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Fried Green Depression At The Mental Health Cafe
Posted by dirkgently1066
23rd May 2016

It is a strange experiencing walking the road of therapy for the second time.

Of course a lot has changed. First time round, I had no idea what I was doing. Going to see a psychiatrist brought up all sorts of negative connotations in my mind but the key issue was my underlying mindset. At the time, I had no appreciation of mental illness. I thought I was weak, stupid and inferior. I thought there was a hole right through the middle of me, a gap where other people had the gene that let them be happy. I felt incapable of operating within normal society, I wanted an excuse to be able to say, Ďsee, I have serious problems, I cannot possibly come to work ever again.í

Of course with time, I came to understand this was an illness. Not like a cold or a virus. This wasnít something I had caught that I could pop a couple of pills and soon be over. This was a subtle, complex illness of the mind, brought about by years of unhealthy, negative thinking patterns and behaviours. With help and support, I found my way back. There were roadblocks to come, some of which set me back or sent me down a diversion. But I kept going.

So now, 3 years on (almost to the day) I find myself back in front of the psychiatrist. This time I understand that I am battling an illness, the symptoms of which may come and go but will always be with me. I also understand that it is an illness that I can, if not beat, at least manage and contain. I can be happy. I can change.

There are some specific factors that have directly affected my mood that I hope to address but I also recognise that these are borne out of long-standing, intertwined issues that go right to the core of my being. From loss to redundancy, parenting to work stress, appearance to popularity. Each is a branch of the same worry tree with the roots of the problem firmly buried in a crippling lack of self-confidence and esteem.

If life is a journey then I currently find myself in a grim looking roadside cafť, studying the map, trying to figure out if Iím even holding it the right way up. This is not the end of the journey, rather I just need some help finding my way again and so I have swallowed my pride and asked for directions.

Iím not sure where Iím going but Iím looking forward to getting there.

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