Last year my immediate family was deeply affected by depression, and it was such a sad time for everyone surrounding that person.
Thankfully they were incredibly brave and sought help, and with lots of support have come out of the darkness. Although there is always the risk that it may return, having lived through it once I know we will make it again if it does.
One thing that really struck me about depression is how private and lonely it is, both for those suffering and those supporting. Despite the best efforts of heroes like John Kirwan, there is still so much stigma and misunderstanding around what it is and how it manifests. I for one missed a lot of the signs for far too long, and it was such a relief to finally have it diagnosed and out in the open so we could help them get better.
When googling 'water slides' (to buy one for our back yard) I stumbled across this website called Live More Awesome, which is run by two guys (both survivors of depression) who are building the world's biggest waterslide out in Helensville. There will be three, the longest of which will be 650metres long. EPIC! You can buy tickets to go on them or help them raise the money to build them here. I'll either be heavily pregnant or with a newborn when they open to the public on 23-24 February, so I hope you will go along and have a go in my honour.
And I would love to hear about your own experiences with depression too. Share the pain, feel the love.