Kate Middleton’s guest editorship: the follow up

Kate Middleton’s guest editorship: the follow up

I’ve debated whether or not to discuss the other articles in the Young Minds Matter series given that this is a Kate Middleton blog not a mental health awareness blog. But I found a way around that by book-ending the post with Kate.

She speaks! The above is a video from Kate’s time as guest editor of the Huffington Post UK. In case you were wondering when the HuffPo people got to KP, they got there and started working at about 6:15 AM according to a man in the video (as we know, Kate didn’t arrive until about 10 AM).

I hate to keep picking on Kate’s speech, but she really needs to speak up and speak clearly. Several of her words got lost because I couldn’t hear her. If I didn’t know better I would have sworn she said: “I just want to say q-tip Stephen and obviously the cute team that’s been involved in this…” Speak up and speak clearly, Kate, I can’t understand you otherwise.

By the way, I love the “You’ve done the hard work, I’m getting all the um…” at the end of the video.

KP newsroom for HuffPo guest edit 2

There are a lot of articles for the Young Minds Matter series and I cannot discuss all of them, but if you would like to read all of them go here and just keep scrolling. I read all of the articles and there are a lot of good articles with personal stories and others with facts about children’s mental health and early intervention, there are articles which are mostly promoting various charities which is fine but those articles weren’t my favorite to read, there are some eye-rolly ones and ones that made me angry, and there was one article which was literally an ad for a book.

How does Kate’s article stack up compared to these others? Surprisingly, Kate’s wasn’t my least favorite. It did not touch an emotional cord with me the way some of the others did, it was not as informative as some others, but it wasn’t the worst one, and it wasn’t the one that made me angry. Overall, most of the articles were more about either personal stories or calls to action about supporting child mental health and early intervention, and several were similarly vague as Kate’s (the article from the CEO of Place2Be read more like a defense against some small criticism they got for Children’s Mental Health Week rather than anything informative).

Michelle Obama wrote an article called Let’s Change the Conversation Around Mental Health in which she discusses mental health in relation to military personnel and veterans. She also mentioned five signs of potential mental health changes – personality change, agitation, withdrawal, poor self-care, and hopelessness – and directed readers to a site called changedirection.org.

In this article form Arianna Huffington, she praises Kate but goes on to discuss the importance of sleep.

Here is an article from a woman whose husband committed suicide. She discusses her husband’s struggle and goes on to advocate for early intervention of mental illness. The topic of suicide… so many people are so misinformed. The conversation about suicide that happened following Robin Williams‘ suicide in 2014 made me so angry at how misinformed so many people were.

Demonizing people who commit suicide is only hurting others who are contemplating suicide. When people are at the point of seriously considering suicide, the last thing they need to be thinking about is what an awful person they are for thinking those thoughts – it makes them think even more negatively about themselves than they already are and prevents them from seeking help (lest they be judged even more harshly). Having said that, I am impressed that the author did not go that route and kept it positive and used her husband’s experience to call for early intervention.

This article is about family dynamics and estrangement and I swear it’s like she was talking about me: “I can say with some confidence that the mental health of our children is shaped to some extent by the emotional wellbeing of the adults who care for them day after day.”

This article is a personal story about grief and it really struck a cord with me since my grandparents died when I was about the same ages as the author. This article is another personal story about the bullying the author experienced as a child affecting her adult life. It made me cry.

The article which made me angry was this article about a YouGov poll of parents in the UK who “believe children are more prone to problems today than when they were growing up… Two-thirds (66%) say problems such as depression and anxiety are more prevalent and… Four-fifths (81%) of parents blame social media for making their children more vulnerable to mental health problems.”

I just can’t even with this one. First of all, it is not a definitive scientific study with any actual evidence, it is a poll of some parents who signed up to take YouGov polls. Second, it’s a poll of parents, not of kids, so at best it’s hearsay, at worst it’s opinions not based on any sort of experience or fact.

The plain truth is that social media websites by themselves are neutral (as is all technology), it’s the humans who interact with the websites that determine whether they are positive or negative. Without humans, social media sites are just some code on a page connected to an empty database.

