January 21, 2015

I wanted to write this while I was having a difficult time with depression myself, kind of as an outlet for myself but also as a way to raise awareness. I find that when I’m not suffering from depression it’s very difficult to look back at the phases where I was and pinpoint exactly how I felt as it is a big blur of nothingness and pain.

I am 24 years old and currently working for the Probation Service running programmes for offenders. With that in mind, I am normally someone who is very thick skinned and it takes a lot to faze me or bring me down. Unfortunately, I have had a number of very upsetting things happen to me in a very short period of time. These events have resulted in me once again plummeting into a pit of depression; there is no other way to describe it. I am currently signed off work (which I was very reluctant to do as it is in my nature just to carry on and “deal with things”) and I really didn’t want to go back on antidepressants (I have been on them once before). It was a pride thing; I worked so hard to come off them so why should I go back on them again? However my mood has just got lower and lower and I soon realised that I had no choice.

I feel there is a stigma in society around depression

I wanted to describe some of the symptoms of depression that I am experiencing I have seen some doctors over the years that have been brilliant and very understanding and caring but I have also seen more doctors who have been insensitive and made me feel like I was wasting their time. I feel there is a stigma in society around depression. I am embarrassed to tell certain people that I am suffering from it out of fear that they will say “oh just snap out of it” – a phrase which has been said to me before. People need to understand that if people could snap out of it they would do it in a heartbeat because it’s such a horrible thing to live with.

Depression makes me feel like I have a black cloud over my head

For me depression is a very real thing, as I know it is for a lot of other people. It is all consuming and completely debilitating. It leaves me feeling hollow and like I’m merely a body without a personality. My low moods come in waves, but when I am feeling at my lowest I can’t communicate with anyone and completely zone out. I  feel like I have a black cloud over my head and everyone around me can see it. I am writing this during a phase where I feel able to communicate – in fact I have just come in from the gym which is the one thing keeping me going at the moment. It quite literally picks my mood up for a short amount of time. It is very difficult to get out the door and to the gym but I make myself always saying to myself “I can’t let this beat me” and I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone else with depression.

I’m very fortunate to have the support that I do

Depression for me completely stops me living a life I would normally lead. I am crying daily for no apparent reason and have no motivation to do anything. If I had it my way I would stay in bed all day however I am lucky enough to have support around me and enough people checking I’m okay that I wouldn’t be allowed to do that! I live with two of my best friends and they would come into my room and coerce me out of bed even if it was the last thing I wanted to do; I’m very fortunate to have the support that I do.

I just need to give myself time to heal

The main reason I wanted to write this was to get how I’m feeling off my chest but also on the off chance that it might help someone else. I am not someone to dwell on the bad in life, however, this time my brain and body is giving me no choice but to stop and look after myself instead of ploughing myself into the ground by going to work and ignoring the issues. It is extremely scary and it is very easy to fear that you will never get better because how you feel is so horrendous. Right now I cannot ever imagine standing in front of offenders and delivering groups again. However, I know I will - I’ve got through it once before, I just need to give myself time to heal. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope it helps even one person. You will be okay.

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