Let’s Talk About Depression

Depression is a chemical imbalance not a personality flaw. Mental illness  affects 1 in 5 people, with 1 in 4 people suffering from depression.

It can affect anyone, rom any background, at any time. We can all feel low, fed up and down at times, and this will usually pass within a week or two and doesn’t interfere with our daily tasks or living. Depression makes it hard to function and enjoy life like you once did, some people describe it as a black hole or feeling of complete emptiness, other people have described feeling angry, irritable, agitated or restless. There are many signs and symptoms of depression  which I am going to list below. If you’ve had any of these signs or symptoms for 2 weeks or more, please seek help.
Signs and symptoms:
  • You feel hopeless/helpless
  • You’ve lost interest in friends, activities and things you used to enjoy.
  • You feel tired all the time.
  • Your sleep and appetite has changed.
  • You can’t concentrate or find previously easy tasks difficult.
  • You can’t control your negative thoughts, no matter how much you try.
  • You are much more irritable, short tempered or aggressive than usual.
  • You are consuming more alcohol than normal, or engaging in reckless behaviour.
  • You are self harming.
  • You have thoughts of suicide, or feelings that people would be better off without  you around.
Mental illness has such a stigma around it that people feel ashamed, embarrassed or deny that there is something wrong with them. People don’t want the label of having a mental health condition, or to be labelled as “crazy” or judged by others. As I said previously 1 in 5 people suffer from mental illness, with 1 in 4 suffering with depression. It could be your neighbour, coworker, or even a family member who may not have opened up to you.
We need to end the stigma around mental illness and depression, because in most circumstances a person just needs to be reminded  that they are still loved and thought of. You would go to the Doctors /  Hospital if you broke your arm, so why won’t you go for your mental health? Our brain is the main organ in our body that keeps us breathing, thinking, running and smiling, we need to remind ourselves that if our mental health is suffering, then
our body will too.
The ultimate protection from the discrimination and stigma associated with mental illness is to tell no-one, and keep it a secret, however this protection comes at a cost, feeling more alone and vulnerable than ever. In order to combat the stigma, and relieve some tension, you should find a confidant, someone you can truly trust, and will listen. This may be a health professional, close friend, family member, or even writing anonymously on forums/discussion boards.
There are so many benefits to opening up to your confidant; you no longer have to worry about keeping the secret, you can be more open in your day to day life, those you choose to tell may express support, and value your honesty  in confiding in them, those you share your story with may share similar stories o confirming you aren’t alone in your circumstances or experiences, your disclosure may help others in need, and of course it can help to  diminish negative connotations and stereotypes of mental illness.
My Story:
I myself suffer from depression, and looking back as  far as February this year these signs and symptoms started to appear. Unfortunately  I didn’t truly pay attention to myself,  any time I had a really bad or low day, I put this down to external circumstances and moved on. It wasn’t until August that I truly started to realise my behaviour and mood was drastically changing, and my partner and I had an open discussion about things and he suggested it was time to visit the doctor to ask for help.
I visited the Doctor, and my partner and I explained how I was changing, my mood was erratic and I felt hopeless  and exhausted, but then I would change to being extremely irritable, angry and  crying daily. During this talk I got emotional and said I hated feeling like this and treating my boyfriend this way. She was extremely patient and comforting. I was given a questionnaire to fill out, and told to fill it out thinking of my worst days, she asked me to bring back the form and she would look at my results and we would discuss options and where to go from there.
I returned and the Doctor said that my results ranked very highly  on the depression scale. We discussed options; I could choose to take anti depressants, speak to a counsellor, or do both. I opted for the anti – depressants, as I had never been on them before, whereas I had spoken with a counsellor in the past.
Every medication has side effects and that includes anti depressants, and I was told this before I had decided to opt for medication. The Doctor explained that it would take around 2/3 weeks to see any affects of the anti depressants, and I was to go back for a review in 3 weeks to discuss the treatment, I was also informed if I suffered any side effects I should contact the Doctors ?Surgery immediately.
The first few days were pretty crappy; I had dizziness, nausea and was extremely tired… I read the side effects and surprise surprise those were there, what was amusing was the side effects were also; feeling wide awake, overly tired, restlessness, irritability, increased appetite, loss of appetite, weight gain, weight loss, suicidal thoughts… As you can see they were contradictory effects, and essentially covered symptoms of depression its-self. Obviously depression isn’t funny but my partner and I have a warped sense of humour and thought it silly and amusing. I did suffer from several side  effects but chose not to go to the Doctor, as  the side effects were so extensive, I decided to just wait it out and see.
I’ve now been on my anti depressants for 3 months now, and can genuinely see and tell the difference, my sleeping pattern is far more regular, i’m nowhere near as exhausted, and I can concentrate and pay attention to things like I used to, and I am back in contact with friends socialising a lot more! As I mentioned the first few weeks were tough, but I don’t have any of the side effects now, and I’m beginning to really feel like my old self again 🙂
I know medication isn’t for everyone, but I just wanted to share my story and say, if you’re feeling hose persistent symptoms/signs above, don’t be afraid to reach out to someone you can trust. I’m thankful my partner and I are so open with one another, he noticed my changes from the beginning but he had to let me make that final decision on getting professional help.
It’s OK to ask for help and admit that you’re changing and not happy with it. Please never battle alone, or think that no-one cares, because that’s never true.
I’m more than happy to talk to anyone privately about their worries, or any questions you may have. I am also going to link some really helpful links below for people/organisations to contact if you so need to.
I’m also going to write a more in depth insight of my depression to give you a fuller insight, but i’d just like to take this opportunity to say thank you for reading, and I hope this information was useful to you.
Take care and best wishes!
Much love, Sassy x
NHS Support:
http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Depression/Pages/Symptoms.aspx
Samaritans:
http://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help-you/contact-us
Mind:
http://www.mind.org.uk
9 Thinks You Didn’t Know About Antidepressants:
http://www.thedebrief.co.uk/news/real-life/9-things-you-didnt-know-about-being-on-antidepressants-20151258066?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=Hootsuite