If social media is a negative place filled with bullying, racism, sexism, and all other hateful and disgusting things, it’s because humans put it there. Social media is not the problem; humans are the problem. If social media is a negative place due to bullying, then the answer is not “get rid of social media”, the answer is stop humans from bullying one another. If we want to stop our bullying epidemic, then we need to teach people not to bully.

Having got that rant out of my system, I’m going to open up here for a minute. When I was about 7 I started experiencing depression and my personality changed completely – where I had once been an outgoing, dominant personality, I was now an incredibly shy, introverted child; and I ended up getting bullied a lot after that. No one I interacted with noticed. It wasn’t until I was 12, had lost my grandmother to cancer, and moved to a different state, that my mother bothered to notice there was something wrong with me. And the only reason she bothered to think depression might be a cause is because she herself was suffering from depression due to the death of her mother and loss of her job.

When I was diagnosed with depression, I rejected it wholeheartedly. I hated the thought that something was wrong me, and I hated even more the thought that I had to go to a “shrink”. Though the doctor suggested I see a therapist, I refused to even entertain the thought of it. The doctor put me on anti-depression medication, and I refused to take it. I would lie and say I took it when I didn’t. After a while my mother gave up trying to get me help.

In Kate’s video for CMHW, Kate was asked if she would have benefited from something like Place2Be and she said she would have loved to have it, that everyone could benefit from it. But… that’s only if they go. Had something like Place2Be existed in my schools, I would not have gone. At all. Not once. I would not have wanted to go to a “shrink”, to open up, to let anyone know that I had a problem.

The reason we need to eradicate the stigma surrounding mental health is not for the sake of people getting bullied or parents getting their children help, it’s for the sake of the children actually accepting help. Because it does not matter how much mental health care parents or schools shove at their kids, if the kids refuse to accept the mental health care, they won’t receive it and they will suffer. The stigma around mental health is so often about adults, about parents, but children know of the stigma as well. And if that stigma is there, children won’t ask for help, and if they do receive help without asking they won’t accept it.

While having parents and schools take an interest in their children’s mental health and recognizing the signs and offering care is highly important, we need to end the stigma surrounding mental health so that those children, and adults, who do suffer from mental illness are not only willing to seek care but are willing to accept that care.

Now back to Kate. Having said my piece about her article, I want to say something positive. No matter what comes out of this guest editorship – whether it translates long term to a better discussion of mental health, funding for the charities promoted, or Kate devoting herself to a cause – there is one good thing that came out of Kate’s involvement with mental health: we are having a discussion on mental health here on this blog.

Had Kate not gotten involved with this issue, I never would have opened up to you guys, you wouldn’t have responded with your own stories, and we wouldn’t be having the conversations we have now; we wouldn’t be supporting each other the way we are.

Even if nothing else good comes out of Kate’s involvement with mental health, even if the stigma stands, no additional money gets raised, or Kate falls into her toilet at Anmer and is never heard from again, at least we’ve had the conversations we’ve had. And that is a positive thing.

BTW, here’s a video of Harry, The Boot Retriever, during his trip to Lancashire the other week. Just cause.

87 thoughts on “Kate Middleton’s guest editorship: the follow up

  1. Thanks from me too for sharing your thoughts and your story KMR , it’s helping me too. Finding this blog has helped me to find a way forward.

    1. KMR, Cathy, everyone: We are a cyber group of friends and I care for you all. My heart aches when I see or read of suffering due to depression and/or anxiety, or other mental health issues. I am grateful for the courage of people to share their stories here and I hope you all know that you are respected and cared for deeply.

      I am suffering from sleep deprivation, but will take the time later to read through the articles Thank you for sharing so much of what went on as part of Kate’s guest editorship at the HuffPost.

      To me, she did not do too much and I think that many have shared their own issues here previously. Even before Kate became involved in the issue. But, that is my take. I must admit that I was not blown away by her participation, but to each her own. What does matter is that we are probably not the only ones talking about this and as KMR says, that is a good thing.

      As for moving forward, please know that your willingness to do so, Cathy and KMR shows your power and courage. We are here to help when you may need to discuss an issue, but also, I would never pry. The kindness that has been shown to me by so many on this blog is something I am most grateful for. Life is good because of the so many good people who comment on this blog.

        1. Thank you both. Maddie needs all the hugs she can get. She’s had a few bad days and nights with a cold. Her little nose is all stuffed up and she has been miserable. Lots of hugs are just what the doctor ordered.

