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Depression my brother, and my families story
My Experience of Depression
Member Name: jaygami1986
My Experience of Depression
Well having seen some of the reviews of the ciao communities experiences of mine, I felt that I might as well give people an insight to my 2007, which in all honesty has been a mixture of good times and some really bad times. I guess I haven't really talked a lot about the bad times, its something I found really hard to let out, on top of that I have this macho male attitude were by I am suppose to be strong, accept fate and be strong. So hopefully this insight into my year will help to relieve some of the tension, anxiety and stress that I once had.
January 2007 was not a good month for my family, my brother had recently been to the doctors and token some time of for work related stress. It seems the pressure, along with some personal issues had really shook his state of mind up. This unfortunately was the beginning of a long battle he suffered in the form of depression. Ill be honest it was really hard to come to grips with someone in your family suffering from depression, especially the person you've looked up to all your life, this once big character no finding it mentally hard to cope. Both myself, my parents and even my brother were initially in denial, we never truly believed in this mental illness, my dad always use to say its always in your mind, or mind over matter, but we soon came to the realisation that this was real. The next couple of months were really tough, my brother pouring his heart out, my mother crying and dad trying to be brave, it was tough ill be honest. My brother went back to work in the effort of trying to heal himself by keeping his mind busy. I suppose his company really didn't help making him work nightshifts by himself, even knowing the extent of his illness. I still remember my brother phoning me in the early hours of the morning, crying because he didn't no what to do, he would panic, and this was very tough to hear.
I suppose we got to the stage were we started to resent my brother as sad as it sounds, a few months ago we were all happy, talking to one another, going out for dinner. Now we did none of it. I tried to be as brave as possible, but anyone who has had a sufferer in the family will no how stressful it can be for everyone involved. I had my second year university exams during this time, it was hard to concentrate constantly thinking that your brother isn't happy and your family is no different, but I still tried blocking it out, didn't want to talk about it just get on with life, that was my feeling. However, I think it hit home one day when my brother sat down and told me he had had suicidal thoughts. I mean how do you comfort someone who says that? I didn't no what to say, I tried reassuring him, but it really didn't have any affect, he would constantly tell me that he would get 4 hours sleep a night and all he could think about was death. This finally made me snap; I started building so much resentment towards my brother for something he had no control over what so ever, not knowing whether he would actually kill himself, whether the police would come home one night telling us some bad news.
With the encouragement of family and friends we soon got my brother too go to the doctor of his own will, we really wanted him to go sooner, but we didn't want to push him, he needed to have enough strength and courage to make the first move. I still remember the day me and him walked it to the doctors and he told her his symptoms, it was like a weight had finally been dropped from everyone's shoulder. He started taking medication, which we were first wary about, but it seemed to do its job, months had gone by without a smile a sense of relief, but we finally had one, one morning.
I suppose the rest is all a bit of history, what really began as one hell of a tough year for the family seemed get better and better, I finally turned 21 and was looking forward to my party, my mum had turned 50, and everything within a family relationship was soon picking up. I suppose this experience bought our family a lot closer, not knowing the extent of the illness really was our downfall, but we still have to be very careful.
I think people need greater understanding on the illness; it is a real illness, just because you can see any visible effects don't make it any less real than cancer, a broken leg and so on. I have so much for the people who have been through the illness and risen above it, having someone in the family with it really opened my eyes, the courage and strength one has to find is something I could never imagine myself do, and for that I applaud each and every person who's fought it with every fight in their body.
I suppose depression can be picked up early that are what our problem was; we didn't pick up the early stages of this condition. We took the low self esteem, lack of sleep and changing attitude towards life as just a phase in his life. I think depression can make and break a person; it's certainly made my brother and my family stronger.