Lost Childhoods to Mental Illness

(Photography by Maria V Kaz Photography)

In 2018, 730 10-24 year olds took their own live in Britain. That equates to 2 per day. This isn’t given anywhere near enough attention as it should. What’s even less spoken about though, is those who survive their childhood, existing as opposed to living. 

Whenever I look back at my childhood, I mainly see 2 things. Emptiness and bad memories. Prior to experiencing depression, I had little to no issues with my memory. The only issue I can recall experiencing was adults in my life surprised that I was unable to remember things from when I was younger. I always thought that was normal, considering I was under the age of 10 when these memories occurred. Once I started to experience depression, things changed. As an adult, I now struggle to get the whole picture when looking back at my childhood and teenage years. Whilst I remember things here and there, there are large chunks I simply do not remember. The things that I can remember are blurry and vague. I can remember a handful of places that I used to go, but I have no idea what I used to do whilst there. 

Whenever I look back at my childhood and adolescence, the overwhelming thing that pops into my mind are bad memories. These could either be general things that I wish could have been different, specific days that things happened or recurrent issues that I experienced. Many say your school years are the best years of your life. I couldn’t disagree more. When I was a teenager I wished that I could fast forward to being an adult. That is a wish that I have no regrets about. 

For many, childhood is the best time of their lives. For others, all they see is pain, bad memories and numbness. 

Having started experiencing depression at 16, this has taken over all my memories. Whether it be the nights I was suicidal at 17 years old, the emptiness I felt whenever I did activities that I’d usually enjoy or the erasing of any good memories I had as a child, looking back depression is the main thing that I see. 

The shoes, representing those who’ve died by mental illness (both suicide and other causes of death linked to mental illness), were donated by members of the public. 

This will be spoken about more in depth in my book that I am currently writing.

Thanks to Kwafers hair dressers in High Barnet for allowing me to use their space to collect donations.

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