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In today’s society, we sometimes only consider persons who are experiencing the flu, communicable or non-communicable diseases to be sick.

It is because of the lack of education or first-hand experience with other health issues, that persons are unaware of the prominence of mental health illness in our homes, workplaces and communities.

The following story is the second in a series of diary entries of a mental health patient living here in Barbados. Why is she sharing her story? To open your eyes to those who are silently crying for help, with the hopes that you may possibly save a life.

Dear Diary,

I am still trying to cope with this diagnosis. Me, depressed? It can’t be true! I live a normal life, with a great job, wonderful children and I have some pretty amazing friends. What do I have to be depressed about?

Yes, being a single mother can be pretty stressful, but as my mother always reminds me, “there are people out there with more children than you”. And at the end of the day, my children are healthy and happy so that’s all that should matter. But, it would be nice if I had more support, or the chance to take a little break to relax. After all, I didn’t get them on my own.

It really isn’t fair that I have to take care of them alone when their other parent is alive and well. Do you know how hard it is to feed and clothe three growing children? I should really have a serious conversation with their dad about this. Then again I don’t have time for that.

Maybe something at work triggered this illness. It can be frustrating at times, dealing with so many different personalities in an enclosed space. But it’s only for eight hours each day. Eight hours of trying to meet deadlines, dealing with other issues that pop up from time to time, while trying to blank out petty bickering and pointless arguments, all the while keeping a smile on my face. Eight hours of gruesome mental battle. But, I don’t have time to worry about that.

And my friends? Well, they are awesome. They are always there when I need to talk, and they know how to make me laugh. Sure, we don’t see eye to eye on every single thing, but we respect each other’s opinions and have each other’s back in times of need.

And yes, I am a little angry that Keisha betrayed me, but that happens in any friendship right? I probably wouldn’t ever have done what she did, but that’s just me. And yes, I do get really angry when I see her or hear her name. But I’ll get over it because I just don’t have time for that kind of drama right now.

I am a career-focused, ambitious, family-oriented woman, who is always looking to grow and develop in my job and my life. So I really don’t have time to fuss over every little hiccup in my life. There will be time for that later.

Later… Diary, this is my later. It’s now becoming clear to me. I spent all my life avoiding confrontation with situations that came before me, and now I am forced to deal with them all at once. Everything that I swept under the carpet has piled up and my brain has finally reached its limit. I should never have allowed these issues to fester because now, they are just spiralling out of control in my head.

Diary, did I bring this upon myself?

To get more information on depression and find out the warning signs, you may click here.

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