          She is sleeping now after another bad night. I wish I could sleep, but I am all amped up.

  2. Yes thank you for speaking so frankly – it was very helpful and enlightening – as well helped me in no small way with my own issues. I, too, am glad that Kate has highlighted the issue of mental health but realise there s a long way to go.

    1. Thank you Hipsterette. I hope you can and are working through your issues and that they aren’t affecting you too terribly.

  3. These truly well written blogs and posted comments with some really good follow up discussions have been outstanding and thought provoking. There has been a huge difference from that last time we needed a reminder of what we want from this blog. One main reason I try to hurry up and post is I don’t know any other way to get all the comments to my email box. I don’t want to miss a comment.

    I appreciate those of you who are willing to expose yourself with your personal stories. It is not easy. I still don’t feel comfortable in revealing mine. Yes for sure if nothing else Kate has provided this opportunity for much needed discussion.

  4. This is one thing I really like about this blog, and the community of posters, in that there is such support when we are all essentially strangers to one another. I felt awkward at first opening up when Kate’s ridiculous speech was given that infuriated me so much but I felt opening up was something I should do, and the supportive comments were so kind and made me feel so much better, for even though my issues with mental health are mostly a distant memory it still is carried with you wherever you go, the rest or your life. It affects how you interact with others; with your family; your own view of yourself (I have no sense of self-worth, for example, due to the things said and done to me as a child and teenager).

    KMR, thank you for sharing your story. We are all here!

    1. I think one part of why we feel we can open up is that we are strangers, so the stigma/shame is lessened, but part of it is that while we are strangers we have built some trust here, which is great to see.

      Virtual hugs, Ellie. If you ever need to chat, we’re all here for you.

  5. This is what I always say. There are people that work very hard for mental health issues and here comes Kate, spending one or two hours, speaking with her ridiculous voice, smiling, having her photos taken and receiving all the credits. This makes me furious. During the Mental Health Week she ONLY released her video, and did nothing more. I’m just waiting for Kate receiving awards for he “amazing job” on mental health. I know what you say about depression KMR. A long time ago I had a lost that was terrible for me. My self-esteem was zero and I accepted all critics about me with pleasure, I thought I deserved them. I cried almost every day until I stopped having grief for myself. As Eleanor Roosevelt once has said: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”. I do not let anyone else humiliate me anymore. I turned my grief into angry, and now I react. I came to the conclusion that anger is better than grief when you are depressed. I don’t attack, I react, what is different. Today I live day by day, only living without much expectations because I know that things I want may not come true. And this blog is always a joy for me, I REALLY forget my problems when I am reading it. Have a good day everybody.
    P.S: Always find a reason to laugh. It may not add years to your life, but will surely add life to your years.

    1. Celebs often get awards for their charity work. Can you imagine if Kate got an award for her work with mental health?

      I don’t think anger is the best way to react to things, but I totally get reacting with anger as a sort of stepping stone between reacting with grief and not reacting at all. Anger is more active than grief is. As long as the anger isn’t directed toward the self. That would be bad.

      I’m sorry for your loss, Jamel, and I hope you are better now. And I hope your critics got a good comeuppance.

  6. I don’t know if you read this article : http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/6938927/Prince-William-on-his-first-Royal-engagement-of-the-year.html

    but it’s very interesting!!!!!! The relationship Cambridge/press become more and more difficult : It’s interesting to read the opinion of Richard Palmer and others on twitter, they select their journalist … (the liberty of press doesn’t exist when the subject is royalty?)
    Do you know if the press speak about Kate and action today?

    30 min for guest editing… I love your sentence: “By the way, I love the “You’ve done the hard work, I’m getting all the um…” at the end of the video”. Kate has all say! She is just a pretty face (Royalty barbie like rihannon said), i want to know why she chooses Huff Post UK or rather what Huff Post UK had in possession in order to make Kate accept this form.

    Sorry for my English

    1. You speak better English than Kate does in my opinion. As KMR said she’s hard to understand but I have long since ceased to watch videos of her since this latest cause is a hot spot with me. The main reason for my comment here is to thank you for the link to the article, which I hadn’t read. So, the same newspaper that changed its name to “The Son” is now becoming fed up to here with the ‘son’s’ slacker parents. I wonder at times if William (not Kate) wants the people to force him out of the line of succession (if that’s even possible) so he can become yet another ‘victim’ of the press.

