There was a really short article in The Independent a few days ago in which Caroline Flack's sister and mother revealed details about the Love Island presenter's long history of mental health struggles.
According to her twin, Caroline had struggled with mental health issues for most of her life, but especially so during the years leading up to her tragic suicide. All of these difficulties as well as other contributory factors, are to be discussed in a documentary which will be aired later this month.
I wrote about Caroline in February, and I particularly remember her Instagram post which stated that she had reached out to someone to discuss her mental health only to be called 'draining'.
I've been called 'self obsessed' and 'self indulgent' in the past when trying to explain depression to non-sufferers. Comments like these can really harm the sufferer because they intensify the shame and guilt, and can even be enough to drive someone to suicide.
Circumstances can also play a role in the downturn of a person's mental health, and although sadness, grief and heartbreak are not depression, they can certainly be instigating factors for its development.
Caroline was going through a relationship breakdown as well as a very public court case at the time of her death, which almost certainly contributed to the catastrophic downturn in her mental health.
In the documentary, sister Jody reveals that Caroline 'found heartbreak impossible' and went into deep depression after each romantic relationship, a pattern that her sister says 'continued forever'.
She explains that Caroline would self-medicate by taking pills and drinking alcohol, ending up in an A&E situation on multiple occasions.
Relationship breakdowns can be especially hard for those that are predisposed to mental illnesses. People with depression are much more likely to suffer as a result of a relationship breakdown than non sufferers, with heartbreak very often instigating an episode of self-doubt and mental darkness.
I spoke to a friend the other day who identified that my patterns of depressions seemed to mirror my relationship statuses and after thinking about it, I realise that she may have a point.
It's true that breakups were enough to send me into a downward spiral, but I was also using romantic relationships as a 'plaster' to whack over my depression.
The illness would be masked for a while and then the plaster would be unceremoniously ripped off, exposing the untreated gash of depression once more.
This happened so many times that I can now confidently say I that do not want a relationship ever again! The risk of damage to my mental health is too great, and I will never again risk going into a depression.
I'll do anything to avoid it, which means that I will abstain from all drugs including caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol, as well as traditionally prescribed psychiatric medications PLUS damaging relationships!
The illness has changed me in such a profound way that I don't now need to use other people to plaster over my depression.
Surviving a horrific 20 year battle with mental illness has shown me that I am capable of withstanding an unbelievable amount of pain and anguish and now that I have the ability to function, that in itself is enough for me, I don't need anything else!
I don't now feel the need for relationships, money or success to allow me to feel satisfied with my life - being able to get out of bed without mental anguish and torment is sufficient on its own!
I have added a video to the home page which discusses the pitfalls with romantic relationships and describes the damage that can be done to a person's mental health by engaging in them.
I know that there are many people out there who are suffering like Caroline did as a result of heartbreak, and I think it's something to avoid at all costs!!
If you would like to read the article in The Independent then you can find it here.
A more detailed description of Caroline's story can also be found in an article on the Sky News page which was updated early this morning.
If you are interested in watching the documentary about Caroline Flack, then you can find it on Channel 4 at 9pm on Wednesday 17th March.
Thanks for reading,
Speak to you soon,