Living With Depression

My name is Debbie.
My passion is to encourage people to speak out about mental health related illnesses. I have been living with depression for 19 years and I experienced a lot of negativity regarding mental illness. I have been incredibly lucky to find the help that I need from the support of my partner and mental health services.
In the past year I have struggled with depression throughout to the global pandemic. Whilst wrestling through depression I lost a lot of people along the way and found myself isolated even more from the world and unable to explain what was happening inside my own head.
Recent figures show that almost one in five adults (19.2%) were likely to be experiencing some form of depression during the COVID-19 pandemic in June 2020. There has been an alarming amount of stigma regarding mental health related illnesses because sadly, a lot of people do not understand it.
In June 2020, my partner bought me an easel which led to endless paintings. I read up about the use of Art therapy helping with depression and discovered that it helps a lot of people. I began painting my emotions and over time I found myself again. After a lot of thinking I set up an account the social media platform Instagram, to show my paintings. By doing this I found so many people who were in similar circumstances as me and found that depression was not something that you need to hide from the world.
Since then, I have gained 4.5K follows, sold a number of paintings but more importantly found the confidence to talk. Painting has helped me to find a way of expressing myself. I receive so many messages from people telling me how brave I am because I have started to talk so openly about it.  I hope that more people are no longer ashamed about talking about it and find a way of expressing themselves too.