Madness and sadness – let’s discuss…

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W elcome to my blog. Once upon a time, not that long ago, I was Deputy Health Editor on a national newspaper and an award-winning health writer (I also co-wrote a book but I think my mum bought all the available copies). I was doing just fine. But then life happened and now – in addition to being a journalist – I’m other things, too, including a single mum and someone who has become personally well-versed in mental health issues.

All of these things combined have led me to start this blog with the aim of talking about mental health issues, about madness and sadness, when they emerge in the news or when they crop up in the immediate world around me.

I’ve been toing and froing as to whether to make this anonymous or not. After all, I’ve got a child, a family, friends – people who may or may not want to be associated with my ill-health. But as a friend of mine said, ‘You don’t want to add to the stigma around mental health issues.’ As both a health journalist and a ‘real person’, I feel that keeping quiet about matters to do with mental health and unwellness is intrinsically wrong.

And so, on balance, it feels like a responsible thing to do – to let you know that I’m called Martha Roberts and that the stigma surrounding mental health issues is something I want to address – as a journalist, an ordinary person and a mother – and that requires me to take off a socially-constructed mask and say, with my ‘brotherly love’ hands in the air, ‘Here I am!’ I’ve been ranting on about it amongst my friends for ages (sorry guys) so now I’ll write about it, too.

Mental health charity MIND says 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem in any given year. Taking it from the top, in order of how common they are, there’s depression, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), eating disorders, postnatal depression, phobias, personality disorders, bipolar disorder (manic depression) and schizophrenia.

As such, I’m assuming there’ll be people out there who may want to read about these topics, to discuss them, to hang them out in public instead of folding them up and popping them into a drawer marked ‘Too embarrassing to be seen or heard’.

Let it begin…

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Freelance journalist and mental health blogger, based in London UK

5 Responses to “Madness and sadness – let’s discuss…” Subscribe

  1. Linsey January 16, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

    Oooh I think this is a brilliant idea Martha, lots of luck.

  2. Caroline van den heever January 20, 2013 at 5:54 am #

    Well done Martha!!!

  3. zoe January 22, 2013 at 3:38 pm #

    Well done Martha! amazing work xxx

  4. martharoberts69 January 22, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

    Thank you, ladies. I really appreciate it. So much to talk about…x

  5. Hayley January 22, 2013 at 10:18 pm #

    Hi Martha, I am friends with Heidi and Debs, we should talk as not only is my brother bipolar but my mum has recently been suffering from paranoia and spent Xmas in hospital. Heidi and Debs have my details, Hx

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