Need help? Call our helpline…

5pm–midnight, 365 days a year …or find help online here

Nationwide

0800 58 58 58

London

0808 802 58 58

Use

Webchat
Need help? Call our helpline 0800 58 58 58
or Use our WEBCHAT.

YOUR VOICE: Everyone needs a sounding board…

I am a 51 year old who suffers from bipolar disorder, and I have done for many years. It’s the textbook kind: Crushing, debilitating lows locked inside a deep depression, then euphoric highs where risk-taking and spending money I can’t afford are the absolute norm and no one could tell me otherwise.

On top of that, and the reason why I’m writing this post today, is that I have had two suicide attempts, about 10 years ago and within 6 months of each other. Not “cries for help” (that overused term usually uttered by people that don’t understand) but genuinely not wanting to be around.

Close friends and family know the details, but those on the fringes – employees, employers and friends of friends – are totally unaware.

When I think back to those incidents, I recognise the triggers, all those small things tacking themselves onto other small things, which amounted to me feeling hopeless, empty and completely alone.

Now, on the other side and 10 years on, I still really struggle with my mental health and I know I probably always will. However, thankfully suicide doesn’t cross my mind anymore. I haven’t turned my life around with a great job, big house and an envious social circle, but what those dark dark days did teach me is that there are people out there that care if you can have the courage to let them in. 

I purposely don’t spend time with the “what have you got to feel depressed about?” brigade. I have a few close male friends, who have heard all my stories and would never dream of judging me (good news when you waste so much energy judging yourself!) So, think about which friends and family members will be there for you and be as open with them as possible. 

Pressures on men and women are different but everyone needs a sounding board, even if it’s just one person who is totally sympathetic – a stranger at the other end of CALM’s helpline even. I still battle most days, but I know that I don’t need to fight alone.

Related issues

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article or in the comments below, are not those held by CALM or its Trustees unless stated, and liability cannot be accepted for such comments. We encourage friendly and constructive debate, but please don't share personal contact details when commenting and exercise caution when considering any advice offered by others. We don’t allow abusive, offensive or inappropriate comments or comments that could be interpreted as libellous, defamatory or commercial and we will remove these without warning as and when we find them.

Leave a Reply

Related Articles

  • POEM: Soldiers of Humanity

    POEM: Soldiers of Humanity

    A soliloquy of hope for 2016, written by volunteer Matt in the throes of a rousing experience representing CALM at Planet Rockstock last month. Read standing,…

  • The Silence And Stigma Of Men’s Fertility

    The Silence And Stigma Of Men’s Fertility

    Here is Part One of James’ story. Launching on 9th Jan, Let It All Hang Out is an initiative that aims to break the silence surrounding male…

  • YOUR VOICE: PTSD Christmas

    YOUR VOICE: PTSD Christmas

    “Oh, I wish it could be Christmas every day…” For two months or so, it actually feels as though it is. Between the start of November and…

  • Don’t ‘Believe In’ Depression? This Is What It Feels Like

    Don’t ‘Believe In’ Depression? This Is What It Feels Like

    This post was originally published on Nick’s personal blog and an edited version is shared below with his permission… I hope, by sharing this, to build on…

  • YOUR VOICE: I Am Alive

    YOUR VOICE: I Am Alive

    Chris finally admitted to his friends on Facebook what he’d been going through, and what he’d done. He tagged CALM in the post and has allowed…

Latest Articles

  • Six #DontBottleItUp moments you may have missed

    Six #DontBottleItUp moments you may have missed

    For World Mental Health Day on October 10th, we launched the #DontBottleItUp campaign with our partners in crime Topman, photographer Rankin and heart-throb star of Love…

  • Danny Boyle, T2 & the joy of creating

    Danny Boyle, T2 & the joy of creating

    Words: Neil Wood & Paul Shiels “There are more people buried here than there are alive today in Tower Hamlets,” says Danny Boyle from atop a…

  • Get your own Torch Songs Jukebox!

    Get your own Torch Songs Jukebox!

    On International Men’s Day 2016, CALM launched Torch Songs, a campaign that celebrates the power of music to lift us out of life’s low points. We’ve…