A few week's ago I had the pleasure of interviewing a really tough bloke. A bloke that I have known for 20 years but not spoken to in a while. It's funny hey, you're so busy dealing with your own shit that you just don't even comprehend how tough some other people have it and what battles they're facing.
Cliffy, my mate, is the perfect example of the private battles people face when on the surface, everything seems A-OK. According to statistics from Beyond Blue:
- 45% of people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime;
- In any one year, around 1 million Australian adults have depression, and over 2 million have anxiety.
Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44, with around 2,500 people dying by suicide every year. That's 8 people EVERY day!
Depression, anxiety and suicide is non-discriminatory and affects people from different of age, gender, sexual preference, race and wealth groups. Perhaps this is the reasons why tacking the issue is such a massive challenge and one which clearly has a LONG way to go.
What Causes Depression, Anxiety or Suicidal Thoughts?
The development of these conditions is usually progressive and multifactorial rather than the product of one acute event. With that being said, an emotional experience such as losing a job or the breaking of a relationship can often be the trigger for a decline in one's mental state.
Personal factors such as family history of depression, low self-esteem, anxiousness, medical illness and drug use can most certainly be associated with higher level of risk. When those factors are combined with life events like long-term unemployment, social isolation, abusive relationships or prolonged work stress, you have an environment that is not supportive of healthy self-worth and love. Or sometimes it may just be the manifestation of a private battle where the sufferer has just shut everyone out in an attempt to deal with it themselves.
The Warning Signs
Similar to the contributing factors, the warning signs are many and varied, making it hard to know how "progressed" an individual is. This is the very reason why establishing an environment of communication and "checking up" on each other is important amongst your network of friends, family and colleagues.
The inception of RU OK Day, Beyond Blue and similar initiatives is proof that we're becoming more aware of the issue. Yet as this 3-part interview with Cliffy proves, sometimes the embarrassment, guilt or shame prevents us from speaking up about how we're feeling and the place we are at.
I commend Cliff on his incredible braveness in sharing his story for the sole benefit of others and the hope that speaking out may help just one person. That makes is all worthwhile!
PLEASE WATCH and SHARE this post to Facebook so we can help spread the message of love and communication!
Cliffy is looking for a sponsor to back him in the upcoming State titles on April 29th, 2017. He'll be aiming to squat 240kg at that meet so please inbox me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll put you in contact with him.