Friday 25 August 2017

My Depression Story

My Depression Story mental health illness help support CBT anxiety panic attacks

(Trigger warning: Depression and suicide are discussed in this post)

I guess it all started when obsessive compulsive disorder began to take over my life. Spending more time in the bathroom washing and bleaching hands than spending time with friends and family are very disheartening. As I spent more and more time as a recluse, my mood started to go down hill. 

I stopped enjoying the things I once did. I felt like a complete failure. All my friends were still at college studying for their A levels while I was at home really struggling. I felt this overwhelming sense of guilt. I had let my family down because I wasn't progressing like I should have been. 

Crying became a daily occurrence. I remember being set off by the littlest of things or things going wrong that definitely weren't worth crying over. Sometimes there wouldn't even be a reason. I would feel so sad, so hopeless that I couldn't help but cry.

Summer 2016 wasn't the greatest three months of my life. Don't get me wrong there were good days. Days where I enjoyed myself, I smiled, and I laughed. There were days where I found a glimpse of hope for the future but these days were often overshadowed by the bad days. 

During these three months, I tried lots of different types and dosages of antidepressants. It's hard to comment on if they helped or not. 

September, I went back to college. It was supposed to be a fresh start. I went to group therapy for my OCD once a week. Unfortunately, it didn't really help. I started the year with a positive attitude. I wanted this year to be better. At the beginning it was, I made friends, and I was settling in well. But depression was always watching from afar ready to pounce when I least expected it. 

Low and behold depression greeted me at the end of October, the start of November for two weeks. There wasn't any reason for this, not that I could identify anyway. That is one of the key things with depression that I don't think lots of people know about; depression doesn't always have to be reactive to a particular event. Sometimes it can just happen out of the blue, but that doesn't mean it's any less real. 

During those two weeks, I spent lots of time alone, crying and feeling overwhelming sad for no apparent reason. I stopped eating breakfast and lunch at this point too. One day I just woke up feeling lighter, less overwhelmed. The depression had lifted slightly, and I managed to pick myself back up. 

The next few months weren't easy though. Constant panic attacks and not eating much at all made studying really hard, but I still seemed to do just fine. Depression didn't surface again until around May time.

My Depression Story help support CBT suicide anxiety panic attacks mind time to change

Things just started to go a bit wrong. My friends were leaving, some of my friends didn't seem that interested in me anymore. I tried to reach out for help, but teachers dismissed my problems. I'm an A grade student, I can't possibly be struggling. If I tried to raise the point that my grades had nothing to do with it, they told me all students were stressed and depressed- I was no different. 

I gave up. I spent more and more time alone, crying, hating my life. I couldn't take it anymore. I had a lot of mini breakdowns. I left lessons a lot, crying. Nobody really cared. This period of worthless, self-hatred and isolation lasted around a month and a half. 

The period came to an end when I found myself on a bridge, contemplating jumping off. It was my last ditch attempt to get help. I decided to go back to college. I told my teacher what had happened. Thankfully this time they listened. I was dismissed for the rest of term and told to look after myself. 

I guess that takes us pretty much up to the present day. Since that day my depression has steadily improved. Although my sleeping has still been affected and most of the time I'm constantly fatigued, I've got so much better. I enjoy doing things again, and suicidal thoughts do not consume my mind anymore. 

Some days are better than others and some days are worse. But I get up, and I keep fighting because that's what I have to do. 

Depression is an illness, not a choice. Like with most other illnesses they can be managed. That's what I do, I manage the best I can through medication, cognitive behavioural techniques and lifestyle changes. 

Having depression doesn't make me weak, it makes me strong. I fight with my brain every single day; the most complex part of the human anatomy. 

Thank you for reading, as always X 

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