    2. Wow, just read the article, it sums things up pretty well. I think this has been a long time coming. The Prince really needs to try and turn things around, when you look at the table and figures it really is unacceptable. Taxpayers funding refurnishing KP, the Queens flight for Kate, if the pair of them were seen to be out there making a difference, they have youth and should be full of drive and energy. There is so much they could be doing. If William does not want to do his share, don’t accept taxpayers money, finance his family independently. There was so much promise when the Duke and Duchess were married, what a disappointment they have turned out to be.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. Your comments about children often being reluctant to seek help are spot on, I see this on the academic side when kids are struggling with a subject. Many refuse to go to the teacher after school or have free tutoring from a peer group because they fear being “dumb” and then of course the grades get lower still and self confidence tumbles. I too found some articles to be very moving and well informed and a few to be not helpful at all. I thought Kate seemed friendly but nervous in the video. I thought in the past that she had anxiety with large crowds, but it seems even in small ones she gets quite self conscious. I feel if she spent the whole day with the the team she might lose that quietness and “um”s in her speech since she would feel more comfortable. As a public figure, I think it is important for her to work on her public speaking more. Her lack of confidence in this area holds her back. I am guessing she hasn’t focused on it since she doesn’t enjoy it, but I hope her team begins to gently push her more as she takes on more charities and patronages. It’s an area that she can easily improve on if she accepts the tutoring!

    1. Yes, Anne, children being too afraid to seek help is also very true in academia. I know there was a time in middle school (right around the time I was diagnosed with depression, actually) where I was terrified to go talk to my teachers if I was having a problem with the course work.

      For Kate, I think one of her biggest problems in terms of her speech is that she doesn’t speak confidently. Because of that we get the inaudible speech when she’s just speaking with normal people and we also get the bad official speeches. If she could just work on speaking confidently, she would be worlds better at public speaking.

        1. Is that just because she’s unconfident, or is she purposely trying to make it so no one can hear her?

          1. To me she’s just super unconfident it shows in her speech and her body language . But I have no sympathy she has been offered help and support and has access to help in giving speeches and she is either too arrogant or too lazy to take it. Hands, hair twirling, posture and very odd accent.

          2. The accent may be affecting her sound level as well. Like, she can’t speak loudly or else she’ll slip out of her accent.

  8. You’re right KMR. By her taking on the mantel of mental health in children she has opened up some discussions. Thank you for allowing the various discussions and for sharing your story as well.

    Only time will tell how she continues in this field. If she’s really serious about it she could really become a force for change, but she has to put in the time and effort. And unfortunately, we haven’t seen her really do that since she’s married William.

    As we’ve said before, we’d love to see her succeed. She’s just got to do the work. This was a good thing for her (in spite of the limited time she was actually there) and she needs to build on it, not go on holiday to pat herself on her back.

    I really hope she is serious about this. It would be a welcome change.

    1. I don’t know if Kate will affect real change on a broad scale regarding mental health, but maybe she will affect some people. Whether it’s the people she meets, people who follow her, or people who know people who follow her and get talk to about it. That would be a good thing.

  9. Did any of the articles suggest a link between mental health and physical activity? We know it’s a healthy part of normal childhood, and we know it isn’t happening much these days, so I wonder if being active and outdoors was considered in relation to childhood mental illness. Trauma notwithstanding, physical activity can certainly help with stress, anxiety, and a panoply of other modern ailments. The Duchess would do well to encourage efforts that promote outdoor play, particularly for urban kids.

    1. I wanted to say there was one, but I went to try and find I and I can’t.

      Getting kids to be active in sports and linking that with mental health would be a great thing for Kate since her real passion is sports.

    2. Yes and it has been found that kids with mental health concerns were more calmer after spending a few hours outside within a ‘green’ environment. Even anecdotally, I always feel refreshed, less fatigued and energized after walking through leafy streets or in a quiet neighborhood or park. I am from Canada and a few agencies tend to run camps in remote northern locations in my province, where youth with complex mental health issues are in remote camps, receiving treatment and counselling, doing recreational activities, within a tranquil and natural surrounding.

