From foetal position to full of life, Mandy is out of dark

CURLING into the foetal position while showering was where Mandy Brown found herself during one of her lowest episodes of depression.

Her flawless public facade of bubbliness masked her private despair for many years; however, after numerous attempts to end her life, she repositioned the negative ongoing experience into a positive.

Ms Brown has bravely spoken out about her experience to encourage others to seek help.

The options for help were countless for those in need, she said.

But for her, the option for help didn't become clear until she had her last suicide attempt in 2001.

Her first attempt was when she was just 17 years old, Ms Brown said.

The second followed years later after having been in an abusive relationship at the age of 29.

Her father then passed away when she was 35 which triggered a third attempt. At this stage, Ms Brown was hospitalised and diagnosed with "bipolar mood disorder".

She was unaware of the grief she put her loved ones through until after, she said.

"The third time my (second) husband found me and it took 10 years for him to talk to me about how that made him feel," she said.

"I'm very grateful I never succeeded."

Ms Brown is now determined to share her story, to help others speak up and seek help.

"You need to realise that this is an illness, just like diabetes or a broken leg; you need to go and get help," she said.

"When you're depressed, you cannot see that you have something to give, and everybody has something to give."

"When you're in that really deep place where you think there is no way out of a situation, think again."

"I have recovered from mental illness and I've been well for a long time now."

"Take my advice: there are ways out. You don't have to end it."

Ms Brown's message to those feeling down: visit your GP, or call through to the Lifeline crisis support on 13. 11. 14.

Need help?

Lifeline 13. 11. 14

Headspace 1800 650 890

Mackay Integrated Mental health 4968 3893

Beyondblue 1300 224 636

Topics:  bipolar depression mental health suicide

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