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Depression is an on-going battle but we must continue fighting!
Posted by
6th Jun 2018

After being made aware of the severity of my anxiety and depression over the last few years, it took me a long time to educate myself about how I could attempt to control the panic attacks and suicidal thoughts when they did occur. The thing about depression is that there will be times when I won’t be able to control such feelings (that’s life for you!), but if I can find things that motivate me to feel positive and help me to heal, then at least it’s a start!

In writing this blog post, I hope to express a small portion of my experience with depression and give encouragement to others to speak out about their problems.

The NHS website states that depression can be subdivided into three main categories: minor, moderate, and severe.

Minor - has some impact on your daily life
Moderate - has a significant impact on your daily life
Severe - makes it almost impossible to get through daily life

For me, depression has always been a balance between the last two categories. In October 2016, I had my first major breakdown due to work and personal-life stress. It was at this point that I was prescribed anti-depressants by my GP with the intention of helping to boost my mood, but my body and mind just could not cope with them. Anyone who has had the very exciting experience of anti-depressants will know that during the first few weeks you can feel very suicidal. That’s what I experienced and it was worse than I could ever have imagined! There were times where I would be waiting for a train to Central London and all I could think about was how it would feel to jump in front of the approaching train.. would I finally be able to feel nothing? I was on the anti-depressants for a few weeks before my second breakdown took place.

Skip forward a few months...

In March 2017, concerned about my well-being, I was referred to my local A&E department with the aim of seeking urgent help due to the suicidal thoughts that I often felt throughout the days. Arriving at the hospital, I was directed to a private room where a mental health practitioner went through a number of questions with me, questions of myself and of my life, acknowledging how everything in my past had led up to this point. The practitioner explained that the symptoms I was experiencing were in fact panic attacks that were being triggered by my depression and overwhelming stress. At first I was confused but, after some time, I would begin to understand the link between depression and panic attacks. From there I was referred to a Home Treatment Team by the hospital’s mental health unit. It was there, with a registered psychiatrist, that I started to explore the reasons behind my depression.

When I think about it now I am glad that I went through it. The experience has made me a stronger person and it’s opened my eyes to how complex depression can be and in turn helping to see it for what it is. I have learned the importance of taking time out for myself to enable me to breathe, not taking things too seriously, and helping others with their mental health problems if and when I can.

For me, talking and interacting with children and young people about what emotions are and why it’s important to express them motivates me to live a happier life. I have also found that just taking a simple afternoon stroll for some fresh air can work wonders for your mental health.

By helping others, we help ourselves.

A x

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