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This year we want to dispel the myth that the third Monday in January (18 January) is the most depressing day of the year and remind people in Hampshire that depression is a serious condition that can affect people on any day. Common symptoms include inability to sleep, seeing no point in the future, feeling disconnected from other people and experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Emma, aged 28 knows about this only too well, her depression started aged 13, when she suffered at the hands of bullies at school. She began to question her purpose, struggled to get up in the mornings and felt life had little meaning. Her depression continued and a few years later she started to self harm, hiding this from her friends and family. Her depression hit a peak, and she attempted to take her own life aged just 19. She was rushed to A & E at the Queen Alexandria Cosham and spent time in counselling and on the psychiatric ward. As Emma started university in Bournemouth, she was able to gain control over her depression and find help and support.

Emma says “I wasn’t aware of what depression was, what sources of support were out there or that speaking to someone who isn’t close to you can help you heal.” She has now recovered and works as a practitioner at italk, our psychological therapies service which we deliver in partnership with Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.

We want to remind people in Hampshire that depression can happen at any time. italk and Solent Mind is available to help people throughout the year. If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one then it is important to seek support. Visit italk.org.uk or call 023 8038 3920.

To join the conversation on Twitter use #BlueAnyDay.

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