You would have seen in the media recently that Mitch Clark, an AFL footballer who played with the Brisbane Lions and Melbourne football club has retired from the game with clinical depression. Now everyone retires from the game at some stage in their lives but to give the game away at only 26 because of this illness is quite saddening. He had many great years ahead of him.
What I want to do by writing this article is raise awareness because 1 in 3 people will experience sort some of mental illness throughout their lives. Sometimes we don’t realise how much of an impact this terrible illness can have on an individual yet 1 in 4 people still think anyone suffering depression and anxiety just need to snap out of it. If only it was that simple. Everyone during their lives will experience anxiety and be depressed in their everyday lives, it’s part of our emotions but it is usually for only a short period of time and we quickly regulate our emotions again to continue on with our day. For someone experiencing depression or anxiety, it can last for hours; even days and they are unable to regulate their emotions.
I think we as a community need to help raise awareness and even be more accepting of the issue because some people are so fearful of communicating their illness with others; they avoid getting help and are unable to enjoy their life. I encourage anyone who is suffering from mental illness to seek professional help and if you haven’t done so already, introduce some form of exercise into your regime, even if it is at home. Exercise is a great medicine, it helps release endorphins which is a chemical the body produces which makes us feel good about ourselves. There are many online forums which you can join to discuss your issues with people just like you.
Further information can be obtained from BeyondBlue www.beyondblue.org.au
Once again, let’s as a community raise awareness about this terrible illness because it is something that is close to my heart and I believe everyone deserves to live a happy and fulfilling life.