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.
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.
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 .
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
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