For 42-year-old Dawn Cousins from Harrow , depression has always been a damaging part of her life.

She says she has been a silent sufferer of the illness and has even contemplated and attempted suicide during her life.

“Due to my upbringing I've basically suffered from depression since the age of eight.” said Dawn.

The mother-of-four said she wants to help others combat the life-limiting illness with her new book.

Dawn says the book contains helpful tips on how to see the positive side of the day and how to make the best use out of any situation with self belief.

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“I want people to be aware of what triggers depression , as it's held me back in all aspects of my life, from trusting people to holding onto friendships and relationships," she said.

“I've never been married or lived with anyone, which has made a major barrier in my life.

“I'm now saying enough is enough and telling myself to get a grip on the situation, I plan to live a more fulfilling life.

“Although I come across as happy go lucky, it's just a mask to protect other people.

“When you go to a social event, you can't say you're feeling depressed, you just have to put on a brave face.”

Dawn says that this is the reason depression isn't talked about and she wants to change that.

'It's still an illness and should be treated as such'

Dawn Cousins said it's time to say she does suffer from mental health
Dawn Cousins said it's time to say she does suffer from mental health

Dawn and her family have recently been a part of Channel 5 series, The Secret life of the Family, which focuses on different family lives in the UK.

She says that in the programme, she talks about her depression and hopes to help others with the life-limiting condition with her new book .

Dawn continued: “It's time to say 'no I do suffer from mental health, even though it's not a physical illness, it's still an illness and should be treated as such'.

“So far my book is selling like hot cakes and so many people have told me how much they can relate to it and how it has helped them.

“All the readers so far love it and even though they don't all suffer from depression they find it a great insight.

“It is also astonishing how many people have spoken to me, in a whisper that they too suffer from low mood, depression days and struggle just to live.”

Dawn's book How I look so young at 42 & how I'm beating depression , is available online can be purchased at a meet and greet at Wealdstone Library between 6.45 and 7.45 pm on Thursday May 19.