Creative writing: sharing my experience of depression and anxiety

Jerry blogs about mental health for Time to ChangeAs a teacher of Creative Writing I am always telling my learners that they need to use their life experience as a well to draw on for their writing. Some of the exercises I give them to do involve tapping into their memories and using their senses as a guide, including their remembered feelings.

I often tell them of my experiences of anxiety and depression...

I am aware that this can be highly emotional for some people, especially if the task involves remembering a certain age or time in life. I always encourage them to not waste their emotions and experiences and whenever they have a bad time or a difficult episode to record it. As an example I often tell them that I have had some ‘issues’ with anxiety and depression during the past few years after my father died at a coincidence of crises in my life and that to capture the feelings in a written record has been cathartic for me and potentially valuable in my writing.

It is amazing how many times people respond to my frankness by telling, sometimes in open class, about their own experiences. And even those who have not had such problems tend to join in with different kinds of experiences of their own. I am a very up-beat, positive character as a teacher and we have a lot of laughs and a great deal of fun and I am sure it comes as a surprise to many people that I have had mental health issues.

Sharing can be scary...

There are always those in the class, of course, who are unable to relate personally to these revelations but I have always found it a positive and helpful experience to be open in this way and have felt higher levels of association with my learners as a result.

Sharing personal experiences like this with a group of people that you don’t know too well can be a bit scary but when I do so I am reminded that I am far from alone in this, even though it can sometimes feel like it. We don’t usually dwell on our problems in the group, after all, it’s Creative Writing and not mutual self-help, but I am always pleased that I felt able to make one more step in dispelling the stigma attached to mental health issues and that others may now also feel able to do so too.

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Comments

my depression and anxiety

i find it really hard for anyone to understand how i feel and how it affects my life on a day to day basis, to start with and for a very long time no one understood how hard it was including doctors. i tried suicide once but was stopped by my friend and then tried it again a year after. once i got the help i needed and started talking to my mum and friends about it i felt better and i am now on my way to recovering from it although sadly my anxiety will always be with me i feel i have taken a massive step, if i was going to give any one advice about anxiety and depression i'd say remember how important your life is and how important you are to your friends and family, there's always a better solution

anxiety and depression

im also a sufferer of anxiety and depression and ive ad it for over a year i have an 11 year old son and a partner and we live seperately he doesnt live with me,i try to keep my anxiety away from my son for his sake because i dont want him to pick up on it or to have panic attacks,my partner doesnt understand my anxiety or depression i wont get intimate aswell because it affects that aswell,im on tablets and av been on them a while when im starting to feel funny i av to take one if ive missed one

debbie reply

I also have a twelve yr old son,i have had panic attacks and depression for several years, I have had lots of different medication and therapy, people that don't understand just tell me to pull myself together,that really gets to me cos I just wish it was that bloody easy,still strong,and don't let the buggas grind you down x

My experience with anxiety

I've suffered from anxiety for about four years, on and off. The symptom i get iss called detatchment and i literally feel like im not part of the world or even myself. I think it's really important that you dont let the fling of anxiety scare you and make sure you keep getting out there and living your life! I personaly have no idea what brought on the anxiety disorder and what trigers the attacks, and i must admit that sometimes i get sick of fighting just to go out side. It really makes me sad. It really is important that you let people help! Even if they dont understan, you have toe talk to people. Even if it's just to let out your emptions.

getting rid of this poison

I have suffered from anxiety, depression and very low self worth for as long as i can remember. I am currently writing about my life and it feels like i,m finally getting rid of all the badness and poison that has been infecting and affecting my life for so long. Its a struggle everyday to get out of the house and I feel i cannot talk about any of this to anyone even my partner or any doctors as i feel scared so writing about all the fears worries experiences that has been my life has been a great help to me lots of tears but hopefully when the poisons out i can finally heal x

I've been suffering for

I've been suffering for nearly a year with heavy anxiety attacks and panic attacks. I tried talking to a local anxiety service, one recommended by a doctor, but they never replied to my answer phone message or answered the phone when I rang. Doctors seem happy to give me beta blockers which helpS stop the anxiety temporary but does nothing to try and find the route cause of my issues. The whole scenario has not helped my situation at all. It worries me as I don't want to suffer with these problems my whole life, I'm only 27...

