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I'm a 22 year old from Norfolk, UK. I openly suffer with severe depression and anxiety with further diagnosis pending. My story is a unique one, I am both a person who has survived a suicide attempt and turned my life into the one I dreamt of and never thought possible but I am also the daughter of a suicide victim, my father died in 2014 when I was 18 and he was the kindest man, he also did lots of work to prevent suicide and gave everyone mental health support, even the prisoners he looked after. For a long time I was abusing substances and sex, I was very ill but refused to admit it and I didn't want help because I was scared and felt alone, I lost track of who I was and found it easier to pretend to be someone else than admit that I needed help and maybe my life needs to change. I am now married, moved out and have a little dog, all things I never thought I would have. I am a growing mental health advocate on twitter (@CUnderwoodUK), have written a book on my fathers suicide, not as a self help but to provide a friend to those bereaved by suicide as there is not much help out there and it is lonely. I blog often a few times a week (charlotteunderwoodauthor.wordpress.com) and have recently started writing poetry. I have found that a mixture of learning self respect and saying no, following my own path, dreams and goals, bouncing on my trampoline in my living room (You can't help but smile when bouncing) and writing daily, has helped me miles in my recovery. I am on medication, I'm on my third and fourth one and they help, though they don't make me different, they just prevent a crisis, I see my GP monthly so we can both keep and eye on my mood and prevent risks and finally, after 8 years of pressing for more support, I am going to receive CBT, Trauma Therapy and Bereavement counseling, I am so excited to start and I am confident that I am going to be able to live a life where I am no longer shackled by my illness, there is no cure, that's true but between helping myself and the help from mental health, I know I will manage it. My only goal now, my passion and dream, is to carve a world where stigma is gone, where there is more support and treatment options from mental health and where suicide no longer becomes such a ever growing cause of death. I have purpose and this dream and it gives me every desire to fight for this till I'm 100. I'd love to write a blog post for you, as my story is certainly one of hope. -- With Best Wishes, Charlotte Underwood Mental Health Advocate and Author
“I have found that a mixture of learning self respect and saying no, following my own path, dreams and goals, bouncing on my trampoline in my living room (You can't help but smile when bouncing) and writing daily, has helped me miles in my recovery.”