Hi, my name is Chrissie. I am 68 years old and I am from Northern Ireland. I used to make men’s shirts but now I am retired. Now I live in Larne but was brought up as a child in Ligoniel.

This COVID-19 pandemic spread and the lockdown have brought my depression back very bad that I feel like a caged animal. My depression started when I was 16 as I was abused as a child which made me scared stiff of men. I could not open up about it as people would look at you as if you were talking nonsense but then when I reached forty I could not take anymore. I did not want to be here any longer as each day was the same but I knew I could not leave my children with no mum so I talked to my church minister. After forty years all came out among the sobbing so I asked my doctor if he could get me help and he said, “how on earth have you carried this around forty years in your head”?

I was sent to the hospital to see a mental health team from Holly. Well, the first thing they said was I do not know how you feel as we have never been there. I was put on sertraline 200 mg a day and I had to attend every three months for a year and a half. But it never goes away and what upsets me is the same thing that happened to me is still going on.

The positive thing about this situation is that people will learn to not take things for granted and always tell someone you love them for you never know what tomorrow will bring.  I am sharing my story to help others to not keep quiet and speak up for their rights.