July 1, 2017

Blogger Carl writes about anxiety and depression, and why you should be in your mate's corner

I am 34 years old, and I have battled depression and anxiety for about 18/19 years. I have spent long periods in depression, and experienced periods where I have felt OK. However, in the last 12 months or so depression, anxiety and panic disorder took over my life. I struggled to focus on anything thing for any period of time, from work to going to the gym, or even just a shopping trip. I had a constant feeling of panic, or hopelessness, like I was living in fear of something, but I didn't know what.

After a painful life event, due to my illness, I eventually came to the conclusion that I needed to take control, and not let depression and anxiety rule me anymore. I've always been against medication but having started taking antidepressants, I now firmly believe that medication is vital for me, for now anyway. However, I decided that I wanted to do more than take tablets to prevent any further bouts, and so I did a great deal of research on self regulation and care, general well being, mindfulness, and neuroscience. I also attended talking therapy. I was pretty cynical about some of these methods and theories initially.

However, after a lot of reading and therapy I have managed to alter the way I think and how my mind works, and I cannot believe it's taken me all these years to realise to get better I needed to change the way I thought. In the past few years I've changed environments, homes, jobs etc because I thought these were a factor in my depression/anxiety, when the change I needed to make was in my head. I've also discovered yoga and other ways to bring me mental comfort. I don't think I've ever felt so focused, and not filled with a desperate sense of hopelessness, and absolute despair.

I used alcohol a great deal of the time as a way to mask my anxiety especially, and cope with whatever was on mind but all this did was pull me further down. I now only drink alcohol occasionally, to celebrate, toast or to enjoy a drink with dinner, or friends, instead of using it as a mechanism to deal with my anxieties.

I lost the man I love because of my depression and anxiety, but I am determined that they will not take over my life again. I don't believe every day will be a breeze but I can confidently say that I don't want to ever feel like I did when I was at my lowest, with what felt like the weight of the world on my shoulders. The feeling of hopelessness, and constant panic has been replaced with feeling calm, content and able to focus on the now.

During my research and reading I discovered lots of people who suffer different mental health issues don't talk about it much, if at all, but when people do share stories they then realise they aren't alone, and others are experiencing the same.

Having battled depression and anxiety for such a long time I have really struggled in the past to open up and share with others what I was going through for fear of people's (negative) reactions.

However, now that I’ve started to talk openly to people about my struggles, it's something I wished I had done sooner. I cannot emphasis enough how important it is for anyone suffering with ill mental health to talk to others. But, yet more importantly, for anyone who thinks they know someone who is struggling with their mental health, be an ear, listen, and help them understand that they are not alone, and that once they start talking they will feel better that they've opened up to someone.

A huge turning point for me was actually realising that I wanted to get better and make changes, and be in control of my life again. So far those I have spoken to have been nothing but thankful that I have told them about my past struggles, and few have gone on to tell me they have suffered in the past, and know what it's like. I am eternally grateful for these reactions, as I know full well that many do not receive such kindness when they do open up. If more people are understanding and empathetic about mental health problems, we’ll all be better off!

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Too many people are made to feel ashamed. By sharing your story, you can help spread knowledge and perspective about mental illness that could change the way people think about it.

Comments

Your article

Thanks for sharing Carl, I too lost the man I love because of my anxiety and depression. I'm 36 and have had these conditions for 20 years and only been correctly disagnosed in the last year and I echo your advise to talk and raise awareness. I've been delivering a lot of talks and awareness sessions with the aim to help others.

Depression

Hey readers, i am 23 and been struggling with depression for a year. And i don't see anything except darkness. I am so done with my life. Is depression a chronic life-long disorder? From which you can't recover??

There is light!

Hi Ammara, I wanted to reply to you as I noticed no one else had. Depression is not always something that is a lifelong battle. It effects everyone differently of course. If you learn ways of dealing with depression and coping at a younger age, it could very well save you the life I've lived. Get help. Don't dwell in the darkness. Tell your doctor in the first instance, and grab all the help they can give you. That's when the first sparks of light will find you. I am 38 and have suffered with depression on and off since my teens. Unfortunately, I didn't think I was worthy enough of being given help until I was 32. When I eventually got help, I wished I'd sought it out sooner. Depression and anxiety are still something I'm battling with, but I have come a long way in 5 years. I've had a recent dip in the darkness unfortunately and I went straight to my doctor who has helped me with support. One thing I know for certain is that there is always light beyond the darkness! You just need to look for it. There's no reason why you should stay living in the dark. Make good choices and stay strong x

