As a teenager, or what I now refer to as “my darkest hours”, depression was something that was almost expected.
Other words for it included, angst, moodiness, rebellion, being difficult, a phase.
After some extreme cries for help, I was finally referred to a child psychologist. I was of the Prozac Nation generation – and yet had still struggled for someone to help me tackle my mental health problems.
I have battled with my demons for 20 years. So I am in no way being flippant at yesterday’s news that Ketamine, a Class A party drug, is being suggested as a possible treatment for depression.
How much money has been ploughed into these medical research trials to come out with the conclusion that Class As cheer you up a bit?
Go to any university fresher’s week and hundreds of students would have told you the same thing for free.
The “research” also states that the longer you use it for, the longer the benefits last. No surprises there.
I have taken three kinds of anti-depressants and anti- anxiety medication over the years – but it wasn’t for me. Instead I try and deal with my issues myself. This does not mean I am one of those self-righteous idiots against anti-depressants.
Some people are quite literally unable to function without meds. So I applaud new treatments. I’m just not sure that Class A drugs, known to give you serious comedowns that make you depressed and paranoid, is the right use of taxpayers’ money.
I had a bad spell over Christmas and my GP referred me for counselling. It’s now April and I’m still awaiting my first assessment.
But there are those that might not have even got that far.
Ten years ago, my wonderful, loving stepfather took his life. If only, if only he’d sought help.
There is a stigma attached to admitting you are suffering, even though there shouldn’t be because mental health affects ten people in every 100 in the UK, according to Mind.
Winston Churchill called his depression “Black Dog”. Caitlin Moran describes her anxiety as her “screaming monkeys”. It’s everywhere.
And yet there is no way I would have dared write this column under my real name.
Please invest more money into breaking down perceptions, removing stigmas, and cutting down counselling waiting lists. Not on Class As.