September 23, 2012

Amanda, a Time to Change bloggerHave you ever felt so low you can’t even function? I have suffered from depression for 5 long years now and I know this statement rings true for me. The outside world seemed so hostile, so cold, and so bleak it was frightening to even place a toe on my bedroom floor. I felt like my bed offered me more solace, more peace, more protection, more comfort than I’d ever felt before. It was safe, it was a sanctuary.

I would close my eyes wishing I could just turn down the voices in my head and fall into the blissful quietness of a deep sleep. I was so low, getting out of bed wasn’t an option. My excuse was that I was just tired. The constant bouts of depression were so exhausting that everything seemed difficult.

I would just stay in a pit of misery for days only bothering to get up to go to the toilet. Nothing could entice me out of bed. Even on a good day I’d only manage to sit in front of the TV just blankly staring at it and I would long to be surrounded by my duvet in bed again and not engage in anything. My way of coping with the stress and anxiety that I faced was to completely isolate myself from my family and from work.

To her I was just some lazy teenager who looked a mess

To my sister my long days in bed seemed lazy. She made nasty comments such as “All you do is sleep” and “You are not going back to bed again you’ve slept all day!” To her I was just some lazy teenager who looked a mess. Sometimes if all you do all day is just breathe at least that’s something. My mum did stick up for me saying that ‘I was tired from working’. When you are so low and the comments people make when you do eventually get out of bed are so damaging it made me want to retreat more to my bed. So what if I spent more and more time in there? It made me feel safe and comfortable.

Looking back now I know that is no way to live a life. Being a prisoner in your own house isn’t lazy or enjoyable it’s more degrading and debilitating than anything. To get so consumed by depression that daily tasks are completely impossible is not laziness but depression at its worst.

it’s hard to describe how overwhelming depression can be

It may be easy for people to think depression sufferers bring it on themselves by not actively doing something to change their mood or outlook. But it’s hard to describe how overwhelming depression can be, how it strips you of everything and turns you into a zombie, a person that is not living but just existing.

Please support Time to Change and change people’s perceptions of depression. Challenge the idea that it is just an excuse for being lazy. It is far worse than that. It is a mental state that can be life threatening. To make it out of bed, then out of the house, then to go to work or school or the shops is a major achievement in trying to reclaim back your mind, your self-worth and your ability to engage in everyday life.

 

If you're at school or college, 3 of your classmates will experience mental health problem, and most of those will have to face discrimination because of it. It’s time to #standup against the stigma. Find out more by watching our film The Stand Up Kid.

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