Musician’s attempts to get people talking about mental health

An up-and-coming British musician has opened up about his experiences with depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety.

Mikey Lord, frontman of rock band As Sirens Fall, told a recent interview with Kerrang! magazine that he had been living with “depressive thoughts” since he was 15-years-old, but that it took him several years to find the courage to speak up.

The budding vocalist, who says he wants to help end the stigma attached to mental health, launched a charity campaign earlier this year known as We Are Not Dead Yet (WANDY) – which is encouraging others who have encountered depression and anxiety disorder to seek help.

Reminiscing on his own experiences, he said: “I was 15 when depressive thoughts first entered my head. At that age, you’ve got all sorts of strange things happening to you that have never happened before, so balancing your mental health with just being a teenager is difficult – you question how much of what you’re feeling is normal.

“My depression went ignored for a number of years. My first panic attack and symptoms of anxiety came when I was 18,” he said.

Mr Lord, who lives in Yorkshire, urged other people across the UK who have had similar experiences – particularly with anxiety – to seek help.

“Before I was diagnosed, I was scared of myself, and I was scared of talking to anyone about it, because that made it real,” he said.

“I’d known I had a problem with depression for years, but anxiety was a whole different ball game.”

“People don’t feel comfortable sharing their experiences, for fear of repercussions and being judged, and they shouldn’t be – mental illness is the same as any other illness.

“There’s no difference, but for some reason it’s seen as embarrassing and it gets swept under the rug, and that’s why WANDY is there – to shove it out into the open,” he said.

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