Every fearless ambassador for mental health is a lifesaver.
Stephen Fry is a celebrated British actor. He has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and speaks publicly about his experience to help reduce stigma and encourage others to seek help. This is his story in his own words.
"It came as quite a shock to me to realize that the feelings of suicidal thoughts that I had were actually rare — that these were not the norm. ... I suppose that it as good a time to date it from as any."
The least helpful thing anyone can say to a person experiencing depression is that their feelings are somehow less real than those of a person without depression or that they're somehow misinterpreting what's going on in their own head.
When a person is depressed but aware the depression is temporary, it becomes easier to keep fighting through it. The tunnel is a horrible place to be, but when there's a light at the end, it's easier to put one foot in front of the other.
When a person is suicidal, it often has very little to do with what is happening in the present and everything to do with the idea that the future cannot possibly be any better.