October 27, 2014

It’s been many years since I was diagnosed with clinical depression and although I have the tools to deal with it I don’t think I will ever be completely free of what I call my shadow.  However, it’s important to remember that you can live and cope with it with the support of your family and those around you.  

It took me a long time to first admit that I had a problem

I think that things are getting better but I still think that we have to do better if society is to deal with it. Looking at my situation it took me a long time to first admit that I had a problem and figure out how was I going to tell my family and work.  I knew that I was becoming worse and it was the old male pride that I got from my father - who believed that we should get on with things and has he put it "snap out of it" - that stopped me from talking about it. It was something that I would hear a lot and I could never understand it. I felt I had a problem and should be able to tell the people I love.  But the fact is I couldn’t or didn’t have the guts to tell them because I thought they would disown me and I would have hated this to happen.

I got married and became a father within a few years and in hindsight I wasn’t ready to settle down but because I went to work I coped. My second bout off depression came four years letter but this time I admitted to myself, family and eventually my doctor that I needed help otherwise I could lose it all.  I got a promotion and thought it would all be great, but I couldn’t cope with the workload and it impacted on my marriage. At first I shrugged it off, but the days became more difficult to handle - I didn’t want to go to work and dreaded coming home. It was a cycle that never got better.  

I went to someone who I felt I could confide in at work and his reaction was completely different

I tried talking to my manager but didn’t get support. She believed that if others could cope then why couldn’t I?  I tried to explain about my personal situation but just didn’t know who to turn to.  One day I couldn’t get up for work and took a few days off sick. When I got back to work I still had a team to manage and an ever increasing workload.  I was pretty good and hiding things from my team and just said that I had a bit of flu which wasn’t true.  This time I went to someone who I felt I could confide in at work and his reaction was completely different.  He suggested that I take time off, relax at home, make sure that I talk things over with my wife and book an appointment with my doctor. I listened to him and appreciated his support. I knew that if I couldn’t look after myself how could I possibly manage a team if I was so low that I considered suicide?  I felt there was no way out, but the thought of not seeing my son grow up stunned me into action.  I came home that day and told my wife that I couldn’t go on like this. I cried and admitted that I wanted to get better and went to see my doctor the next day.

By talking I realised it was another step on the road back to full fitness

This for me was the start on the road to recovery and although I knew that it was going to be a long hard road I was pleased to have taken this first step.  I talked things over with my doctor and opened up in a way I hadn’t even done my wife and family.  I described how I was feeling and that I wasn’t coping and needed his help.  He put me on a course of pills and suggested that I contact Rethink Mental Illness who might be able to help me.  I was very reluctant to talk to an outsider but my wife convinced me that the doctor's advice was good and that I should consider it.  I thought about it and gave them a call. By talking I realised it was another step on the road back to full fitness.  The lady I spoke to told me that it was obviously a certain trigger that set off my depression and that by the end of our sessions I would have the tools to deal with depression.  This was great to hear and she also told that I shouldn’t feel like I have failed and that many people have the condition.  She told me to write my feelings down and what I had got from each session.  I found this really helped and I would talk about what I had written with my wife. This made me feel better as it was a realisation and an acceptance of my illness and that I wanted to get better.

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Talking to a GP is not as easy as it sounds on paper. I do fear being rejected by my GP. I fear my NHS records will record this illness and I'll be branded for the rest of my life affecting my future job applications and life and health insurance. I fear what people will think of me and most of all I can't admit to my parents of my mental illness. My wife knows I suffer but not the degree, it would be unfair to place a burden like this on her, she cares for her 95 year old father and that is a large enough burden. I know I need help, I want help but I don't want all to know my issues. I am 52, my generation and particularly my family do not discuss feelings easily. Any suggestions to help me within these confines?


Have you thought of going private I am going through severe mental health problems I didn't want My doctor or any one to know about .I am paying private and my doctor doesn't know and is all confedetional.i am fifty one and understand how you feel .hope that helps a bit.


@darren Perhaps you could find online support or a online forum where people discuss their feelings and mental health problems. That way you will have some support and an outlet without it being too open yet. Or perhaps call an anonymous helpline to talk to someone.

my illness

hey..i think i am suffering from mental problem.but i am not sure weather i am mentally sick or not.but sometime i feel disorganized and cant take even little stress..I tried yoga it helps me sometimes but not evrytime.I cant speak clearly as well and sometime i feel panic and restless.please anyone suggest me for help..I cant share this with my parents as my father is also suffering from chronic depression..


Hi there, really sorry to hear that you are finding things hard. We have some support links that you might find useful: http://bit.ly/SuPp0Rt Take care, Crystal at Time to Change

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