, I was a zombie, I had no emotions. I got asked the same question every time “what do you think caused you to feel like this?”. I had a wonderful childhood, a loving family, loads of friends, I did really well in school – there was no reason for me to feel like this …. and yet I did. I used to feel really guilty because there are people in the world who have it way tougher than I have. So I have no right to feel like this. I should not feel like this. Everyone else is functioning perfectly so why can’t I? Why can’t I just be normal? Unfortunately like all illnesses, they do not discriminate. They do not take into account your gender, your background, your religion or even how good of a person you are. So what to do now?

I made friends with the monsters under my bed.

Winston Churchill referred to his depression as a black dog that followed him about. Mine was definitely not a black dog because I love dogs! I could not tie depression to one thing because in reality it is not one thing. It is not sadness, loneliness, tiredness, no motivation, it is a bit of everything. It just depended on the day which monster decided to come out from under my bed. In the last year and a half the monsters have stayed under my bed – I think they are too comfy there. I got the proper help I needed and now the monsters under my bed are my friends. I have made piece with all of them. They remind me of how strong of a person I am. They remind me of everything I overcome. I am very thankful to these monsters as they have made me who am I today – a complete badass.

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The CIPR’s 2018 State of the Profession survey indicated that 16% of PR practitioners in the UK have mental health issues.

The PRCA has published a mental health toolkit: https://releasd.com/p/d5de

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