We’ve made a lot of progress in Australia when it comes to discussing mental health issues, due in part to the celebrities who have been open about their own struggles, and those who have lent their talents to the various campaigns aimed at those who have been suffering in silence.
The overall message: You are not alone. There is help available.
Still, there's something comforting about Oprah joining the conversation. In her most recent edition of O Magazine Oprah has shared her experiences with how mental illness has effected many of her loved ones.
She says one of the biggest lessons she's learned is that you, "...can't talk someone out of depression."
"In recent years I've come face-to-face with mental illness, as several people close to me were hospitalized with severe suicidal depression, and manic and schizophrenic thoughts. More than once I've sat in the psych ward waiting to hear the diagnosis."
It's a harsh lesson for those who watch people close to them struggle with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. You can't fix them, you can't help them, all you can do is accompany them on their journey to wellness. All you can do is be there to hold their hand.
My husband learned this last year when I faced a crisis of my own. I'd been carrying around my own secret struggles, functioning enough for most people to accept that I was okay until last year when my son was diagnosed with autism and it all came crashing down.
There was nothing he could do or say to make it better.
I'm a good talker. But I soon learned that you can't talk someone out of depression. Mental illness is real. And like everything else in life, it operates on a spectrum. Though there are common symptoms, everyone experiences it differently.
Yet so many people live in shame, hiding their struggles or not even seeking help.
Tomorrow will be better...
Tomorrow I'll do better...
I just have to chill out...
I just have to calm down...