This will be the first time, outwith a Doctor’s room, that I repeat this information. So take a seat, have a read and – hopefully – this gives you a little clue about my personal experience with depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and eating phobias.
Just re-read that to myself. Christ, I’m a bucket of sunshine.
So, let’s talk about The Big D. (No…not that. Dirty bastards.)
My official experience with depression began in December 2015.
Time went on to reveal that I’ve probably had this for nearly 2 years.
I remember feeling tired, gloomy and generally down for a few weeks prior to the first ‘main event.’ I would do nothing but work, eat dinner, then go to bed purely because I couldn’t stand the sound of other people’s voices. I thought I was just run down, having just increased my hours at work, so I let it slide. On December 27th, shit got real.
That was the first day I considered taking my life.
For the next 3 weeks, I was plagued by these thoughts. Standing at the train station, my mind would encourage me to do something horrific. If I was showering or in the bath, my eyes were hunting for razors and bleach. I remember being out on New Year’s Eve with my boyfriend at the time, and becoming hypnotised by the water of the Clyde – genuinely considering just taking a long walk off a short pier, as they say.
During the same 3 weeks, I took over 25 panic attacks, went down to a size 6/8 in clothing from simply not eating, and my hair started to fall out in chunks from stress.
I came dangerously close to being a goner, again, on January 3rd. Had it not been for my boyfriend texting me, I’d have done it. Without a shadow of a doubt.
I confided in my best friend and my, now, ex. Both were exceptional. And both demanded that I sought help. Something was not okay.
On January 17th, I got that help. I cried my whole way through the appointment. I was put on Propranolol to help with the panic symptoms, and Citalopram – a non-addictive anti-depressant. My doctor also prescribed strong iron tablets and slight hormonal stabilisers to help my body bounce back.
I threw the meds down my neck each day, slapped on some foundation and went to work. Because without work, I was idle and left to think. Which, at this point, wasn’t nice. Months went by, along with fortnightly doctor appointments, and I was then referred to a Psychiatric Team, who evaluated me and concluded that I wasn’t bipolar or schizophrenic (I mentioned ‘a voice’ during one of my doctor’s appointments, she must have shit herself and called in the Loony Catchers.) More months went by, and here I am.
I still take the meds, and I’m still attending therapy. My therapist, by-the-way, looks like Uncle Fester and it’s fucking brilliant. I’m SO, so much better. I’m no longer experiencing dangerous thoughts, or at least no longer considering acting on them. I stick to a strict routine each day, and focus on getting shit done and most importantly, being safe. I have a funny little bald patch from the stress-induced thinning of the hair, but it’ll come back. I get sleepy easily, and my mood swings can be a bit wild. The blues flare up occasionally, but I can somehow override them now. And most importantly, my family and friends (and now you) are aware.
It’s shite. I will not lie. Each day, I wake up already raging and ready to rip someones dick off or punch a tit. But by 12pm, I’m a fucking delight. The medicine kicks in, I’ve eaten and I’m ready to be a glorious little fairy who loves everyone.
I will be totally, totally fine.
All I know, is that my mind and body changed towards a state that was, eventually, going to cause me or other people harm. And interestingly enough, I kept trying to convince myself that it was ‘just a bad mood’. Nobody tells you about the things you’ll experience with this condition. The paranoia, the obsessiveness, the complete and utter lack of knowledge about yourself. I mean, I’d wake up and not know how to put my jeans on. Literally.
I lost a great relationship, and a few friends have definitely changed towards me. And that’s okay, because it’s hard for the people around sufferers, too.
Shit just happens, but it IS for a reason.
So please, if you’ve read this and related – ask yourself why you haven’t gotten help.
Embarrassed? Know what’s more embarrassing? Balding from stress.
Scared? Not having the future you deserve is scarier.
Mental health is not a character flaw. It’s a chemical change that prohibits your mind from working the way it should, and the way it wants to.
Somebody loves you, so do it.
The Samaritans – 116 123
Breathing Space – 0800 83 85 87