Hello, my name is Jessica Noah.This is my dream to run the Great Wall of China Marathon, 5, 164 steps into history, and in humid conditions, for MIND, the UK’s largest mental health charity. Follow my journey:#AintNoahMountainHighEnough@jessicalilynoah (twitter & instagram)
In 2012, I was diagnosed with depression. At first, I didn’t know what was wrong with me, only that I had severe mood swings, low mood and no energy to do what I loved anymore. I hated myself and everyone else around me. I didn’t want to go to work, I didn’t want to sing anymore, I just wanted to sit in the same chair in my house forever staring into space until everything disappeared. Everything became a mission and the world became a scary and dark place. It took a long time for me to realise that something was seriously wrong and it was only until I had a mental breakdown was when I knew I had to see a GP. Suddenly did I realise that I was coming to terms with the war in my MIND.
There are many things I have struggled to deal with in my life, things I am still struggling with that has crushed half of my life. I have never come to terms with the fact that I have been suffering from depression all along.
I would describe depression as being alone in a vast forest with no sense of direction or awareness stuck with a black cloud over your head telling you that you are not worth anything. I call it, Cancer of the MIND. It seeps in when you least expect it causing your whole world and everything around you to slowly slip through your fingers.It is like a million days of darkness with only a few hours of sunlight.
The thing is, people with depression and mental health problems are just normal people carrying out their day-to-day lives. To everyone else, they are happy, outgoing, bubbly etc. but deep down are suffering.
About a quarter of the population will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year, with mixed anxiety and depression being the most common mental disorder in Britain and 800,000 people every year committing suicide in the whole world.
Misunderstanding and stigma surrounding mental ill health are widespread and despite the existence of effective treatment for mental disorders, there is a belief that they are untreatable or that people with mental disorders are difficult, not intelligent, or incapable of making decisions. This stigma can lead to abuse, rejection and isolation and exclude people from health care or support. Within the health system, people are too often treated in institutions, which resemble human warehouses rather than places of healing.
The human brain is an amazing organ but it also has a very complex structure that contains billions of nerve cells – called neurons – that must communicate and work together for the body to function normally. Researchers studying mental illness believe that abnormalities in how particular brain circuits function contribute to the development of many illnesses.
If you know anyone suffering from a mental health problem be there for them, support them as much as you can and never give up hope. It is a difficult thing to overcome especially in this day and age where our jobs, relationships, stress can be all too much to handle. BE THERE FOR THEM.I am running for MIND, the UK’s largest mental health charity because I know they will never give in until the stigma of mental illness is broken.
MIND will never give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets both the support and respect they deserve. MIND is there to help and support me and thousands of others when we feel we cannot see the light at the end of that tunnel.
Please watch this video of those affected by mental health problems, with some words from the charity's President, Stephen Fry. #InOurOwnWords
Follow my journey as I train hard to conquer 5, 164 steps of the Great Wall of China to fight the stigma against mental health problems.
We must never give in.