An Angus man’s battle with depression is to be the subject of a documentary by a Dundee film-maker.
Ben Lawrie, who studies psychology at St Andrews University, struggled with depression while studying social sciences at Dundee College and tried to take his own life in 2013.
A member of the Lib Dems in Angus and the Mearns, Ben went public on his mental health struggles in a blog which was read by film-maker Stuart Burns.
“I’m absolutely thrilled and we should start filming at the end of the month,” Ben said.
“As a mental health activist this is a huge opportunity for me to help raise awareness of mental illness and to help challenge the stigma that surrounds it.”
Student Ben said he struggled with depression despite doing really well in his coursework and being in a happy relationship.
He tried to take his own life in 2013 with an overdose of strong painkillers but woke up the next morning feeling violently ill.
Ben managed to convince his family it was just a bug before he finally admitted what happened to his parents and was referred to a psychiatrist in Arbroath.
He initially refused anti-depressants and insisted on a therapy-based approach before managing to find some meaning in his life which has helped him cope.
Stuart made initial contact with Ben at the end of last year and the short film will be called A Confession of Depression.
Stuart said: “This production came about as a result of a blog post created by Ben. He talked about his fight with depression, leading to his attempted suicide.
“Since then, he has made significant changes to his life and this short film will show how he has managed to cope better with the mental health problems which have been with him for many years.
“After making initial contact with Ben at the end of last year, he was happy to meet to discuss taking this project further.”
Stuart’s first production, Sleepless in Dundee, looked at the plight of homeless people in the city and the various organisations offering them help and support to put their lives back on track.’If I can help one person…’https://www.youtube.com/embed/IKhAcoBY3AQ?rel=0
It has been described as a “silent killer”, affecting around one in five people in Scotland, writes Nadia Vidinova.
Depression is now at the centre of a Dundee man’s homemade films, which he broadcasts to hundreds of viewers on YouTube.
Greig Stott was diagnosed with the condition in September, after years of feeling that something “wasn’t quite right”.
The 35-year-old was inspired to start vlogging short for video blogging when he took a walk one evening and saw posters advertising the Samaritans suicide helpline.
Greig said: “I have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder in recent times, after being attacked by a gang of teenagers in 2011.
“So, I finally went to the doctor to speak about my feelings and after I made that initial phone call I got off the phone and I broke down in tears.”
Around the same time, Greig made his first video about depression called Happiness is the Answer.
He said: “I got a really positive initial response and I haven’t stopped ever since. Since opening up, I have helped myself greatly and doing these videos has been very therapeutic for me.
“If I can make a difference to just one person’s life or their day, then I have been successful.”For advice on the services available to those suffering from depression, visit www.samh.org.uk.