As you may know today is World Mental Health Day and I want to share my story about Beating Depression and Learning to Live again.
Yes I too suffer with depression, in fact I was properly diagnosed three years ago with clinical depression or major depressive disorder but truth is I have had this for years I remember feeling this way as a child and in every other way I had a happy normal childhood and came from a loving home.
Things only got worse as I got older. I hid it well ( well I think I did but most probably didn’t !), like a lot of people with depression can do, I would smile and say I was fine even though I wasn’t. I would laugh, join in even though it was the last thing I wanted to do and of course some days I was actually fine. But other day I could barely function – I felt so weak and helpless, so worthless.
I struggled along for years and only once was prescribed medication in my twenties which I wouldn’t take because people around me convinced me I didn’t need it.
As I got older I start to try new techniques for coping, I took up exercise which helped and is a great way of releasing endorphin’s and feeling good about yourself and I started to grow things as it makes me happy, crafting helped me and like the author Marian Keyes I too turned to baking – so all the things that make me who I am basically are my way of getting by.
The biggest change though happened three years ago – despite all my methods of dealing with depression the dark days were getting more frequent and I was in a really bad place. I was scared of what I would do because once I descended there was no logical thought there was just despair.
A friend of mine admitted to me that she has tried to commit suicide- I didn’t want that to be me and I knew it could be.
So I walked into my doctors office – one of the scariest things I have ever done was to admit I wasn’t okay mentally but thankfully my Doctor listened and agreed I needed support.
She said I had been fighting too long on my own and I needed help and this time I took it – it was the best decision I ever made.
I finally feel – well normal is the best way of saying it – I am happier than I have been in years, I still keep up all the things I used too; Which you all know as I write about them here but I finally, deep down feel calm confident and good about myself.
Good enough to admit that I have depression but I deal with it – I have learnt to live again.
World Mental Health day is about shining a light on the stigma that is attached to mental health issues. Did you know that approximately 1 in 4 people live with a mental illness worldwide? And that simply by learning and talking more about mental health you could help millions of people around the world?
If you are struggling with depression or anxiety talk to a Doctor , a Friend, a Family member, a Teacher,
There are lots of organisation that can help here in Ireland.
Aware was founded in 1985 by Dr. Patrick McKeon and a small but dedicated team of volunteers, many of whom had their own personal experience with depression, or bipolar disorder. The organisation developed in response to the clear need for information, understanding and support, both for individuals who had a diagnosis of depression or bipolar as well as family members supporting a loved one.
SpunOut.ie aims to educate and inform young people about the importance of holistic wellbeing and how good health can be maintained, both physically and mentally. They are great for teenagers.
GROW is a Mental Health Organisation which helps people who have suffered, or are suffering, from mental health problems. Members are helped to recover from all forms of mental breakdown, or indeed, to prevent such happening. GROW, founded in Australia in 1957 by former mental sufferers, has a national network of over 130 Groups in Ireland.