Friday, 11 July 2014

living with depression

Living with depression blog

Living with depression blog

This was such a difficult post to write as it’s so hard to put depression into words. It’s like an ache that never quite goes away, or as this Youtube video describes it, a “black dog” (watch it, it’s really good and has changed how I think about my illness).

I started to notice I was feeling down in 2008 when I wasn’t eating properly and would get upset at tiny things. A few months before, a family I knew, the Fosters, all died in a terrible tragedy, and sometimes I think this may have been the trigger for my depression.  At first I had no idea why I was feeling like I was and my family and close friends thought it may just be a “teenage phase” as I was 15 at the time. However it got worse and worse until I just couldn’t cope anymore, and after a couple of years I started to see a counsellor for cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). This helped me slightly, and after three years I began to see my way out.

For a couple of years I felt free of my illness; I occasionally became quite down but it would only last for a short period and I never felt as bad as I did previously. I was so scared that it would come back as it is such an awful feeling, but unfortunately earlier this year I started to get symptoms of it again.

The worst thing for me is the guilt. I feel guilty for being a burden on people; guilty for being a bad person; even guilty for taking a place on a medicine course that could quite easily be someone else’s. And the worst thing that anyone can say to me, even though I know they mean well, is “oh but you’ve got so much going for you and an amazing future ahead of you” – that just makes me feel even more guilty about being depressed! It’s like a never-ending circle as I start to feel okay for a while, and suddenly something will knock me back even further than I was before.

I also have awful problems sleeping and have really weird dreams (anyone ever dreamed about eating their favourite dress and woken up crying about it? Oh just me then...) I then get into the habit of napping, which makes sleeping at night even more difficult. I sometimes feel crazy and hopeless, and when I get really down I suffer from a lack of energy. My close friends and family have even commented that I move slower and look different. My self-esteem is rock bottom and sometimes I just think life is totally pointless, but then I have to think about the good things I have. Mornings are my worst time as I sometimes dread the day ahead so it’s difficult to get out of bed (although this is probably the same for a lot of people!) It can be really frightening and lonely too, as there’s such a stigma surrounding mental illnesses that I was worried about anyone finding out.

I’m so lucky that my family are so supportive of me; they have been there every step of the way and I know they would never give up on me. Mum and Dad are adamant that I will get better and that we’ll work through it as a family, even though I know it’s often really difficult for them to see. My friends are also amazing, especially Gemma as she’s been there for me for 9 long years and is basically my rock. She knows exactly how to calm me down and reassure me, even when I’m being really frustrating. Also Roxy and Hannah, they’ve both been incredible and there whenever I need a chat. I think it’s really important to tell friends and family when you’re feeling down as a good support network can do the world of good.

I ended up in hospital a few weeks ago and that’s when I decided that enough was enough (it was also where that doctor told me to pull myself together...) I really want to get better, which is half the battle, and am starting to see a way out of it, which is an amazing feeling. I’m currently prescribed Citalopram and am waiting to see another counsellor. I just wish the waiting lists were shorter as I could have really done with talking to someone about 8 weeks ago!

Before I wrote this blog only close family and about four close friends actually knew about my depression, so it’s a massive thing for me to do as I was so scared about what people would think. I already feel like it’s keeping me going as it’s something to think about every day and I’ve had so much support from people, and even if I only help one other person that would be amazing.

I promise tomorrow’s post will be much happier than this one! I’m going to Shrewsbury today with my two wonderfully supportive best friends (love you!!) as another 21st birthday celebration and am staying overnight in a lovely hotel, so will write about that tomorrow J

Hannah x


PS if anyone ever wants to contact me about anything, my email address is on the contact page of my blog J If you suffer from any mental illnesses or depression it’s important to remember that you’re not alone!

11 comments:

  1. Hey Roxanne sent me to your blog ! I'm going through the same thing as you and i've just started Citalopram and i'm really nervous !

    Seany xx

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    1. Don't be nervous, it seems to have really worked for me - I feel on a much more positive level and it helps me get through the days. I hope it works for you too, and that you start to feel better soon!