  10. “Guest editor for the DAY” >>> SHE DIDN’T EVEN STAY AN HOUR. She entered, she posed for Chris Jack, she left.

    She doesn’t care at all. I’ve got nothing else to say.

    1. JL just been to Sainsburys – looked in the newspaper section it didn’t look as if she was mentioned in any of them . Flicked through the Mail surreptitiously as you do and couldn’t find any mention of her inside either. Her choosing one form of media while excluding all others including photographers etc does not seem to have given her the coverage she wanted!

  11. It is good many are discussing mental health, especially the need for early recognition and intervention with children. I give Kate credit for highlighting an important issue. It will be wonderful if Kate follows through and increases her involvement over the years.

    I wonder about Kate bringing George and Charlotte up in the conversation. W&K tend to be protective. Discussing the possibility of the children getting help if the time ever comes, makes me wonder if the children were older, would they like their mother discussing them in relation to this issue.

    While Kate advocates for childhood mental health, as KMR pointed out the mental health of the parents plays and important part of every child’s life. While I don’t expect to see Will and Kate on the next episode of Dr. Phil (Will is a little angry towards the media), it would be great if every parent considered their own mental health and how it relates to good parenting.

    I think we all wish Kate the best in following through on this important topic.

    1. Hrm… I don’t think it’s a bad thing that Kate brought up George and Charlotte. She’s not saying they suffer from anything or revealing any personal information about them, she’s talking about how she and William plan to parent their kids. So I think it’s okay.

      The mental health of the parents is hugely important. It’s like what they tell you on airplanes – you have to put on your own oxygen mask before helping anyone else put on theirs. Parents need to take care of their own mental health before they can help their kids take care of theirs. If the parents have their own mental health issues, the kids either will feel like they can’t talk to their parents or if they do talk to their parents about an issue they’re having the parents won’t be willing or able to help them. As we know, some mental health issues can be genetic, so it’s important for parents to know their own mental health issues so they can better take care of their child’s.

      1. I am never very clear with my comments. I was trying to express how the children of my friends dislike being discussed. They like their privacy and don’t seem to like being talked about by their parents. It made me think PG and PC may get to an age where they will not like having Kate talk about them.

        1. Oh, well yeah totally. I still hate when my mother talks about me to people – but that’s probably mostly due to my social anxiety. I’m sure G&C will get to an age when they complain that their parents talk about them. I think that’s normal. I thought you meant Kate talking about G&Cs private medical information.

  12. Suicide and Suicidal are so misunderstood. And both equally serious. There should be more attention shown to this.

    A large majority of those who end their own lives or attempt are often afraid to do so, but it appears as the only option they have. They live with such pain and hopelessness they just want it to stop. Not to die. When living causes you pain though, death is in their thoughts a true solution.

    Then there’s those who have just given up. They can’t bring themselves to do it, but instead live recklessly. If faces with a sink or swim situation they choose to sink.

    All too often when people are told someone they know has these feelings it’s diminished as pining for a lost love or lacking motivation and lazy. Or looking for attention.
    I hope people realize it’s a serious situation and not easily solved. Being able to be open about it is a major step to recovery.

    With my divorce i’ve got this current struggle happening. I can tell my friends i’m in a hopeless place right now, but I would not want to seek help. For a number of reasons. Some stigmas some not. Feels ok to say that here since I know none of you.
    My point is sometimes it takes more than being open with your feelings. More awareness. Seeing the signs early.
    If that makes sense. My thoughts are really scrambled right now.

    1. “My point is sometimes it takes more than being open with your feelings. More awareness. Seeing the signs early.”

      Absolutely!

      Hang in there! This too shall pass. My divorce left me in a terrible place for quite some time, even though I chose that path.

      In my experience, there are few people sensitive enough to be there for you and understand and meet your needs. You can talk about your feelings all you want but it doesn’t mean that you will get what you need from the other. I just don’t find most people that cognitively/emotionally sophisticated or empathetic. Even going through the mental health system, there is no guarantee you will get a good fit. Nevermind the drugs they throw at you. To have one real, supportive, empathetic confidant makes all the difference in the world- whether personal or professional. Often people think you should suck it up, or you are just a drama queen (happened to me). Those close to you can still elicit a feeling that you are defective.

