Beating depression is possible

blueberries

I find writing about this really difficult because sometimes depression is hard to put into words but as with my other blogs I really like to put a positive spin on it , so here goes…

For women talking about their mental health is a bit easier than for men , which is why suicide is the biggest killer of men under 40. Men seem to bottle up more and don’t feel like the “man” if their seen as vulnerable and in need so just carry on and don’t say anything. A big proportion of that high statistic maybe down to depression which is why it is so important to talk about how you are feeling either with a family, friend or professional as it really does help.

After I broke my back the depression I felt was un explainable its horrible to think back to it but I did feel suicidal a lot of the time and death really did seem the only answer. When I was depressed it was as though I was looking through dark sunglasses at the world , nothing seemed good. Waking up each morning was horrible because the depression hits you hard the second your awake, trying to get out of bed in the morning  seemed like a huge task,  because what actually is the point in getting up. I thought for months that my life was over , and if I couldn’t walk anymore then really what is the point of my life. It was as though I was grieving for a loss.

To some people when you mention the word depression they just think O just cheer up it really isn’t that bad, its more than that though. Just Because it isn’t visible like a broken leg it doesn’t make it any less important or serious. A smile can hide a lot, I know for me there are photos of me during the period I was depressed , for those looking at them photos you would never know how I was actually feeling inside. looking back at those photos now is weird because I am a million miles away from those fake smiles.

race for life all girls

People can be depressed for so many reasons- post natal depression, ill health, death of someone close, stress, being lonely , there are so many reasons. What can make it even harder though – if you are depressed for a reason you cant pin point. Some people get depressed for no obvious reason , it can just happen and it can happen to anyone at any point in their life.

A common thought that comes with depression is that you can feel like a burden to others around you and they would be better off without you, this could be the reason for some suicides.   When I felt suicidal the only reason I felt like I was existing was to keep my family and friends happy and to not cause any upset for them. I never did act on these thoughts and I am so glad I didn’t because I did come out the other side. It wasn’t easy but I Know it is possible to recover from depression and live a meaningful life again.

me and amelia

Looking back on myself with them dark thoughts is actually quite upsetting and really hard to admit and write about for others to read. The depression I felt after my accident was intense and I really felt like I was just existing rather than living.

On a different level to that depression I experienced after my accident , my day to day life now can be very up and down. Being diagnosed with bi polar effective disorder after having my second psychotic  episode in 2011, maybe gives an understanding for myself on the way I feel sometimes. I don’t actually know if It is the fact I have bi polar because I dont like to define myself by this label I have been given. But for myself and others who have bi polar, your mood can change day to day , week to week , month to month and so on. But when you are having a low day/ period then you really can feel worthless and I know for myself I feel like a horrible person and I think why does anyone like me , people would be better off not having me around.  I am  quite determined though to not let it beat me and have learnt a few coping mechanisms so When I get these thoughts I have to tell myself that I wont feel like this forever , thats easier said than done though !! and I am very good now at talking about the way I feel to my close ones and this really is essential to anyone experiencing depressive thoughts.

When I feel low sometimes I don’t feel like a person, I feel the odd one out and that there is something seriously wrong with me , I find it hard to understand why anyone would want to be around me or want anything to do with me. It is strange writing this down but these are the thoughts that go round and round. When feeling this way I would avoid social situations and go into myself , but I know to not let it take over, I have to constantly remind myself of the positives and I will always message a friend and open up and getting their outlook and opinion on things does really help and change how I see myself. 

This I think is advice for anyone who feels low , just talking and opening up can change everything  Even if it is a stranger on the end of a telephone support line that are available , just do it because it could really help.
 1 in 4 people experience mental health difficulties every year so it is very common, its probably actually higher than that because not everyone speaks up about it. But it is important to talk and get help because from my own personal experience it is possible to bounce back after being depressed. Although when your depressed you cannot see a way out or round it and it feels like it’ll be that way forever, as thats how I felt for over a year and how I sometimes feel day to day , but holding onto the hope that things do and can change is so crutcial and important, and you have to remember that it isn’t just you , there isn’t anything wrong with you as so many others experience depression and lots of people do and can get better. I never thought when I was depressed that I would recover , I really didn’t.

My Job now as a peer support worker which I was successful in getting last year is to now help others experiencing depression , stress and anxiety using my own experience. I guess emphasising with people can be a huge comfort for people as the people I have helped so far have always thanked me and said how great it is to talk with someone who has “been there”.

 I know everyones mental health is different as no two people are the same but I do believe it is possible to recover from depression. When feeling depressed It can be really difficult to bring up in conversation how you are really feeling , it may seem easier to just smile and pretend your fine but it is so important to talk, from my own experience people aren’t as judgemental as you may think . 

blog

I created my blog to raise awareness of mental health and hopefully offer insight and maybe even comfort for anyone experiencing anything similar. So please share with anyone you feel may benefit.

I honestly never thought I’d be happy again but things can and do change.

Thanks for reading ! Rach  X 
rachelholly90.wordpress.com – for all my blogs 

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Beating depression is possible

  1. This is a wonderful write-up, and puts into words some of the feelings/thoughts that are troubling us in our own minds.

    I’m hoping to meet a peer support worker soon and to meet someone just like Rachel would help a person like me enormously, having battled with depression for so many years, and being afraid to talk to anyone.

