April 19, 2013

AngelaI was at work when it happened, I broke down. My colleague took me to the company nurse and she contacted my GP and my mum.

My mum came to pick me up and she looked so worried but I couldn't tell her what was wrong. I just did not know. We arrived at my GP and he saw me right away. I explained what happened and in those few moments everything changed."

Angela, you have anxiety, stress and depression." I crumbled. If I am being honest I felt so alone and isolated from everything. My poor mum looked devastated when I told her, as did my dad and my sister.

The next few weeks were dreadful. I didn't want to go out or even see my boyfriend who I was with at the time. In the end he barely texted or called me, it was if I didn't exist anymore. Luckily, I had my family.

They took me to my different counselling sessions and even looked out for local support groups for me, anything to make me realise I was not alone. I was having panic attacks at the thought of going out, convinced that everyone would point and stare. Finally – in about month 4 - I realised something: I was in control, nothing bad was going to happen, no-one would even know I had depression or anxiety.

I got up, got dressed and went to the supermarket with my mum. It felt amazing. Yes anxiety was still hanging around but I could actually feel the depression lifting. Day by day I did a bit more and each day I was feeling better. I returned to my job. However I was told I was no longer capable to carry out my duties as collections advisor. I was forced to leave.

If I did not hand my notice in I would not receive any pay! This did not set me back. I continued to get better and stronger. I left my boyfriend as I knew I deserved better. 7 years on I am happily married and have 2 wonderful children. I still get the odd flare up of anxiety but now I just laugh it off.

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