I am 24 and was recently diagnosed with depression last year even though my doctor believes ive had it since childhood. Their isn't a lot of opportunities out their for individuals like myself to come together and express their feelings and thoughts without being judged or having a "expert" asking us why we think we feel like that.

I suffer from depression and anxiety, I used to hate that I have a mental illness and I used to hate speaking about it (still do but i am starting to come to terms with it), pretending it wasn’t their because yes, I believed that I have an amazing life, family and job and I used to think "why do I feel like this" "my life is great", is wrong with me. 

I never spoke about my depression because I used to be ashamed of it and hated talking about it but now I am starting to understand that it doesn’t matter how great our lives are and it isn't my fault that I feel like this.

Every day I live in fear of things going wrong, the worst case scenario, and I fight a voice in my head telling me I’m not worth it, I shouldn't be here, everyone deserves better than me, no one would notice if I’m gone and yes, sometimes I know it’s a lie but a majority of the time I believe it and I have the hardest most emotional days where I just want to sleep and never wake up.

Yes I have good day and bad days but every day I wake up, take my medication and interact with family and friends because in my heart I know I am stronger then this illness and I hope that I will one day be one of those many sufferers who will say that have fought their demons and won.

So this is a message to anyone who suffers from a mental illness, you are not alone, as much as I know you think you are, you aren’t, there are sufferers like me who know what you are going through and who understand how it feels to feel alone but you aren’t, you are loved and cared for, even if it’s a stranger (like me) on the internet who you have never met, please message me if you need to chat or just need someone to listen, I am here. 

And for the families and friends who do not suffer from any mental illness but don't know how to help us, you help us enough by just being their and listening to us. You can have bad days and even though we fight our demons, we will listen to you and offer our support because we appreciate you still being by our side on our most hardest days. 
You are strong, brave and awesome

I know you can fight it!!!!

Johanna Davis, United Kingdom