Inspiring

Just want to congratulate you for taking the steps in the right direction. I personally deal with anxiety and depression. I used alcohol and food to mask the symptoms for over 10 years. I started researching the root causes. I realized too that it's the way you portray your thoughts. I quit drinking, started doing yoga, and ate a plant based diet. Over time this helped but I would still get panic attacks during group settings or anxiety at the least. I started changing my mind, build confidence, and allow anxiety to happen without fighting it. It started to get better. I am against medication but i will say I am taking clonazepam during stressful moments. This helps but hopefully I will continue engaging my mind in pushing out negative thoughts to not take the medicine anymore.... good job though! I have also spoken out loud about my issues and that helps too. I wish people could open up when in need more than stay quite. Just need to keep pushing forward

Depression

Hi Andrew miller I keep away from the alcohol now I've never drank though the week but on a weekend I used to drinks loads on a Friday and a Saturday I think it's helping me I no for for sure I need to get sorted this time I'm up and down like a yo yo thank for listening

enxiety and depression took over my life

reading your story gives me hope. i am a mother of three childre and suffering from enxiety, depression and panic disorder. tried to end my life last year. just want all these voices and thoughts to just stopped. I am tired.

Depression

Hi Zakia it's doing me good to talk to people with this we should talk a lot more too everybody I lost my dad a year gone March and a brother a year before my wife had breast cancer my son had a bad car crash in 2012 there is always somebody worse if we might not think that at the time though good luck thanks for listening

you'll soon realize that by

you'll soon realize that by talking to your friends about your problems will be such a burden for them. then you'll isolate yourself again because you dont want to be a burden and then hello... it gets back to the cycle :(

Depression and anxiety

I've suffered depression and anxiety for 14/16 year now but since Christmas it's hit me 3/4 times I've got a loving family I'm 46 years old I have good days and not so good days I've lost all interest I used to love going to my caravan on a weekend now I'm not interested I'm on medication for the doctor ive been taking the same antidepressants for years now then a couple of week ago he put me on beater blockers to help with the panic attacks going to work used to help me then last week I had a panic attack at work I'm supposed to go back tomorrow but I'm panicking about it thanks for listening

Depression

I have battled it for years, probably 30 years. Until about 10 years ago I never really knew what I was dealing with, the moments of anger and total frustration with the way my life had unfolded. I carried on thinking what I was experiencing was the way life was to be. One day I crashed, mentally disintegrated. Get going again and a few months later crash again. The times spent struggling to get out bed to face the day, face my problems. I have written about it but the thoughts don't really convert to appropriate words and it just becomes another story. The deepest emotions remain hidden they don't fully surface when you are out of the dark mood. The memories recede to some place where they hide, only to resurface when you don't expect it. I have tried to write about it and it does seem to help. Maybe I will write again and do better.

Depression

I feel talking to people helps me I've only recently getting help with the mental health team I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy I'm back to work now but it's a constant fight in my head it's high time this all could be sorted in weeks in stead of months or years thank u for your reply

depression and anxiety

i am 12. i have battled with both anxiety and depression without the help of my parents and i took help from online therapies, everyday battles, spirituality. though i still have them but still i know how to let them go and wanna tell u all, including my parents that i am not a crazy kid who is just saying casually that they have mental illness. please start taking this topic seriously. it's serious.

Alex

Your only 12? How brave of you to comment in here mate. Hang in there and keep your chin up! Things do and can get better keep in touch with your friends and i dnt mean just through facebook! All the best from a fellow sufferer.

Depression

I'm so over whelmed. I'm not sure what and how to cope with the new events confronting me. My main concern is finding a new place to live that will allow me my fur babies. I don't think I can go on without them. I need help and I don't know where to turn. HELP ME PLEASE.

I've suffer from chronic

I've suffer from chronic bouts of depression, low self esteem.I was bullied and beaten as a child. My father wasn't good to me. My depressions gotten progressively worse as I got older. I used intense exercise as a coping mechanism for 20 years. I was managing. I injured myself very badly a few years ago. Now I'm unable to exercise and never will be able to do so again, im only 39. My depression, despair and loneliness have increased massively. I lost my job, my only relationship fell apart. I am having counseling and trying meditating but it seems to make no difference and won't change that fact that I'm unable to do the activities I once loved for the rest of my life. I feel completely trapped in a broken body. I thought time would change things..but now I don't feel as though I can cope with life anymore. I'm lost and want to believe that somehow life will naturally turn for the better.and somehow I'll finally find a way through to feel joy and happiness on my life. I feel dread and hopeless. When I go to sleep I wish that I won't wake up. I'm trying to get through this..I don't know how. I'll give it some more time...try to work through it but I can't continue if things don't change...I think it's ok opt out if you've expanded at the options. I can't see the point in living like this. Life is empty and lonely for me.

