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“How the hell did you get depressed? You’re so laid back nothing gets to you”. That was said to me around 14 years ago. Well I can tell you something got to me. It took me about 8 of those years to really work out what ‘it’ was. I think the ‘it’ is different for all of us. Mine came to me like a ninja. I didn’t see it or know it was there until far to late. Knowing when depression is there is really the start of the very long road to knowing how to live/cope with it. I would rather say ‘the long road to recovery’, but I’m not totally sure I will fully recover.
I have been through a lot of stages along this road. From feeling so low that you just want to hide a way somewhere. Next being so up and at it that it drives everyone around me nuts onto paranoia. Just when you think you have a grip on it the panic attacks start. Now some of you reading this will think that compared to what you have been through or still going through, what I had was nothing like yours or even as bad as yours is. You have to remember it is all relative. What knocks one down completely makes another just laugh, but what we all have to do is learn how to cope with our own little storm. What I am trying to say is you have to learn how to live with depression in your own way. Be it counselling, medication or your best mate, or a mix of these. The biggest help to me was not to keep it hidden. I’m not saying I went around with a loud hailer while out doing the weekly shop, but if asked I would say I have depression. You do get some odd reactions to this approach. Some stay away, I think through fear that they may catch something. Others look at you with a look of Oh shit, what do I say now. But most will see that you are not walking around with your own private rain cloud and that it’s OK to talk to you about it, and when some one comes up to you and asks what medication you are on, and you tell them. They say ‘I had those, but had to change as they didn’t work for me’.
The early stages you will think that you are either going nuts, you are the only one who has this and no one can help you or wants to help you. Far far from if. About 1 in 3 are on or have been on some sort of anti depressant. I have no idea where I came by this statistic, but if it is true. Then you are far from alone.
Help is out there in many forms. If you go to see your GP and you are not happy with the way you are treated. You must go to see another GP. Don’t be put off if even the second one is not to you liking, you will find one. I got through several before I got the help I needed. So please don’t give up. There are many very good, sorry, great organisations out there such as MIND, Time to Change, Blurt and many more all waiting to give you the support and advice. I found a lot of these only in the last year and wish I had known about them in my early days.
As I am not a writer and have never ‘blogged’ before and only normally work within the 140 that Twitter allow, I’ll end here while I ponder on part two. (that is if anyone thinks there should be a part 2). I hope that some of my ramblings have at the least made some sense, or at best helped some one. Just keep in mind that 1, you are not going mad, 2 you are not the only one feeling this way and 3 help is out there.
If you’d like to follow Martin on Twitter, you can do so here –> @hairyoldtroll