Kieron has experienced stress, depression and anxiety since hitting his teenage years. As part of #IAMWHOLE, Kieron shares his experience to raise awareness of mental health stigma, in his own words.
It’s been a part of me since I hit teenage years. Stress, depression, I just couldn’t really hold it back half the time, so I learnt to push it back in. When it build up, it builds up, it’s like a balloon, it just pops.
Personal life or school always seemed to have an impact on what happened in my mind and eventually the mind starts to affect the body. It led me to thinking that life is just a never ending cycle of bad, and that nothing could improve. To put it plainly, I didn’t see a future. I couldn’t see myself as a grown man.
First it started with forms of self-harm. I thought pain could relieve pain, and it didn’t. It was a way for me to come up with a relief system, some form of coping mechanism, because I couldn’t come up with anything else. I got help because I tried to do something that nobody should ever have even running through their head. I tried to end my own life. Which was the worst possible moment for not only me, but my entire family.
It just takes time, but everyone can get the help they need.
“The thing is they (YMCA) don’t make it seem like help.
They make you feel a part of a family.”
The common misconception with people either harming them self, having depression or going a step too far is they get labelled quite often as being ‘attention seeking’. In my opinion it is not attention seeking, it’s a way for them to sort of, cry out for help. It is a way for them to say ‘look, I need help but I don’t want to say anything.’ Yes, I would fully admit I was too scared. I wouldn’t want to be sat in that room with three people looking at me thinking this boy has mental problems. The simple fact was I wasn’t comfortable sharing it. I only started talking about it all, after I actually tried to get rid of everything.
Music, it is the one way that I can escape any sort of down feelings I have. At first it was listening to it, then it was creating it from scratch. Now here is the funny part, I’ve never been such a confident guy, but the second I got out singing I felt amazingly comfortable. It was the joy of standing with hundreds of people walking past that I’ve giving them something that I’ve created.
The experience that I’ve had can help others in the same situation as me. It’s not just the support that I give either, I can help people, but the fact I’ve got people supporting me. The thing is they (YMCA) don’t make it seem like help. They make you feel a part of a family. I literally grew up here. It’s a place that’s always been, basically at the bottom of my heart.
Kieron shared his story with Toby Flood to help end the stigma surrounding mental health difficulties for World Suicide Prevention Day, and encourage other young people in need to speak out and seek help.
Kieron now volunteers at YMCA Newcastle’s Space 2, helping to run the music studio and events with the young people accessing the service. If you or anyone you know needs to talk you can contact your GP or Samaritans on 116 123.