      I have also had the experience of someone so terribly important to me dying by suicide devastating so many people and our futures. You ask yourself, how could I miss the signs? When you look back, you see them. And I should have known, given my profession. You never get over it, and there’s a giant hole in your life till you die- you just learn to live with it.

      To enlighten people- there’s the rub. Not to mention, who knows if they possess enough self-reflection and empathy to make that leap. Not to mention the many, many concrete thinkers out there. It has to be a grass roots movement.

      My eternal question is, whom do you target? Blanket media is not the way, IMO. Throwing stuff at the wall like Kate’s handlers and HuffPo did, seeing what sticks, not caring what sticks, really, I find irresponsible, useless and egregious.

      BTW, there are many ways to trigger discussions. This did it for some. But anything can be a catalyst. It doesn’t make Kate’s presence any more worthwhile, IMO, and certainly not significant.

      ETA: Stigma be d*mned! That, to me, is the least of anyone’s problems. Somehow I have never cared about that and have always spoken openly about issues of depression. I think it comes down to this for me: If we don’t know what we stand for, and we don’t know what we’re willing to live and die for, then anyone can persuade us of anything.

      If you live with the unshakable conviction that mental illness is part of the human condition and deserves the greatest of empathy, support and kindness, then why not shout it from the rooftops? But your heart and mind have to be convinced and be brave.

      1. I dislike the phrase “this too shall pass”, because not necessarily. For some people, the negative thoughts of depression don’t just go away unless you really work to make them go away.

        “Even going through the mental health system, there is no guarantee you will get a good fit.” – Not all therapists are good. And you really need to find the right one for you. It sucks trying to find one the right fit.

        “Stigma be d*mned! That, to me, is the least of anyone’s problems. Somehow I have never cared about that and have always spoken openly about issues of depression.” – It’s awesome that the stigma never affected you, but it does for a lot of people. It’s not that the stigma is the worst of the person’s problems, but it does stop them from getting help. Either because they have a negative view of mental illness, they think they will be made fun of, or they think it will affect their jobs.

        1. “It’s awesome that the stigma never affected you, but it does for a lot of people. It’s not that the stigma is the worst of the person’s problems, but it does stop them from getting help. Either because they have a negative view of mental illness, they think they will be made fun of, or they think it will affect their jobs.”

          Oh, the stigma was there, I just didn’t let it stop me. You are right, the stigma, compounded by extreme vulnerability and inability to think straight and social concerns makes this almost impossible to deal with.

          To clarify, I meant when you are strong, during the good times, that’s when you make your mark, that’s when you talk about it and enlighten others, that’s when you reach out. Sometimes, I would deliver the message almost casually, as if this is just a part of life. Thanks for helping me make it clearer.

          I do think you have to know yourself really well and what you stand for. This is not a cause for everyone, and most people just want to get through it with their lives intact. But how change the stigma, if not by starting with ourselves and dealing with the shame?

          As for “this too shall pass”. I meant the fallout from the divorce. I am not assuming anything else from the information given.

          1. Oh my bad. I’ve heard from so many people who don’t understand depression that “this too shall pass” or “it’s gets better”, when I’m like “you have no idea what’s going on, you have no idea what kind of negative feedback loop I have to deal with”. So that’s what I thought you meant from that phrase. I misunderstood.

            Re the stigma: I think it depends on the person. For some, social anxiety and shame are bigger factors in their depression, so the stigma affects them more. I understand what you mean about knowing who you are and what you stand for, but I think that’s easier for some than for others. When your entire view of yourself is predicated on a false idea due to depression from an early age, it’s harder to find who you truly are and what you want to be. So a huge part of overcoming that depression is changing your entire view of yourself.

          2. I just reread my “It’s awesome” line and I realized that could be read as snarky and rude. I did not intend it that way, so I apologize if it came across that way.

      2. KMR
        I dislike that phrase too.
        Appreciate what it means, but i’m hearing it too damn often lately.
        Fallout from my divorce is uprooting my entire life. I feel like i’m losing an entire world. In that way I feel like the fallout will never end. I’ll feel that loss my whole life.

        Maven
        I do appreciate your meaning behind it and thank you.