21 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Depression”

  1. What i do not realize is if truth be told how you are now not really a lot more smartly-favored than you might be right now. You’re so intelligent. You know thus considerably in relation to this matter, produced me in my opinion imagine it from numerous numerous angles. Its like men and women are not interested until it¦s one thing to do with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs outstanding. All the time take care of it up!

    1. Hey,
      Thanks so much for your comment, I truly appreciate it!
      I hope to educate people with my blog, so fingers crossed it’s reaching people, as other nitches seem to do a lot better than educational blogs 😛 xxx

  2. thank you so much for sharing, my husband suffers from depression and its so good (if I can call it that?) to find out exactly how it is for him. He’s not very good with words and I just have to bear with him when he’s down but this really helps to understand it from his perspective.

    1. Hey Ali,
      Thanks so much for your feedback! I’m glad this post has given you brief insight into the vortex that is depression. Thinking of your husband 🙂 xxx

  3. I’m so pleased that you feel you’re in a better place at the moment. I think the thing with depression is how it can creep up on you so quietly that you don’t notice it until it’s really got it’s claws in. I’m not someone who finds it easy to share my feelings and I’ve come to realise that this does make me susceptible to depression, so I try to watch out for the small signs before it sinks in properly. Well done for recognising it and taking action.

    1. Hey Katie,
      Thanks for your lovely comment! I couldn’t agree more, depression is like a constant shadow stalking you that you can’t see. Knowing that you are not one to be forthright with your feelings is a very good thing, because as you said yourself, you can keep an eye out for the smaller signs before they creep up on you. 🙂 xxx

    1. Hey,
      Thanks for taking the time to comment! Depression, and mental illness in general needs to be discussed more often, and in a wider space, fingers crossed with people such as us being open about our experiences will encourage others to be open and talk about it too!
      I shall definitely head over and check out your post! 🙂 xxx

  4. Not everyone wants to talk about depression/mental illness or share there experience and I can not even begin to imagine what it must be like. Great post.

    1. Hey Caz,
      Thanks so much for your positive feedback! Even if it just helps one person i’ll be super happy 🙂
      Take care, xxx

  5. This is a great post, honest and informative also. I have suffered from depression in the past and have learned to watch for the signs of it happening again so that I can take positive steps. I became really depressing many years ago after having a miscarriage and was on anti-depressants for a time. I really felt that they helped get me back to a normal state of mind, where I could start to make some changes and then I weaned myself off them when I felt I was ready. Counselling also helped a lot.

    1. Hey Cliona,
      Thank you so much for sharing your story and being so open, i’m sorry for your loss. I’m really happy that through medication and counselling you were able to get back on your feet and into a more positive state of mind!
      Thank you again for sharing xxx

  6. Depression is such an important subject to discuss. I think one of my family members has depression and I’m looking at what I can do to help them and this post has come in really useful. Thanks. Angela from Daysinbed.com

    1. Hey Angela,
      I’m really glad this post was useful to you. Good for you for sourcing ways to help your family member, you’ll be a fantastic support to them 🙂 xxx

  7. Depression & mental illness really sucks and so rarely spoken about. I think you’ve done such a great thing sharing what you are going through & how you are feeling to let other going through something similar know that they are not on their own. x

    1. Hey Amy,
      Thank you so much for your positive feedback!
      If it helps just one person to open up to a family member, friend, partner etc then that is amazing 🙂
      Take care xxx

    1. Hey,
      Thanks so much for your lovely feedback! I’m glad my post can be of some use to you and the other volunteers! Keep up your excellent work 🙂 xxx

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