Blog: depression – I’m still learning to cope


27 Oct 2014

In light of recent events, with the suicide of an international superstar and comedy and improv legend, Robin Williams and World Mental Health Day there will undoubtedly be thousands upon thousands of blogs popping up all over the internet about the topics of suicide, depression and celebrities. It’s broken my heart that one of my childhood heroes has passed away, but it breaks my heart even more to know the circumstances in which he and many others passed. The discussion around mental health is now as exposed as ever, but it’s such a shame it often takes the death of a public figure to bring the issue to the forefront of people’s minds.

I’ve always been open about the fact that I have depression, when it comes to work, friends, family and beyond. Many don’t understand how it affects me in my everyday life, in my relationships and in my work. However, I’m one of the lucky people who have a decent support network and enough strength to battle depression. It wasn’t always this way though. A few years ago, I went through a particularly choppy time of my life. I wasn’t sure where my life was going, what I should do next etc. I’d dropped out of university and was terrified of what came next. At my lowest point, my depression came back and I was bedridden, barely able to speak, eat or move. I was given the option of being admitted to hospital or have twice-daily visits to me at home. All I was thinking was “what on earth am I doing right now?” This was the point at which I wanted everything to end.

Luckily I eventually, with the support of my friends and family, got back to relative normality. I managed to get back to work and my volunteering which helped massively.

To this day, I have mornings where I wake up, unable to move, speak or even breathe properly. There’s no trigger for it, there’s nothing which has happened while I’ve been asleep which has made me feel this way. It just happens. There are weeks, where I’m unable to leave the house. Weeks where I get to work and am completely unable to focus, read my emails, write to people, even speak to my colleagues and friends.

I’m still learning to cope with my illness, and it is an illness. One which at the moment, doesn’t feel like it’s curable, you just learn to cope. I’ve discovered things which help me. Being amongst friends. Playing music, singing, writing songs. The one thing that always helps the most though, is talking. Someone asking me “how’re you?”

I can’t stress enough how important it is for people who suffer with depression to talk about it. I can’t stress enough how important it is for people who know sufferers of depression to listen. Ask your friends “how’re you?” just to let them know that someone cares! That can be all it takes to save a life.

What on the earth am I doing right now?

Surviving. Fighting. Winning. But not everyone is.

It’s one of the most bizarre topics to me, it’s one of the most common in the world in that everyone has mental health, good or bad, but it’s one of the things that people don’t take seriously, don’t talk about or even recognise is a problem. Absolutely mental right?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or feel like you may have depression please contact your GP. Alternatively have a look at these different sites:

http://www.mind.org.uk/

http://www.samaritans.org/

http://www.nhs.uk/mentalhealth

http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/talk-about-mental-health