James continued, “I couldn’t communicate, even with those I loved best: my family and close friends."
“I know I’m richly blessed and live a privileged life. But it did not make me immune to depression. It is tricky to describe the condition. It is not merely sadness. It is an illness, a cancer of the mind.”
James went on to explain that he felt completely alone in his feelings and even contemplated suicide.
However, after months of suffering he decided to do something.
“I packed my dogs into my car and, telling no one where I was going, drove to a wild part of the Lake District I’ve loved since I was a child.”
In the Lake District, in North West England, James claimed he was able to calm himself with “solitary walks on snow-capped mountains.”
“In the days before, I’d finally confronted the fact that I couldn’t cope any longer, that I wasn’t all right; that I desperately needed help. And this recognition led to a sort of calm: I knew if I accepted help there would be hope. It was a tiny spark of light in the darkness.”
James is hoping by speaking out he can help change the stigma associated with mental illness. James also felt the need to follow in his sister's footsteps, who has long been an advocate for mental health initiatives.
“They believe we can only tackle the stigma associated with mental illness if we have the courage to change the national conversation, to expel its negative associations.”
If you, or anyone you know, is seeking help contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit lifeline.org.au.