Sorry to hear you've been struggling

Dear Jimmy, thanks for your comment. It sounds like you have been through a lot and had a really difficult time. Feeling this way can make it very difficult to believe that anyone, or anything, can help. But you can challenge these feelings. You can choose to live and there are people who can help you with that. How are you doing at the moment? Take care of yourself, Dom at Time to Change

Anxiety depression too!

I am not currently taking anything for my depression and anxiety because sometimes I think it’s my social life which pacts immensely on my low moods. For instance the mature I have become I have realised my friendships are not how there were I feel I have grown apart from them. Some friends while in their company are on their phones and I may aswell be sat alone. Any topic I bring up in conversation is limited or sometimes they do not even respond they happily speak and txt on the phone to others like I’m not even there. I know this does. Or relfect me as a person but it does themZ they are addicted to social Media to the lint they zone out. I feel I am loyal to my fiends but feel they ain’t. I also feel I am unable to trust them due to past events etc and how they have been. I feel lonely on a evening apart from My son. Everything seems an effort to me where as 3 years ago I was much happier and planned alsorts with my son now I can’t even be bothered. I mean I cook I clean we are always out on time, but Im doing the motions but I’m unhappy. That’s all they are is motions. I ain’t happy, but I don’t even feel i can open up to anyone but family. And the odd friend however I beleive that would get reappeared and past on to others. Also imcreasly over the past two years my anxiety is increasing I worry so much and become so nervous around people I do not know every well and I need to get out of the situation

Anxiety and depression.

I have been suffering from anxiety/depression for about 30 years. Teenage years weren't that bad it's just been these past 6 months been worse. I think mine is hormonal and I have also just started new job which I never done b4. I have been on many antidepressants and none seem to work. I don't like the side effects and only on them for a few weeks and don't give them chance. I on beta blockers which I been on for about 4 years but I don't going they work. Been on many other meds for anxiety but don't work, doctors think it's me and I don't want to get well as people say I not trying and I am scared of living. I have low self esteem and I feel like I don't want go be here and end my life. I have tried everything but it's effecting my sleep got headaches all the time. I fall out with my hubby as I am snappy all time and I kids I snap for no reason. I just want you get home that coping stage. I am just taking prescribed anxity med at most but don't like it I just don't like medication. A few years ago I used to run a lot xnd do exercise went gym was socialising more and my anxiety nearly dissapered and was OK for months till something started it of. Money and having no job makes me worse i just started being a carer as got told I be good at it as I be helping others worse of than me. I am nervous about going to work as it's been a while and it's something new. I am 47 and have 2 children which r healthy a loving husband a grandaughter and one on way. I think I have nothing g to look forward to. I need a holiday but even put that off now. I have had cbt which did work for a while but I finished my seasonal job and I was back at sq 1. I am sick of dipping the strategy I learned while doing therapy should get house through but getting told i not following what I been told. All I want is to be happy and positive as I think negative all time.I know I can do it but it's doing it snd keeping it at bay. I don't want to die but feel I want to go get rid of pain but I have nothing to worry about at all and I don't know shy I make myself I'll. I hope I get used to this new job as these past 4 weeks have been the worse of my life and very stressful. I just hope I can get throughe this. The best present I can give my mum and family is to be oK.

Anxiety has returned

I'm 27 and have been suffering from anxiety on and off for the last 10 years. I have bouts of severe anxiety mixed in with periods of feeling relatively okay. In the past month or so I have been feeling anxious again and I can't work out what has brought this on. I'd been in a good headspace lately and I'm so scared that I'm slipping backwards. I don't know whether I should talk to someone or let the "phase" pass.

Sorry to hear you're struggling

Hi Mel, sorry to hear you're feeling anxious again. How are you doing now? If you are still feeling anxious it might be worth getting some support. Here are some useful services in case: https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/mental-health-and-stigma/help-and-support Take care, Dom at Time to Change

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