February 16, 2012

Photo of Time to Change blogger EricMy second bout of severe depression started when I was happy with life. My girlfriend of over ten years had just moved in with me in London where I had started working two years before. I had just been awarded a teaching prize at work and I was also exercising regularly but below the surface things were not all well. In hindsight, there were all the classical warning signs of depression such as loss of appetite, lack of interest in things and early morning waking.

Communication, mutual interests and hope have always been important aspects in our relationship and it was precisely these which were to be tested most in the following two years. During the summer of 2009 I went from bad to worse and far beyond the point of putting on a brave face. Getting out of bed felt like climbing a huge mountain. Almost all I talked about was the bleakness of life, the hopelessness of my situation and all the causes and solutions to my depression I could think of. At the same time, all the big and little joys that had made us happy together eroded rapidly.

A vital part of my recovery has been the support of my girlfriend

A vital part of my recovery has been the support of my girlfriend and particularly the feeling of security and support. She never made steps for me but helped me find my own way through it. She encouraged me with any aspect which would aid my recovery such as exercise, volunteering, GP visits, therapy and getting involved with Time to Change. She helped me to eventually feel more comfortable to talk about my depression with other people.

Deep depression removed all pleasure from both our lives for a long period. We adjusted by trying to take everything step by step and living day by day. For some time we cancelled all major things which could cause unnecessary stress. We took each day as it came and if something didn’t work out we would try something differently the next day. We were able to talk about everything, even difficult and troubling topics such as suicidal thoughts. We made emergency plans in case things took a turn for the worse. It was vital to really listen to each other and for me to keep helping out at home, even if it meant buying a bottle of milk.

A carer can often feel desperate, exhausted and angry

A carer can often feel desperate, exhausted and angry, which takes courage, patience and hope to get through. Carers play a vital role which cannot be expressed in financial terms and their importance is often not recognised by society. Coming through a long and difficult period together has strengthened our relationship as it has shown us how strong we both are and what our love really is about. We understand and appreciate each other on a deeper level now and know that we can fully trust each other.

We have come to appreciate the small things in life much more and tend to worry less. I am extremely grateful to have come out on the other side and that my girlfriend has had the strength and courage to support me through it.


 

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Comments

HELP

<p>HI- so this is my story. I met my high school sweet heart ( the guy of my dreams) 5 yrs ago, he got in into a very prestigious University, his personality changed 180 degrees and eventually he started smoking weed, drinking and his GPA went from 3.9 to 1.7 so he got kicked out of this school, because of his grades his parents took the car away, forced him to moved back to their house and attent a JC while he was admiting back into the school. All of this made him feel very sad and suddly it became form bad to worst and his depression is very bad at this point. Few Weeks back he was diagnost with major depression and started taking his medicacion but at this point I'm hopeless it seems that its not working out he still tell me how bad he feels " everyone hates me, every one look at me in a bad way" and even sometimes he tell me that he heard&nbsp; voices inside his head that tells him to kill himself and other peopple and this makes me feel afriad of him at some point but the thruth is that I LOVE HIM and cant let him go. I&nbsp; believe that we can make it together and that he is gonna get better, at this point he doesnt go to school nor work, bassically , Im the provider although we dont live together we expend 90% of the time together and when we go out im the one that pay. In addition his family never had approve our relationship because we come from different Coulture and religion. My family really like him and they know that he sufferes from depression but they dont know how severe is his problem, only few of my friends know about what im going through but they know that Im afraid of him, im scared that he might hurt himself or even me. In the other hand this situation extress me out till that point that this have affect me I dont go out any more with my friends and i tried to avoid everyone. I had dropp all my classes for 3 semestres just because I feel " sad" .</p>

Hi, sorry to hear you've both

<p>Hi, sorry to hear you've both going through such a hard time. We really recommend you talk to somebody today - your local doctor should be able to advise on the best way to help your boyfriend. Or if you are based in the UK, there are a number of organisations that can offer support and advice such as <a href="http://www.mind.org.uk/help/advice_lines">Mind</a>&nbsp;and <a href="http://www.rethink.org/how_we_can_help/our_advice_information/index.html">Rethink Mental Illness</a>. If you're based in America there are a number of <a href="http://www.nmha.org/go/find_therapy">support organisations listed here</a>.&nbsp;</p>

It's surprising how many people have a black dog

<p>I was diagnosed in January but have had a black dog with me for many years, since my teens. When I was diagnosed, my parents and I decided that we needed a nickname for my depression, some code word we could use, something that would bring the dog down and make it less ominous. Geoffrey was mentioned and it sort of stuck. How can something called Geoffrey be scary or threatening?<br><br>I've had my ups and downs. I graduated from university last July with a first class degree in Primary Education. My height of excitement came when I got my first job, year 5 teacher in a primary school. It was a dream come true, the eight-year old inside me who had first decided that teaching looked like the best job could not stop smiling. Geoffrey did not appear for many months after that.But teaching is a tough job, as tough as it gets and soon, Geoffrey came back. This time, he didn't leave. In fact, he's still hanging around. <br><br>I've decided to start this blog to help. Writing a diary hasn't worked, it was doctor and therapist recommended but I couldn't get into the routine. So, it's 2012, what else should I do but blog? </p><p>Take a look: <a href="http://blackdoggeoffrey.blogspot.co.uk/">http://blackdoggeoffrey.blogspot.co.uk/</a>&nbsp;</p><p>Any support or feedback from you all, who understand in some way what life is with a black dog in it, would be greatly appreciated. </p>

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