    2. That’s the thing, people don’t commit suicide because they think it will be cool or easy. They commit suicide because they think that is their only option.

      It bothers me so much when people say those who commit suicide are “selfish” and they should just “think of all the people who love them”, because a lot of the time those who are contemplating suicide truly believe that their friends and family would be better off without them in their lives as a burden.

      So being told that the thoughts they are having are selfish and wrong makes them feel like even more of a burden to their friends and family. And they can’t ask them for help because they would be burdening them even more. It’s a terribly vicious loop.

      I hope you’re okay, Runaway. If you ever need to talk about something in an anonymous setting, we’re here for you. Or you can email me directly if you want (my email’s in the sidebar), though that’s a bit less anonymous.

      1. Clinical depression distorts thinking and truncates the future- that’s why it’s called an *illness*. People with suicidal ideation think there is no way out. They are in such a hell, that they just want relief. If they believe there is no way out, and that they can not reach out to anyone, this seems like the only option, just to make it stop.

        The biggest red flag for suicide is if people have planned what they will do. That is always my first question, “Have you planned anything, thought of how you would do it? Have you set anything in motion?”. If they have a clear, concrete plan, they need to get professional help immediately. Often, if the plan is set, they become serene, at peace.

        Asking this question may seem indelicate and just giving them ideas, but it is vital. Vital.

        1. There is a great quote from David Foster Wallace about suicide:

          “The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.”

          That’s really it. A person only commits suicide if they truly do not see any other way out.

          1. I appreciate that KMR
            I’ve survived an attempt before. I’ve certainly considered a plan recently. I won’t put it into action though.
            If I was to it would destroy my mother and brother and I don’t want to cause them suffering.
            Being honest that’s the only reason.

          2. Runaway,

            Having your entire life uprooted can be devastating, and having a good support system is vital. Hopefully your mother and brother are there for you since it’s obvious that you care very much about them, but if you ever need some extra support, we’re here for you.

            Virtual hugs.

  13. Thank you for sharing your story and your thoughts with us today KMR!! You have built such a wonderful community here, one where people from all walks of life feel safe sharing the struggles they have gone through or are currently going through and for that I want to say Thank you.

    For all the criticism I lobbed onto the Duchess yesterday, I will give her credit for getting people to start talking about mental health issues and the stigma surrounding them. When I was young I was quite an odd child with no friends at school and during a particular tough time I was forced to see the school counselor and let me tell that really didn’t help change anyone’s perception of me, if anything it only resulted in further ostracizing. While I don’t know the answer to how to make it easier for young people to seek out the help they need, I hope that by furthering these discussions answers will be found.

    1. Thank you, Lauri.

      I feel you about the ostracizing. I, too, had no real friends in elementary and middle school (though I did build some friendships in high school) and if I had gone to counseling or something like that I would have been bullied even more. It would have been just one more thing they could make fun of me for.

  14. I liked what you said about Kate, how she inspired a discussion about mental health. For my college english class, I recently wrote an essay about a short story and was able to tie it in to mental health issues and would never have done that without the Duchess’ recent campaign. Whether you respect or admire her, she might have inspired just 1 person to seek help from one of the charities she has visited and that is really something. And I hope you remember as well KMR, while sharing your story, you might have inspired someone as well and that’s incredible.

    1. Exactly. Even if Kate only inspires a handful of people, it’s better than not inspiring those people. For some people, she may have made a real difference.

  15. KMR, that took so much bravery to open up and share your thoughts. Thank you . Children and adolescents need people they can trust and help support them. I agree it is the stigma particularly for my parents generation. I am sorry I can not post anymore at the moment. Does not mean I do not care.

  16. KMR, thank you for sharing your story with us.

    I’ve also suffered from depression too. I grew up in an abusive household as I’ve shared before. And when my mom remarried it only got worse. Her then husband molested me for years until I literally walked away. I gained control of my body, but felt that my mind was slipping.

    I’ve heard people within my family tell me the I got over it quickly or rebounded well. I want to say that there’s no getting over depression. It’s always there. Some days it is as big as a canyon and others as small as a grain of sand.

    I applaud the dialogue, but I do think Kate needs to be cautious with her words. These are real life issues that need to be supported and not just be a flavor to her.

    Sending much respect and light to you all.