I have dippresion and anxiety

I have dippresion and anxiety and I feel as tho its taking over my life i dont know what to do anymore I feel as tho im pushing everyone away I feel as tho I cant take much more befor I end up doing something silly I dont like talking about my feelings I need help

Hi, I'm sorry to hear you're

<p>Hi, I'm sorry to hear you're going through a difficult time at the moment. The Sarmaritans are always there if you need someone to talk to. You can call them on&nbsp;08457 90 90 90 or email jo@samaritans.org or you can find your local branch if you want to talk to somebody face to face:&nbsp;http://www.samaritans.org/branches&nbsp;</p><p>You can also find tips on the Time to Change website about <a href="/talk-about-mental-health/telling-someone-about-your-mental-health-problem">talking to friends and family about your mental health</a> that you might find useful. &nbsp;</p><p>Best wishes,</p><p>Ed<br>Time to Change&nbsp;</p>

GAD / panic

<p>&nbsp;</p><p>Hi i have suffered with GAD and panic attacks for 8 years and have been agoraphobic the whole time.&nbsp; I dont have any family or friends that i can talk too im all alone and scared.&nbsp; I suffer from the moment i wake till the time my eyes eventually close.&nbsp; I cant see anyone i cant go out and i cant sometimes open my door.&nbsp; Im in a very dark place at the moment i feel like im dying everyday is a struggle to cope.&nbsp; J</p>

Depression and anxiety

Don't know where to start ur if anyone will read this but here goes.... My life is not mine any more and has not been for a long time, depression and anxiety have taken over. I hate my life my family try and help but they don't understand ( I hate myself even more cos I am puttin them through all this). I try so hard to hide it from them and try to lead my life normal but it's so hard . I have had help from Doctors and Mental Health teams on and off for a very long time but feel as if I am bein pushed from one places to another. The things that go through my head are unbelievable and to not to act on them are so hard, can't talk about to my family because I don't want to upset them or for them to get mad at me or for people to believe me !!!!! When I can't cope I take loads of pills it's my way of coping I think or my way of punishing myself cos I can't cope. People say go out meet new people its hard when you feel as soon as u walk out side every one is lookin at u talkin about u !!!!! I get scared when I go out it take me all the time just to go out of the front door . That's just some of my life !!!! Just hope some one on here reads this . Thanks for lettin me go on and on and on xx

Depression and anxiety

Depression and anxiety have taken over my life I hate the way I feel. Family try to understand but it's hard for them to understand, it's hard for me to understand, they get mad at me if ( as they call it goin on one ) which makes me feel even more worse so I try and keep it to myself snd that is so hard to do every day. To them if I am ok for a few days its cos I have kept it in put I am like a bottle of fizzy pop bein shaken up I just explode. Doctors and Mental Health have been ok but feel as if they don't believe me and I feel as if I am bein moved from one place to another really don't know how much more I can take x thanks for listernin x

my health anxiety. ruin my life

I have health anxiety and also suffer really bad panic attacks it's taking over my life. my gran died . I got really ill stared gettin really bad migrains to the point I was passing out. thought I had a brain tumor got sent for a ct scan and it back clear and things went dwnhill. I started taking really bad panic attacks. now I am constantly in and out of hospital they are that bad. I suffer every second . I've lost my job. also had to give my house up. my life is falling apart. soo I had to do something I looked on line about health anxiety and there it was. every symptom I experience. wat I dont get is I know wats going on in my head yet. I can't stop it. what actually happens to me is. I get hot then cold.I get all these weird tingly feelings in my body. my arms go all numb. t jst about every day I have sore arms. and also a really sure chest. I've had soo many tests done and everything is perfect. I am over weight so it worrys me as well. coz I barly eat. I get a dry mouth my head gets sore .bad pains in my chest like it's my heart. my body just feels weird. like the whole of my body inside is shaking.I check up just about every symptom online and I even had doctor apps on my fone. honestly don't do this it makes it worse. I'm sick and tired of feeling like this. this is not me at all. I've got a councillor to go to on Monday so I'm looking forward to is that and to get my life on track

anziety

Kayleigh, it is great that you are going to a therapist. But, it is a long road. Do not expect results quickly, after all it took you a long time to get this ill so healing is also going to take a while. The most important thing is to not give up HOPE!!! Therapy requires the utmost honesty and willingness to keep on even when it gets hard. I wish you the best. But, healing is possible if you seek it.

bipolar, depression and addiction and anxiety

I have bipolar , depression, anxiety and also borderline personality disorder but I have to say Im helping myself. I have 2 things for you guys that you all should read and do 1. Dr Joseph J Luciani 2.Brian L wises These 2 have helped me with all my disorders. Im also studying and I have a son and a boyfriend. Life is hard but don't make it any harder and JUST DO IT! love and respect for you all x

Hello, I've had anxiety and

Hello, I've had anxiety and depression over the past few years and it's set me back a fair bit due to not being able to be alone in public by myself. I agree that being open about it is the best way forward. I have a blog where I tell my story and how I'm trying to recover. I'm hoping to raise awareness about how much it actually can effect your everyday life. Thank you

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