      Hannah xx

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  2. I know everyone's experience is different but.. I've suffered for about 7 years with depression.. on and off. And then anxiety, out of nowhere like the depression was growing into a new form. I tried Citalopram and it was the worst decision ever. no I take that back. It helped me at the time. I felt better. I was only on 20mg but that was enough to cause the side effects. I always felt squeasy.. I tried taking it at night instead of the morning but then i was buzzing and couldn't sleep, but take the tablet in the morning and I felt sickly from it. Anyway that is nothing compared to the sweating at night. I've been clean of any antidepressant for 3 years and at least three times a week I STILL wake up in the night drenched in a cold sweat. dripping hair, change of PJ's, even turn the sheets (my partner complains at that haha)... Ive heard a few ppl experience this side effect. Don't get me wrong once they kicked in, after a couple of weeks, I started to feel better. To begin I was still a zombie, slow moving as you say, but my body was pumping i could FEEL my blood bursting along my veins. It was like the drug was working my busy but hadn't helped my head yet.

    A few years later the depression returned. For no reason, no change or dramatic turn in my life. It just came back. Creeped back in slowly if you like. I was rock bottom, worse than ever and I think that was because this time I knew what was happening, I had the diagnosis, I knew it was the 'depression back again' and yet knowing didn't make it go away. I refused tablets and have turned to private counselling. I found someone using the counselling directory (google it) and I'm getting better. I realise Depression will never no away. It isn't an illness, it's my make up. It's who I am. What I wants to work through all the feelings it brings and understand them, so in the future, when I feel 'down' one day, I can choose to go back to my counsellor and acknowledge the depression. Not let it consume me but to monitor it, keep it at bay. The medication masked the issue. If you desperately need it to keep you here on Earth then its worth it - I was just scared in taking it, I would mask the feelings and not be able to open up about them in counselling.

    I also tried my local wellbeing service via the NHS and it was a shambles... long waits and little contact - not what someone desperate for help, being strong enough to ask for help, needs at all.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your story on here. I am so sorry to hear that you are unfortunately suffering with depression, as I know how terrible it can be. And as for Citalopram, I've not really encountered any side-effects but I have heard that they're not great - although it's really good that you're not on antidepressants any longer.

      I'm so glad to hear that your counselling is helping, that was what really helped me too. And I agree with you about the medication - it just gets you to a point where you can function but doesn't take the depression away.

      Thank you so much for your comment again :) xx

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  3. Hannah you are such an aspiration! Thank you! x

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  4. Escitalopram is the new drug where the racemic enantiomer is replaced by the S enantiomer.This removes many of its side effects or atleast makes it tolerable.

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  5. Your blog is one of its kind on mental health,which discusses many aspects of mental health.I have not come across any page which is a candid disclosure of your health problems.Unfortunately I cannot speak out openly because of the area that I reside,but I have posted many articles on www.rameshkumran/peants.4u on Facebook.com and on spider.com which is pending for publication.

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  6. There is nothing worse, then going through hell of depression. You wake up each day, not knowing if you will make it
    'till night, or you will simply give in, and end it all yourself. The drugs sometimes help, and sometimes make it worse.
    Felt like I had no control whatsoever over my own life. It took me a while, but I managed to teach myself how to push trough the day, and keep on fighting.
    In the end, it all comes down to helping yourself get up and fight, because without that no one can truly help you, no matter how much they would want to.
    To conclude, help yourself, so you could go out into the world, and start truly living, and that will be a cure on it's own.
    For anyone suffering from depression,
    I recommend something that has helped me a lot. It is James Gordon’s system at http://lookingupstuff.com/mentalhealth/2015/02/06/how-to-destroy-depression/
    He is a former depression sufferer, and teaches a totally natural 7 step process which relieves depression from your life.

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  7. Hi Hannah, finding out later in life that I had Cerebral Palsy I too had my low moments but I believed my inner thoughts saved me. My inner thoughts allowed me to put my life into perspective and to hope that one day I would find out what was wrong. I set up my own site at around the time I found out I had Cerebral Palsy, which is now in its 7th year. Keep up the good fight, your blog is great. I also love that you continue to focus on all that is good, even in those low moments. http://www.thecpdiary.com

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