Today is World Health Day and this year the focus is Depression.
Worldwide, over 350 million people suffer with some form of depression. 350 Million. That’s almost six times the population of the UK.
And I’ve been one of that 350 Million. I talk about it a lot in my poems because writing them helped me through the two years I suffered. I’ve rarely spoken to people about this, but I’ve learned that talking can be the best relief for someone when they feel the pressures of depression, so I’m going to share my experiences.
I don’t know why my depression started. I could give you a list of factors that probably fed into it, but they’re things that people go through every day while keeping their minds healthy. Maybe inside they’re miserable. I was.
I was suffering a bereavement, a break up, I was homesick and abusing alcohol. That was when my depression was at its worst.
Looking back, I think I had some mental health issues throughout my teenage years. I would often have these dark thoughts followed by episodes of intense hyperactivity. But it wasn’t until my 20’s that everything turned black.
When it happened I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. And when I finally would I’d wake up in dangerous predicaments or places I hadn’t been before. I was breaking down in supermarkets, refusing to leave my room while swallowing mouthful after mouthful of whiskey. What was probably worse was that I thought this was normal and rational behaviour.
Then, the darkness became infinite. I could no longer see hope in anything or anyone. It was then that I decided to seek help. It was a doctor that sent me to the therapist.
I sat in the therapist’s office, I was there to change but was unwilling. He was kind, patient and he did not judge me. I told him I didn’t know why I felt like I did, but I knew it wasn’t normal.
I told him my only escape was writing words on paper and performing them into my bedroom mirror. He said this was a good practice.
Then he prescribed me anti-depressants. And they helped. At first.
But after a while the dosage just wasn’t enough. I was eating them like sweets, three times my recommend dosage and getting refilled just as quick. I was completely dependent on them.
Partly because they showed me glimpses of what a “normal” life could be, and that’s what I craved. Looking back now, it wasn’t really the drugs that gave me those glimpses, it was the close friends I had looking out for me, hanging with me. Letting me be hyper one moment and moody the next without abandoning me.
I took the pills day after day for well over a year…but then suddenly I wanted to stop.
So I washed them all down the sink. Tried to live like I had while I was using them.
I don’t know what happened but it was as if something in my brain just clicked. I felt happiness, and sadness and boredom and love, and hate. It felt good to feel.
So from that day on, I never looked back. I have still had repeat episodes of extreme sadness, but my emotions have been more balanced, and the dark thoughts no longer haunt me.
This was just my experience, and everybody deals with depression differently, but even just typing this I feel a huge weight off my shoulders.
If anybody out there needs to talk you can contact me through this site and we can work out your problems together.
For more professional help please contact your GP or call 0800 58 58 58 to speak to a member of CALM or visit their website.
You will always be beautiful even when the world is not, and the best way to get over the bump is with somebody helping you along.
Thank you for reading.