Looking at this photo, you would probably think I was a pretty normal person. It probably wouldn't even cross your mind that I may have had some really tough moments in my past, or even that I might be struggling a bit right now.
Depression is something that I have only recently begun to acknowledge, before these unexplained bad moods were just swept under the carpet and ignored, mainly because I didn't want to admit to my friends and family that I wasn't coping well or that there might actually be something majorly wrong with the way I thought or the things I would do to myself.
After a really horrible period of increasingly low mood, which if I'm honest probably started early November, I finally decided to be brave, stop doubting myself and actually seek help. (There is something that happened that kind of gave me a bit of a wake up call, and as much as I want to be open and honest about this, it is something quite sensitive, so I don't feel quite ready disclosing it.) After confessing all to my GP I was prescribed some anti-depressants and made an appointment with the wellbeing center, which I had last Friday. It was such a relief to finally be honest about how I truly felt and to have people listen without telling me I was silly, or wrong, or to just 'cheer up'.
I am now waiting to receive treatment (I opted for counselling, I don't like the pressure CBT puts on you to improve and challenge your thoughts so head on) and have an interview with the mental health team. Treatment for mental health is a lot of waiting around, which when you're feeling really low is just horrible. That said, the anti-depressants have definitely kicked in and I am starting to feel a lot more alive, and more like myself again.
I just thought I would update you guys on this quite major change to my life, and I am thinking of making regular posts about my experience, past, present and future in the hopes that it will maybe help other people to talk more about it and be more open. I'm also planning to write about it on my blog as I feel that it will make me feel more like I have to follow through with treatment, I can't just give up if lots of people know I'm doing it!
If you have had similar feelings to me, please, please do make an appointment with your GP and tell them, it's the best decision I've ever made. If you're not ready for that, join the #timetotalkchat on Thursdays 9pm, I joined in for the first time a couple of weeks ago and have found it so helpful to talk to others with mental health problems. If that seems too intimidating, feel free to e-mail me to chat more privately! I only wish I had had somebody to talk to when I was feeling really down, I honestly just felt so helpless, so I'm hoping by reaching out and letting you guys know you can chat to me it will maybe help someone. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to chat, I literally check it hourly so your e-mail will not go ignored!
I hope this post has been useful in some way, as I said, I will be doing updates as I go along with treatment, I'm also happy to talk about my past experiences, so if that's something you guys want to hear about, just let me know!