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  • Writer's pictureMax Walsh

This photo of myself from about 10 years ago makes me so uncomfortable

But I am sharing it with you for mental health awareness week. There are few photos of me over the years following this one, which I am glad of for, as it was clear I was not ok.

I can see so much in this photo that nobody else can. That’s the thing with mental health, it’s not always obvious.

In this photo my name was still Courtney. I had recently been assaulted by a family member for the last time. You can see some bruising on my arm, but not the rest of it, nor the dog bite on my chest.

Neither can you see the condition of my mental state (alright the questionable dress sense might be an indicator) that had me on strong prescription drugs. Nor the other drugs I was self medicating with.

About this time I became homeless, living in my car, and developing Cotard Delusion; a rare mental illness where the patient believes they are already dead. This illness is usually combined with severe depression and psychotic disorders, of which I had many episodes of. I dealt with the police many times and doctors wanted to section me on a mental illness ward.

I was there, but now I am here. I don’t need to tell you that I am doing much better nowadays, it is clear to see.

It can get better.

But you got to do something about it.

I know that isn’t what you’re supposed to say, but it’s the truth.

Nobody was going to save me.

I had to do it myself.

And if I can do it, so can you.

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