Sally Brampton " I realised I was not safe..."

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Sally Brampton

On her depression…

I think that one of the contributing factors to my very deep depression was that I pushed people away, so I felt very lonely and loneliness contributes to mood disorders. Now I make a conscious effort to stay in contact with people and to nurture relationships.

On the Mind media awards…

I think the media portrayal of mental health has changed enormously. I think there’s still a voyeurism and a sensationalism, but I think change has happened, because people are more familiar with mental illness, really. Certainly even ten years ago it was almost a point of fun or humour, and the language used around it was absolutely appalling. I think the Mind Media awards shows how much has changed – even looking at the difference between the awards this year and last year.

On a relapse…

I had a vicious episode last year. I was so suicidal I realised I was not safe. I went to my psychiatrist and he said ‘Why didn’t you come before?” But we go through denial. We think we’ll be better tomorrow. But I was really severely ill, almost as seriously as when I had my breakdown. Like any illness, it came back. And I’ve been able to teach Molly (her daughter) that we have to manage it, as well as we can.

On staying well…

I know I have to avoid massive stress. There are emotional stresses I have to avoid. One thing I’ve discovered through research is that suicidal ideation is a symptom of depression. Depression is an illness, and suicide ideation is not real as such. It feels incredibly real. But just as fever is a symptom of pneumonia, and that fever will pass.

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