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depression – why I care

Depression affects over one million people in Australia and anxiety affects over two million people. These two disorders are serious conditions and there are effective treatments available along with national support groups, such as beyondblue, who can help you deal with depression.

Capril is not about just donning a cape and swanning around saying “Hey look at me.”, it’s a very serious cause. The cape part is because of the one person that brought depression into to the spotlight for myself, Angus, and many others. That one person was Richard Marsland, who at all appearances showed us that he was a happy, entertaining and out there public figure. What none of us knew, even those who worked with him, was that Richard was, and had been for some time, battling with depression. When Richard took his own life, the news hit a lot of us like a tonne of bricks. We just didn’t know it was there, that Richard was suffering from it. To me in particular, it was a wake-up call to a very serious problem. I started to investigate depression and was surprised at the just how common it is and that people feel it is not something they can talk about openly.

Originally Capril was nothing more than one of many themed months during the the two year run of the Triple M radio show “Get This”, hosted by Tony Martin, Ed Kavalee and Richard Marsland. I realised that the idea of wearing a cape while doing everyday activities might seem a bit awkward and people may look at me and think I was strange, but depression suffers can get the same kind of reaction when they try to talk to people about what they are going through. People may know someone who shows the signs and symptoms of depression and think that that person is just ‘wierd’ and that ‘they should get over it’ by stopping being stupid and getting on with their lives.

What surprised me was that when I sat down to think about Capril and what it should do to help out, I realised I know two friends who suffer from depression. For both of them, they were able to get help and deal with the depression. I don’t have a large number of friends, so to find out that over one million people in Australia have depression I know two of them is a little scary. It’s scary because I never even knew until I started Capril and they voiced support of the idea. I knew then I was about to find out just what they go through and how hard it is to come forward and say they have a problem they need help with.

I wear a cape to in April to remind me that while you can have the outward appearance of someone being silly and enjoying life, those who suffer from depression also have that same outward appearance but can hide a serious issue that affects their lives and their mental health. I wear my cape because I am proudly supporting the work of beyondblue, and other like groups and services, who are trying very hard to help those who suffer from depression and to remove those public stigmas that get attached to depression sufferers, while also remembering Richard Marsland.

The scary thing about depression is how the general public treat it and those who suffer from it. Doing a search of the web can return results such as this link on Yahoo Answers. Please note that is an external link to show just how some people can react to those who suffer from depression.

Up until Richard’s suicide from depression I had never cared as passionately about any cause as I do now. I will be wearing my red cape during April and telling people why I care so much about the problems that one person, who I never knew personally, affected me to such a degree that I was willing to raise money to help support beyondblue and try to put an end to what the public currently thinks about depression and those who suffer it.

To find out more about the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety, available treatments and where to get help, visit the beyondblue website at www.beyondblue.org.au or call the info line on 1300 22 4636.

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