In my past I have and still frequently experience depression. I've used medication for years trying to deal with it, but it does have side effects. I understand that mine may not be considered as severe as many others'. But it's severe enough to affect me, my relationships and my life.
I believe after 20 years, I have a decent grasp in dealing with depression and have a wonderful, supportive wife who helps me. She understands and helps me to identify periods when I'm affected (as sometimes I'm unaware when it arrives), and she does what she can to assist me through it.
Although at times I feel so negative about everything, I don't realise how I'm being perceived by others and sincerely don't intend to be short or horrible to people. But this is not a mood nor is it the fact that I'm Mr. Grumpy pants and believe it or not, I honestly believe I'm a nice guy. But when I'm like this, this is me literally trying desperately not to unload the poison in my brain on to you!
There was a time when many people at uni became close to me, we had a fabulous time for a couple of years, but unfortunately they saw that I had this side and immediately distanced themselves from me, eventually completely disregarding my existence. Other things happened too that weighed very heavily on me (long term relationship breakdowns, bereavements etc.). For my last year (still in a dark place), I had to start again with friends and acquaintances and housemates... this hurt... a lot! But I've grown to realise that it's their loss – I am worth knowing. I will bring you laughter and sensitivity. Plus I give consistent amazing advice, which I can't seem to act on myself.
And if it wasn't for my new relationships, my kids and especially my wife, I literally don't know who I'd be or what I'd be doing now, all I can say is 'it wouldn't be anything good!'
I've carved out a profession that supports people with health conditions. This is brilliant!!! I love it. My strength in my work is helping people that have similar illnesses. I'm very open about my past and my ability to empathise and this binds our professional relationship.
Being on the Mental Health First Aid course also shows me that we as a nation are soooo far behind compared to others in understanding mental health.
- Road fatalities in 2013 resulted in 1,713 deaths in the UK.
- Suicide alone racked up 6,708 deaths in the same year in the UK, with 10 x more that attempted suicide. It's actually the leading cause of deaths in the UK between the ages of 20–34!
Now ask yourself a question... how often do you see an advert on TV educating us about poor mental health compared to adverts about speeding or drink driving???
Now you can see where the emphasis lies!
Post your experiences... focus on your future!
Every experience is a valuable one, the bad experiences are sometiems the best because you learn from those more.
If you experience depression, then YOU HAVE EARNED THOSE EXPERIENCES!!! THEY ARE YOURS!!! Now how can you use that? Good Luck!