Monday, 24 February 2014

Charlotte Dawson - the dangers of depression

Australian's are shocked at the loss of TV personality Charlotte Dawson who took her own life yesterday.  On the outside we see someone who is beautiful, famous, successful, and we wonder how someone with all of those things could feel such a deep unhappiness inside.
This goes to show, no matter what you have, or what your achievements, depression is a real and crushing illness, and needs to be taken seriously.  

Dawson had a history of depression and anxiety, which she frequently commented about publicly on her twitter account. 
In 2012, Dawson was publicly bullied online by "Twitter Trolls", leading to a suicide attempt. Following this, according to SMH, Dawson went on to publicly advocate anti-bullying.  Nonetheless, for such callous individuals to feel they have the right to speak to another human being (online, or offline!) in such a horrible, bullying manner, absolutely disgusts me.  

For anyone thinking about making in inappropriate, rude or unfair comment, to anyone - friend, enemy, celebrity, online or offline - you need to stop and think.  The potential impact of your comment could be huge.  We've seen first hand with the sad loss of Charlotte Dawson, that such wounds are far more than skin deep.  People are people - celebrities or not - everyone has a story, a background, a personality and their own sensitivities and fears - many people in fact also suffer from mental illness.    

According to Beyond Blue, "Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. In Australia, it is estimated that 45 per cent 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." 
Are you suffering from depression and anxiety, and looking for help?
In Australia, you can access free 24/7 telephone counselling:
Lifeline - 13 11 13 
Beyond Blue - 1300 22 4636

You can also access up to 10 sessions with a psychologist per year, through Medicare - you simply need your GP to make a referral for you.  Your GP can also give you advice on managing depression and anxiety.   Don't be afraid to speak up!

There is currently a petition through to support tougher legislation for cyber bullying.  If you would like to support this petition, please click HERE.

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