ABERDEEN MP Kirsty Blackman has opened up publicly about her 15-year-battle with depression in a bid to smash the stigma that still surrounds mental illness.

The SNP’s deputy leader at Westminster took to Twitter last week to share how she lives her life with the constant “threat of depression”.

“Even years on from my worst points it’s hard to talk about it and to admit the worst of it. And to admit how often I think about it,” she told followers, In a column for today’s The National, Blackman says her depression started during secondary school and has stuck with her ever since.

Loading article content

Only in recent years, the politicians adds, has she started recognising “the earliest of warning signs” and been able to self care, “I’m in a place where depression doesn’t impact on my daily life at all, and I rarely even feel the hint of problems on the horizon.

“I know when I need to step back, take time to re-evaluate and take action to avert issues,” the 31-year old MP writes.

Blackman says she opened up as she no longer wanted to feel ashamed to talk about her mental health.

“I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way to get past the stigma about mental health problems being a weakness is for people to talk about their experiences, when they feel ready to.

“I’m ready now.”

It is estimated that roughly one in three Scots will be affected by mental illness at some point in their life, with depression and anxiety the most common.

According to the Scottish Government’s recently published 10 year mental health strategy, only one in three sufferers who would benefit from treatment currently receive it.

Earlier this year MSP James Doleman opened up about his 40 year battle struggle with mental illness.

Labour MP John Woodcock and former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell have shared their own stories of depression.