'An honest open letter to friends about DP'
Posted by arabellachute
18th Oct 2015

Dear All

A bit of a splurge below but thank you in advance for reading.

As some of you may or may not know I suffer badly from depression (DP). There are 3 main reasons I am sending this email. It is not because I am holding a great big fishing rod and trying to reel in sympathy - quite the reverse.

1] FIRSTLY: I am sending this email to raise awareness of DP, it is NOT a weakness or something to be ashamed about and we need to get rid of this ridiculous stigma attached to it. It is simply and illness, my brain doesn't produce enough serotonin and therefore I have a chemical imbalance and DP is the result of this, it is not a case of feeling bit blue or having a bad day - it is a chemical reaction and if not treated properly allows you to become a prisoner in your own mind.

2] SECONDLY: there are so many people who suffer is varying degree and many who are trying to fight it on their own. I learnt the hard way that this is not the path to take; I have been fighting this particular episode for the last 2/3 years privately and secretly until it all got too much and in December I entered a very dark, scary place and it was only with my incredible family, a team of knowledgeable and determined doctors and some wonderful supportive friends that I have found the strength and skills to win the war this time round.

So I wanted to write this email to say if you know anyone who suffers from depression then it is important for them not to feel alone, a simple text message can make a HUGE difference, please do feel free to hand out my email address as I am more than happy to talk, help, advise or just chat to anyone who needs it. I am by no means trying to wear a DP crown but I have picked up a few ideas regarding medication, therapy, nutrition, exercise and lifestyle that may help and that are helping me but I am still learning.

3] LASTLY: if you are still reading this! I want to apologise for not being a decent friend over the past 2/3 years, DP shot my immune system so I was not only fighting the DP but also bugs and things and I know this made me unreliable and flakey and not really around for periods of time and meaning I wasn't hugely proactive in seeing people. I am so sorry if I have had to cancel last minute or not really been there, this is not an excuse just a reason that I couldn't be there. I'm still taking baby steps in my recovery but my life is slowing returning to normal, whatever that may be! So hopefully I will be more present and on it as time goes forward, less of a 99p flake!

Finally, I now see DP as more of a friend then an enemy telling me that something isn't working in my life that I need to change, I accept it rather than fight it!

Thank you so much for reading this, I am not expecting or wanting anyone to feel like they have to respond - it was purely a case of me wanting to put it out there!

So much love and also a huge shout out to my incredible family and who have stood by me in some pretty dark and scary times and held my hand no matter what. I treasure you in my life.

Thank you.

Lots of love

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