Depression: personal blogs and stories

We all experience variations in mood – a general low frame of mind, or in response to specific things that happen. It’s also common to hear people say they are depressed if they feel sad or miserable. But depression is a serious mental health problem. It can interfere with everyday life – over long periods of time or in regular bursts.

As depression can be an ‘invisible’ illness, some people find it difficult to understand the effect it can have. They might see depression as trivial or dismiss it altogether. And this can make it harder for those experiencing it to speak openly and seek the help they need.

What is depression?

When you talk about being depressed, you often see people giving you this look, like they’re not quite sure what to do or say... But, don’t ignore them. Make eye contact, bring them crisps, give them a quick ring, listen to them. And tell them it’s going to be okay – until they are strong enough to say it to themselves.”
Christina writes about how depression can be a difficult thing to talk about >>

Depression is the most common mental health disorder in Britain, according to the Mental Health Foundation. It is a very real illness, and debilitating symptoms might include feelings of helplessness, crying, anxiety, low self-esteem, a lack of energy, sleeping difficulties, physical aches and pains, and a bleak view of the future.

Depression shows itself in many different ways, but it typically interferes with a person’s ability to function, feel pleasure or take an interest in things. Find out about symptoms, treatments and tips for managing it on the NHS, Rethink Mental Illness and Mind websites.

The stigma around depression

The hardest part of depression is finding a way to tell people. It is like you are hiding a terrible secret. I think I felt ashamed of myself for getting depression, like somehow I had failed. That’s what depression does to you: it makes you feel like a terrible failure."
Dave blogs about what depression feels like >>

Mental health problems are common, but nearly nine in ten people who experience them say they face stigma and discrimination as a result. This stigma and discrimination can be one of the hardest parts of the overall experience because it might mean lost friendships, isolation, exclusion from activities, difficulties in getting and keeping a job, not finding help and a slower recovery. Equally, stigma can cause us to shy away from the people around us who might need our support.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

How can I help?

The aim of the Time to Change campaign is to encourage us all to be more open about our mental health, and to start conversations with those who might need our support.

Why not find out how you could start a conversation about mental health?

You could share a blog story to raise awareness. You could sign up to receive Time to Change emails. And, you might want to add your name to our pledge wall, joining the thousands of people who are taking small steps to be more open about mental health.

Personal blogs about living with depression

The following blog posts are written by people with personal experience of depression. By talking openly, our bloggers hope to increase understanding around mental health, break stereotypes and take the taboo out of something that – like physical health – affects us all.


The curse of being happy: talking about depression

Chris

Hey, how’s it going today?” said the young guy at the counter in Prêt a Manger, with wide eyes and a beaming smile. 

“I’m OK, thanks,” I said, smiling back. “A bit tired, but OK.” 

“OK? I was hoping you were awesome,” he said, reminding me when he handed over my sandwich that tomorrow could be another awesome day.

If we do keep talking about depression and other mental health conditions, openly, proudly and freely, it will help

I had a dark period of depression for just over two years, not that I knew it at the time. Sadie It had become the norm to feel dead behind the eyes, empty, numb and generally dire at all times.

I experience depression: there is also much more to me and I'm happy to be open about all of it

I have had problems with depression for my whole adult life.  Despite running as fast as I can away from it, with a desperation to put it behind me, it always comes back. For all my successes, for all my acceptance and understanding of myself, for all my progress as a well-adjusted adult, it won't leave me.

Admitting to myself that I had depression and anxiety was hard, but now I'm in a much better place

On my way home on the train with my Dad after having a massive panic attack at university in London, was when I first acknowledged to myself that I needed some help. Physically, the panic attack was the worst I’d ever had, and I ended up being carted off in an ambulance, alone in a big city. I was scared because I thought I was about to die.

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