I was going to wait until I had won this battle to tell my story but recent events have forced my hand.
I have recently been diagnosed with depression. It has been a long overdue diagnosis. Why do I say that? Well, I have been showing signs of this horrible illness for years but have ignored them, or have had things in my life that acted as a plaster, holding off the darkness.
On the day I decided that I couldn’t ignore the signs for any longer, I booked a drs appointment and went to my 1st lecture of the day. That happened to be a Mental Health lecture, focussing on Depression and its symptoms. I sat listening in tears, mentally ticking off every single “common” sign. It was at that point that I knew I had made the right decision and that I needed to see someone.
Luckily, I have SUPER supportive friends at uni who got me through the rest of the day and a tutor who was amazing and offered me all the help I could ask for.
As I sat in the doctors waiting room, I looked around, everyone there looked ill, I felt like an imposter. I had nothing PHYSICALLY wrong, why was I wasting the doctor’s time? I began to cry again. At that moment the Dr called my name. I went through, sat down (I had stopped crying by this point). He said “so, why are you here today?” and before I could get any words out of my mouth the tears started. I was terrified. Scared that he would think I was being stupid, scared that he would think it was just “break up emotion” (I had recently gone through a break up) but he didn’t, he listened. He got me to fill out a questionnaire, asked if I had ever had suicidal thoughts (I hadn’t) and asked all the “right” questions. His diagnosis…depression. Full blown depression. Not just a bad day, not just feeling sad but a chemical in-balance in my brain which was affecting my mood. He sent me away with a prescription, information about local counselling sessions and another appointment a month later.
Since then, I have tried to live a “normal” life. I have tried to keep it off twitter, there are a few people I have told and they have been supportive and amazing. On the days I HAVE mentioned things again, I have mainly received a positive, supportive reply.
Not everyone handles depression in the same way. I personally only mention something when I am having a super bad day or when it affects my life in a way that is really rather annoying. Yes, it probably is a moan but do you know what…if I had broken my leg, or had the flu and was moaning would you say anything? No I don’t think you would! Why then do people think it is OK to have a go when someone moans about a bad day? Why is it ok for them to suggest I don’t know what I am talking about and that taking to social media isn’t the way to deal with it?! Do you know what….It bloody hurts!!!! I am battling this awful illness, one that affects me EVERY DAY, I don’t know if I am going to wake up and be ok, if the meds will work, if something TINY will send me into a downward spiral. I try not to let the bad days win but sometimes they do. Sometimes all I want to do is spend the day in bed where no one can find me, no one can tell me to “try harder” no one can say “oh but you can’t feel like that because you are acting like x”. Most days I have to get up, crack on and just push those feelings aside. I have good days and bad days like any “normal” person but it just so happens that the bad days knock me sideways.
I hope that anyone reading this now knows they are not alone. It is a horrible thing to fight, even worse when people think you are faking it. Do you know what? Stuff em! Remove them from your life. Don’t allow them back because no one needs that shit!