I am a 38-year-old male, I would and have always been described as one of the lads. I love footy, enjoy a beer and a boisterous lifestyle and I have been diagnosed with depression.
I found it very difficult to admit to myself that I was struggling but I knew something was wrong. My stupid male pride and assumption that I was less of a man for struggling with my mental health lead me to conceal my depression from myself and others.
You could ask me one simple question, but my anxiety will turn that into 20 questions within seconds. “Are you okay?” becomes “Why are they asking me that?”, “Do I not look okay?”, “Have I done something?”, “Am I in trouble?”.
That’s the best way I describe it to people. I worry about everything, even to the point I worry about worrying.
A lot of people just say “don’t worry” or “you’ve got nothing to worry about”. I then feel stupid…and then worry about feeling stupid.
I was told that my reason for being depressed was “pathetic”, and that I “had plenty of things going” for myself, but depression doesn’t work like that. It doesn’t look at what you have going on in life and avoid you because it doesn’t want to ruin that.
I wanted the people I care for and confided in to open their hearts and minds to understand that depression isn’t a choice. I didn’t want to be depressed - nobody wants to be depressed.