RebeccaWhen I was 14 years old, the style of ‘emo’ was rife. Joke upon joke suffocated anyone with dyed hair and skinny jeans, most of them fixated upon depression and self-harm.

I had depression at this stage but for me it was all about avoiding the symptoms. If I felt emotional it was because of hormones, if I had no energy I should go back to sleep, If I couldn’t sleep it was because of my uncomfortable bed.

Excuse after excuse led me to be the biggest hypocrite of them all. In school, it seemed that if you admitted you were depressed it was for attention. If you talked about your feelings you had been listening to too much MCR. And if you hurt yourself you should either ‘get on and do it’ or ‘stop begging for attention’.

I ignored my problems with depression

And so I, as I’m sure many other teenagers did, ignored my problems and blamed it on me being weak. I even laughed along with the awful inconsiderate ill-informed jokes that batted around the school playground like a seemingly harmless bullet that really threatened to be fatal if it hit the wrong struggling teenage girl.

I am 21 years old now, and although I was never a bully, I still feel ashamed for not having the courage to understand and relate to other children. And it wasn’t until only four months ago, with the support of my fantastic mother, I finally admitted to my problems.

I was diagnosed with severe depression and axniety

I gave in to the care my mother was so eager to give to me and I went to the doctors and got diagnosed with severe depression and severe anxiety as well as other symptoms we are yet to find the source of. I was also told the strange episodes I was having were either panic attacks or restlessness and violence due to my condition. And that the strange night time struggles I had were sleep paralysis.

And although I thought I would feel weak and I thought everyone would just laugh in my face like they may have done in school, I feel stronger. I finally knew what all these worrying things were that were happening to me and I knew that it wasn’t just me who had them.

I no longer have to hide what I'm feeling

I may have to take a few pills a day but that gives me the better quality of life I have been craving and it means that I no longer have to pretend and put on a brave face for my friends. Because now, although they have decreased in numbers since school, they have increased in quality and they not only accept me but they help me.

And sure there are the odd slips of the tongue. If I accidentally say I’m feeling nervous meaning little by it, I can see them all tense and repeatedly ask if I’m alright but that’ll wear off. The most important thing is I’m not alone and I’m no longer having to hide what I’m feeling. I’ve finally gained some honesty.

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Comments

Ignoring the symptoms

Hi Rebecca, Well done to you for opening things up. I am at the other end of the spectrum from you age-wise but I have spent my life with well-intentioned people encouraging me and others to pull themselves together and get on with things. Only recently I was bullied into depression and I did not even realise it until I went to the Doctor having had a whole number of sleepless nights and needed to sleep! I was having hell on earth at work and kept trying to carry on regardless. I can't tell you how relieved I was when I started to tell people without fear of ridicule that I was suffering from depression. I suddenly realised that it was OK to mention such things and not feel ashamed or uncomfortable. I am not sure what the pills are doing, but as you say, a few pills a day is a small price to pay fro your life back! Great to hear you have made such good progress and are stronger now, a fabntastic story and well done you for posting your blog. Brave and strong are a great combination! Best wishes Peter

have courage

I had a similar experience during my mid-teen years. Depression, I now realise, was my problem. It was dismissed by family and teachers as 'emotional growing pains' that would go away. Now aged 58, I am battling this for the umpteenth time. If it'd been taken seriously in 1971, I might've had a better chance in life. As it is, depression has come to bother me repeatedly. I wish everyone of school age suffering depression to have courage to speak out, for your own sakes and those who follow.

It is awful that you had to

It is awful that you had to go through this. I realise how lucky I am sometimes to be in a time where at least these problems are taken as serious issues. I really hope it is taken more seriously now and you can get more of yourself back. I wish that to. It upsets me to realise so many children went through the same, sometimes worse. And not all of them were lucky enough to have family like mine.

Thank you

This could describe my life exactly. However I have yet to seek the help I need and have the support of my family. They took my symptoms as signs of teenage laziness and I just added to that idea by hiding my true feelings. It is incredible to me that you speak of 'strange episodes' and sleep paralysis as this also accompanies my depression and I have discovered this through almost 10 years of researching and self diagnoses. I know this is never an ideal thing to do but from my experience of the doctors and people around me, no one wants to listen and no one has time to try and understand so I had to reach out myself and help my symptoms in my own way. Thank you so much for writing this article and enlightening me to the fact that I am not the only one who feels this way. It is great to not be alone in my suffering. Perhaps it would encourage me to finally find the right doctor and make the steps I need to start minimising the stress of these conditions.

