Written by Markos Hasiotis
“While we all feel sad, moody or low from time to time, some people experience these feelings intensely, for long periods of time (weeks, months or even years) and sometimes without any apparent reason. Depression is more than just a low mood – it’s a serious condition that affects your physical and mental health.”
It has affected mine too. In every stage of my life, I’ve been plagued by persistent and intense feelings of sadness, emptiness or a sense that. I have nothing to look forward to. And at each of those stages, I would invariably hear the same thing: “What have you got to be depressed about?”
Well, did you know that previous suicide victims include: 3 Oscar winners, 2 Grammy winners, 1 Pulitzer Prize winner, 2 Nobel Prize winners, 2 Presidents and an Olympic gold
What did they have to be depressed about? On the outside…perhaps nothing but depression starts from within. It can lurk within anyone and success doesn’t cure it. As for me, I genuinely did have much to be depressed about thanks to the tangibly difficult conditions I’ve lived through: Bullied in school (primary and high), an often turbulent domestic situation, eating disorders and long periods of unemployment, failure and loneliness. I did contemplate suicide twice and believe firmly that the key thing that drives a person to suicide is the belief that they have nothing to look forward to. But you do, I do and we all do. Suicide is not the answer.
While the suicides of many successful, famous depression sufferers are tragic and should never have happened…a positive outcome from them has been a gradual shift in the conversation about depression. I’ve observed far fewer jokes in movies and TV about “killing myself” or picking on someone for being a “sad-sack.” Depression is also now universally treated with the seriousness it warrants and there’s a huge increase in support services and mental health programs available to all.
While the psychiatric help and medication I’ve been receiving since 2015 has been very valuable treatment… what’s also helped has been changing my outlook: I resolved to always do my best to focus on the good things in life and remain optimistic.
If I’m having a bad day, I see out that day and go to sleep with the hope that tomorrow will be better. It almost always is. And a very important thing I’ve done has been to throw myself into activities and opportunities which give my life joy and meaning. One such thing would be joining the Mental Health Foundation of Australia. I’m honoured to be part of an organisation that is seeking to address and take action on the issue of mental health. While more bad days for me are inevitable, I do have the power to ensure I have a good life.
So do you.
Author: Markos Hasiotis
Mark is a tall and friendly Greek-Australian with many interests. He loves being creative, exploring different facets of life and making a positive contribution in any way that he can. His work history reflects his many diverse interests: He’s adjudicated high school debates, written pop culture articles, worked in a space program and done promotional work for brands at events. His main passion in life is facts; He tweets them, He won a game show in 2017 and works in fact-checking for the BBC. He really loves learning new things and sharing them with as many people as possible and Mark spends a lot of time trying to fight against the scourges of misinformation and hates it’s prevalence in society. Mark has previously struggled with mental issues in his younger days, he endured much bullying and a turbulent family home which has not only given him strength and empathy but has also galvanised his passion for helping others. Markos is a member of the Youth Advisory Committee for 2019.