#DEPRESSIONAWARENESSWEEK

Wednesday, 22 April 2015
Today's post is going to be a bit more serious that most of the others ones I've have written in the past; it's going to be about my experience with Depression in light of #depressionawarenessweek.

So I was diagnosed with depression by a doctor about a year ago now (which at this point was a crucial point when it came to finishing up with A Levels.) I had been properly struggling for about six months before that and on and off for a fair few years prior then too but I was too scared to go to the doctors. Why? Because I didn't feel like I was "depressed enough for them to 'care" and more importantly I felt that because I didn't have a specific reason to be depressed about at the time, then surely I shouldn't be depressed at all? That's what I felt at the time anyway. So yes, at that point where I was feeling down the most - nothing was really going on in my life. Ok, so I just entered Year 14 as I had decided to take an extra year at sixth form and Keiran had just moved away to university. Both of these were hard to deal with at the time however I didn't feel like I should be depressed about them considering I knew they were going to happen for months? 
Now abit of backstory: in and out of the hospital for my disability since a young age, was bullied during high school for my disability and other general high school drama/bitchiness alongside a lot of various family issues. I had realised at the age of 18 that everything that had happened to me during this time were all contributing factors which I was in fact, repressing. I never really had anyone to talk to properly until I got with Keiran at the age of 16 due to trust issues (thanks to so called "best friends" who were also the bullies) so the only way I learnt to deal with these issues at the time was to just push it out, pretend everything was okay and force a smile. 
Fast forward to April of last year and evidently, I cracked;  I couldn't keep up that fa├žade forever.

I went to the doctors and took the quiz that they give you and guess what? I suffer with mild/severe depression and anxiety problems. The doctor didn't really understand at first as there wasn't something obviously causing it; until a few weeks later I went back and told her my back story. She gave me my first round of pills which helped for a while but a few different types of pills later I found ones which I suited me best. Some made me feel okay, but had horrible side effects (dizziness, constant fatigue - I was falling asleep in lessons because of them and detachment from myself to name a few.) Others made me feel a lot worse with my depression, but no physical side effects. I guess you could say it was a bit of a catch 22. I finally settled for Fluoxetine which is more commonly known as Prozac which was taking for about 6 months.
When I moved to the North East in August, I finally decided to go down the CBT route. I wasn't in a rush to start before because I didn't really ready plus I didn't want to start it and then move. I was put on the low intensity course for 8 weeks to see how I got on and I had a lovely councillor called Becky. In my honest opinion, I felt that I was being babied too much; I was being given homework to do each week which was to complete diaries and questionnaires and overall I didn't really feel like it was helping me. During the time I was attending these sessions, I was a student at university and was struggling with the course (the course was being ran horrendously,) I kept missing a lot of time off which resulted in me getting behind with everything which obviously didn't bode well for my mental health. Becky did help me with decisions on should I drop out and what would I be doing next and helped me put in an action plan for whatever decision I made.
(source)
Now we are in January 2015; New Year, New Start and all that jazz. I had ran out of pills over New Year and was stuck in a bit of a rut. I had mega withdrawal symptoms: sickness (not just any sickness - I felt like I was on a boat - kind of sickness,) tired, my mood was all over the place and it was a horrible few days. But, after these symptoms wore off; I was fine. I decided that I didn't want to be on pills any more and see how I go. Fast forward to today which is Wednesday 22nd April and I am still pill free. For the past few months, I have had a few wobbles with my mental health but none which has made me run back to the doctors. I wouldn't say I'm "cured" from depression either, as I don't believe you can ever be cured - just that the symptoms are relived. 
The point of my post today is that if you are feeling depressed, don't think that you always have to justify it with a single reason. I know a lot of people that have had something terrible happen to them which has triggered the depression; however I also know that not everyone has their depression straight away and in fact was triggered by something completely random. For me, it was Keiran moving away to university. 
If you've made it to this point, then congratulations! This is definitely a heftier poster than I normally write. Thank you for taking the time to read this and hear my story; I will see you in the next post :-)   
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