    1. Virtual hugs, Rhiannon. Thank you for sharing your story; it’s takes a lot to open up. Stories like your make me cry, and then make me want to stab the offenders. I’m so glad that you were able to get away.

      I agree with you that depression never leaves you. It’s a struggle every day to keep it from overcoming you.

        1. Oh, rhiannon. My heart is saddened by what you have been through. Your amazing strength is a gift. I can certainly understand how depression can stay with you. Know that you are loved by us all and we are here for you. What an incredible community this is. Thank you for sharing with us and for always being a bright light on this blog.

  17. KMR-I found it especially poignant when you related about waiting at the emergency and having to take care of your mom and her problems. What child deserves this? Parents are supposed to take care of their children not the other way around. I always wondered what made you stay and suffered instead breaking away. (I hear about girls leaving home since mom and dad made them wash the dishes.)

    I am pharmacist and took a real interest in mental health a couple of years ago. Last year, I took a deep down dirty course about mental health and the medications involved in order to focus and serve this population better.

    So mental health is very hot right in the health care sector. I do commend the Duchess for “embracing” this area. However, I am quite suspicious since you’re bound to get LOTS AND LOTS of attention if you dive into a very hot sector.

    1. Conditioning. Conditioning made me stay. When you’re conditioned to believe a certain way about yourself, it makes it very hard to break free of that.

  18. Thank You KMR for the work that you do and for opening up this platform from people all over the world to come and talk in a safe space. Thank You also for sharing your own personal struggles with depression- I hope that doing this blog and talking here also helps you, as it is helpful for a lot of your fans and readers 🙂

    I am glad to know that there is a better focus and knowledge on mental health now than there was even 10-15 years ago- it helps with the destigmatization. When I was in high school, I was quite socially isolated and suffered depression as a result; I had no idea where to go to seek help and I do not think there was any school social worker for me to speak to. I am not sure if I would have even had the courage to admit to myself that I needed help, even if it had been there. So I really had to rely on my own resilience and threw myself into volunteering, studies and got a part-time job, in order to keep myself busy and be tired- less time to consider my own thoughts. It helped to a degree. But my lack of self-esteem, isolation and depression led me to some stupid decisions too, like getting into a relationship with a verbal abuser.

    1. Oh Red Tulip! I hope you are out and away from that verbal abuser! I’ve been there, done that and after growing up with a bully and then getting into an abusive relationship I know how hard it is to get out and away. Make sure you come here often as we (collectively) will make sure you don’t feel alone.
      In the meantime can I leave you with this thought?
      You are allowed to say “NO” and you have the right to say it when ever you feel like it.
      And if you are feeling unsure about this then say to yourself “Cathy says I have the right to say NO”
      *sending virtual hug*

    2. Social isolation is a huge deal and causes a lot of problems. We hear and read a lot about bullying, about physical violence and verbal abuse, but isolation is also a form of bullying – when kids ignore and shun you.

      About not accepting counseling had it been there: exactly. We need to end the stigma around mental health so that people are free to admit they need help, seek it, and accept it.

      I hope you are no longer in that relationship. Verbal abuse can be much worse than physical abuse, and have longer lasting effects. Virtual hugs, Red Tulip.

  19. I do think Kate was playing at work, after all she only spent a couple of hours on the job. She had better not slip up and neglect this topic!

    I have to say that, to me, she has steadily gotten worse over the years and I don’t think Jason’s PR has helped her at all. In fact I kinda feel that William was thrown to the wolves in a way as making William look worse would make even the little that Kate does look better.

    But I have revised my opinion as without Kate we wouldn’t have this blog and without this blog I wouldn’t be in cyber contact with some pretty amazing people.

        1. Yes, Kate gave us each other and KMR, major thanks to you for this blog!

          I am deeply moved by these stories. Red Tulip, Cathy, we are here for you, too.

  20. Thank you, thank you, to all of you who have the courage to relate what you’ve been through and to those of you who are willing to show a way out to those of us who have yet to find one. Thank you.

    1. To you, PP, if you need a way to find a way out of a situation, know that others will support you and be of any assistance that we can be. KMR is so right. Kate has brought us together and we are reaching out to one another. Maybe, that is the gift she has to give the world. And, she may not even know it.

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