I've struggled with depression from an early age.
At 15 I left home to escape sexual, mental and physical abuse from my father.
I ended choosing self destructive behaviours and didn't know where I was headed in life. Then at 18, I met my partner and fell in love.
We were together 12 yrs and have 4 beautiful children as a result. During that time we had our ups and downs as most couples do, but after years of not talking about my past and experiencing dramatic changes in my mood. I decided to talk to my GP and Lifeline crisis supporter.
My go then referred me to a psychiatrist who diagnosed me with bipolar. I began treatment immediately, and then begin to notice my partner's moods were similar to mine.
I suggested he seek help, unfortunately not long after he was booked into to see a psych, he was made redundant.
One week later he suicided, leaving behind his devastated family and me deep in depression.
Five years on and things haven't ever been the same, our kids still miss him dearly. But without Lifeline, suicide support groups online and supportive friends, I wouldn't have coped as well as I have.
There is help out there, it's just about taking that first step and reminding yourself that life is worth living and that people do care.
Information about mental illnesses like depression, anxiety and bi-polar can be found at www.beyondblue.org.au