    Opening up is very difficult because you feel so embarrassed and stupid for not understanding how to cope with life. I’m a professional and sometimes I feel like I have to have a split personality to get through most working days, and being ‘upbeat’ with family and friends can be much harder, but to be honest is an unbearable thought as most people do think we just need to ‘snap’ out of it. And we expect this even from strangers who supposedly ‘understand’.

    I hope Rachel thrives in her new role as it is an important job as a surgeon in many ways; it can save lives.

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  2. Hey Rachel

    Once again you are able to be there for those that are suffering depression,
    I to had depression but the weirdest thing about it is that with my depression it just felt “Normal” over a 6 year period.
    Depression is the same characteristics as mental health but on a much lower scale moderate, major and severe.
    What I didn’t know at the time was during the 6 years I had “Recurrent depressive disorder” this took a long time for my recovery team to figure out of why I was fine one minute the next head to the ground.
    It all came to ahead after years of alcohol dependency, family life, debt and numerous redundancies. I lost it after we were all going for a meal with my brothers family and us and the thought of all those people laughing and smiling and having a great time, I started shaking and as if the room just started to get bigger and bigger the general talking seemed to be like 100 Jumbo jets taking off and I just screamed.
    I was immediately taken to the GP and is was if someone turned the mute button on me, I didn’t know how to speak let alone my family asking me to speak. and at the night time I couldn’t sleep and for the first time ever I heard voices.
    That was very scary, during the night I made a decision I was going to my towns mind centre.
    For another first time I was telling my self, “your not o.k Ian” but what did it mean?
    I saw the counselor but she told me I would have to be put on a waiting list which had a backlog of 9weeks.
    That didn’t help so I contacted mind to see what was available and they told me that a new initiative called IAPTT has just started, (improving access to psychological talking therapies) and I was 3rd on the list.
    Alot of the time I hear people who are depressed don’t go to these recovery workshops as there is a huge waiting list or why should I bother telling someone my problems as they will have worse things to deal with.
    This was a really major component in my recovery as I had for the first 6 months 4 1 hour sessions with the psychologist and 2 appointments with my GP a week. I was given the term RDD as it was major factors in my life, I wasn’t coping with general things, I.e washing,dressing,meal preparation and interaction(eyes to the floor) it’s funny when I look back on it and with family and friends, I didn’t even know I was doing it it’s as the lights were on and nobody was home. Over the next couple of years we had a strategy of me having my own place, keep to the recovery program and do things you enjoy.
    Three years on I took an emotional dive, the new flat was not happening as I was 3rd on the list for a locality and ‘Ian’s team’ knew I was going backwards so in 2007 I was referred to the Primary care trust in Doncaster for a psychosis evaluation, I should have been assessed by an psychiatrist but instead by a mental health nurse.
    Her words”your 30 years old, what you complaining for pull yourself together! Life throws the odd ball at you so deal with it” when I’m feeling low that always pops up in my head.
    I was like a zombie, “complaining?odd ball? together?deal with? My head was spinning and a voice in my head said “go to the end of the road and walk on, your not needed” so that’s exactly I was going to do, but of it wasn’t for my Dad and best mate and a few nurses I wouldn’t be writing this. I’ve contemplated suicide before but as you said you don’t want to let anybody down.
    But not only that ‘Ian’s team’ put me up to this so does that mean that this is what they were thinking?
    I had meeting with my GP,psychologist,counsellor,social worker and stress group leader trying to explain what happened, within 2 weeks the Nurse was struck off and I had a re-appointment with the psychologist. This put me back 8 months by this point I wasn’t looking after myself, I lost 2 stone in weight and was in a really dark place, it took a long long time to build the trust back up, and the psychiatrist deemed me not to be admitted to the mental health ward as my recovery program would be more beneficial to my outcome.
    I don’t get depressed now but now and again I have low moods, just shut myself in my flat all day but have a plan the following day, but when I got depressed was the washing side to it, if I didn’t wash myself in the morning and evening I knew I was getting depressed.
    I’ve relocated my self to a new area and got my life back on track, And with my low moods the following day I will walk around the local park or walk up and down the river if it’s a hot day.
    I was a young man trying to block stuff out buy in the end it has a way of getting round you,
    And another thing with depression get rid of toxic people out of your life which I did with my Alcohol dependency the guys I went out on nights out with, now I am a light drinker where I can drink in a place that no one knows you and won’t judge you.
    I love your blog and always have it on email alert.
    Thanks once again for being honest.
    Ian aged 38 location Reading.

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  3. Dear Rachel

    Thank you so much for your comments you are so brave. I too experienced a psychotic episode in my youth many years ago and jumped from a high window when in hospital. I am now a retired woman so much older than you. It has been hard living with my injuries but, unlike you, I learned to walk again and do not need a wheelchair. In my day, in the 70’s there wasn’t so much awareness of mental illness and I didn’t receive the support that you have. Keep up the good work and know that you are not alone.

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  4. Thank you for writing this down it may give people who don’t suffer an insight into what it’s like and that we can’t just snap out of it…..just because you can’t see the illness it is just as big a killer disease as cancer and you can’t just pull yourself together and ‘snap out of it’. X

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