A few words in our mental health spot where we chat about depression, and how it can seek anyone out – no matter what they do in life.

Hello, and a warm welcome to the little bit of the site where, once a week, we chat about something to do with mental health or wellbeing. If you’re new to this section, then hello! We don’t promise miracle cures, and nor can we say that every article we publish here will be of use. But hopefully over the series of articles that we’ve run and intend to run, there’s something that might just be of help to you.

This particular piece is a loose follow on to what we talked about last week, where we were nattering about the shame that sometimes seems connected to admitting a mental health issue. But also it ties into acceptance, and the fact that you’re not the only one.

I’ve been doing an interview for something to do with Film Stories over the last week or two, and mental health has been one of the topics that’s come up. She won’t mind me saying this: the interview is with Sophia Myles, who you may know from an assortment of films (Thunderbirds, Underworld, Tristan & Isolde), or from her television work (she has a special place in the hearts of Doctor Who fans, for instance). But she’s very candid in the discussion about the mental health struggles that she’s faced, to the point where depression left her hospitalised at one stage in her 30s.

The point she makes in the interview – and I’m not telling you what it’s for, as I don’t want to use these articles to promote or sell things – is that depression respects no boundaries. She told me that people would ask her what she had to be depressed about: that to them, she was a successful actor, with a good life, and without the worries of breaking through. Yet depression can hit anyone, in much the same way that other more talked about diseases care little about who you are and where you’re from.

It’s rarely easy to be open about things that are affecting us, but it hardly makes it simpler when society decides that you’ve got nothing to be upset about. Or that you should be happy or grateful with your lot. Because of course, there’s almost certainly someone out there worse off. Yet that in no way should deny you acceptance of what you’re having to face. And nor should society deny acceptance of it either.

Not for the first time, as with most discussions about mental health, the theory of it all sounds a lot better than the practice. But wiser people than me, more qualified people than me, will also ascertain that depression is an absolute sod. It has a way and a half of finding you, no matter whether you’re on a ‘good’ day or a ‘bad’ day. And denying that is a barrier to trying to find a way through it.

No matter if you’re a millionaire or struggling to make ends meet, mental health is universal. Sure, there are factors that influence it. But your mental health is as legitimate as anybody else’s, no matter what you or they are going through.

As I said, no miracle cures, just hopefully a reminder that you matter, and your feelings and thoughts are legitimate.

You all take care and look after yourselves. This column will be back next Wednesday, as always.

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