Glad to help

I'm glad I helped in any small a way. I did a lot of self diagnosis and although it does help because you can put a name to otherwise freaky things, sometimes you can diagnose too far (for 3 weeks I was adamant I had schizophrenia). The first three Drs I spoke to I felt the same way, like no one wanted to hear about me. They just asked basic questions and wanted basic answers. But you have got to keep trying because you will find someone who will want to listen and they will help you find the strength to fight whatever is in your way. I am lucky enough for it to be my mother, but at times we still nearly kill each other. :) I really do hope you find someone good to listen to you, and I hope you have the confidence to fulfill your dreams. Haha cheesy much :P

Still

I was, I think, looking something to help myself. I typed, 'help me' onto Google in hopes Id find an easy answer to how I'm feeling or what's wrong. I found this blog. I am 29 and if you knew me in person you would say I was lively and happy etc.I have lived in what I have know is depression since I was 14. My life was painted with all the same things, emo-avoidance and the fear of not empathising. My mind has progressively gotten more scattered this past 3 years and I'm stuck in a world of "I don't know how to stop this". In the past I maintained my friendships through things and kept my jobs relatively secured but, I'm here sitting on my couch now after 3 years of not being able to and everything is either gone or bad. People, money. I'm sitting here for the billionth time, searching ways to help "myself" but i can't, In my brain I have no capacity for anything. I don't speak if I'm not at work. I don't sleep and I crave and obsess and distract myself on crap in my house to the point of episodic fits of sadness or anger. My partner is... A victim of eternal confusion, he just doesn't get it. And I felt I did. But I'm sure now I was wrong. Your story is so relatable, but I'm not asking for help. I'm telling myself I don't know how to help because the two tines I reached out to professionals I had no ability to follow up... No capacity to do anything. it felt like they didn't care, had targets to meet. 7 years ago I made an attempt on my life and I was 'diagnosed' bipolar after 20 minutes with a doctor the first time we met, it was the first conversation after the event, still in the hospital and put onto prescription. It seemed brash and I could not bring myself to visit him again or follow up. I sought preventative help last year and the year before once my heads overwhelmed sensation took over. But I didn't follow up with gp appointments, and was told that an inclusion of a drugs phase to my spiral at the time meant they would not help until I had gotten clean. My confidence in external help has been destroyed. But I realise I HAVE to keep trying. If I need help I need to find someone who can do it, being so circular with my problems only perpetuates my problem. By telling myself since I was 14 that I can pull my socks up and figure it out myself to be able to live normal, I was hurting the chances I have of achieving a better life. I'm sad. And broken. I need help, and after reading this I feel stronger and less aprehensive to ask for it.

depression

Hi, I was bullied at school at 13 till 15 years of age, I hid all my feelings about it, in the end the pain got to much,I told my mum,it was like a cloud was lifted, I wasnt on my own,school found out & the bullies were dealt with. by that time I had depression, panic attacks, to scared to go out, I wasnt given any medication,i was offered councling from school but I refused, to scared to go. I got through it by talking to my mum, she told me it wasnt my fault that it was them with the problem,& just be you,so always remember just be you, & im glad u have got help.

Hi

I'm really sorry to hear you were bullied. Bullying can destroy you at the time. I was bullied a lot through my younger years. I am really glad you got help and can be yourself. And thankyou very much. I couldn't imagine being anyone but me now :)

THANKS FOR POSTING

Hi my big and sincere thanks to rebecca for posting this blog thank u very much even i was feeling the same and my family mates would say that i think a lot or i think negative but i was not, i was severely depressed all the time and what saved me from further dangers were my confidence and to say that something has happened to me now as soon i saw this page i feel that i have friends like u all people who have posted blogs and comments and helped me in this way that there are peoples who have regained their lives from these circumstances now as soon as possible i will consult a doctor THANK YOU

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