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You are not alone
My Experience of Depression
Member Name: miaoliver
My Experience of Depression
Advantages: There is help and support available
Disadvantages: it is an awful illness
I am writing this review as this is something which is affecting my life, sometimes I find it therapeutic to write it down. Depression is a very taboo subject and like other illnesses is one which you can't see from the outside but on the inside it is very real. Depression is more than a feeling of low mood and feeling fed up it goes much deeper than this and can be very debilitating for those who are suffering. Many people worldwide will suffer with this condition through their life and what cause it can sometimes be unclear. Many things can contribute to this condition such as genetics and life experiences such as relationship problems or bereavement. Here is my story.
When I was in my late teens I suffered from eating disorders, I had both anorexia and bulimia at the same time, in a way I think my mental health problems may have stemmed back from then. I have always been a perfectionist and strived to do everything PERFECT, I now know is impossible to be perfect and am trying to now accept that I cannot be this. I did get over the anorexia and bulimia but took a long time, I think it really hit home when my doctor told my mum that if I didn't recover I could die, quite a scary prospect so in time I overcame this. After this experience I had a really long period where life was good, I met my husband and had my daughter who is now 10, life was great.
In 2005 I became pregnant with my second child myself and my husband was over the moon with joy, a perfect addition to our little family. All was great with the pregnancy until we had our 20 week scan and were told the devastating news that the little boy I was carrying had died and I would have to deliver him. The prospect was awful I delivered my son who was so small I was scared to touch him, I desperately wanted the horror of it all to go away and wake up from this nightmare, life seemed so cruel. I found it very difficult after the funeral of our son and struggled to get up most days, but carried on for the sake of my family. After a month it all hit me like a ton of bricks and suffered severe anxiety and depression for months but after treatment I slowly improved and things did get better in time. Things that challenge you in life can in fact make you stronger and after the loss of our baby I did get much stronger. I still think about him every day but I had to give the best I could and still can in life for my family.t
In 2007 I gave birth to a much wanted little boy who is now 5 but form the instant he was born I knew all was not well, I felt very detached and anxious. After the loss of my first son I was certain something terrible was going to happen to him and spend many weeks in an anxious state without eating or sleeping. I did seek help once again, it was a long year after my son was born with more downs than ups but I did get there with help and support. My life started to get back on track and I was able to enjoy life with my family again until four months ago when I hit rock bottom again. Like the times before I have had a reason for the depression and anxiety but this time the reasons have been unclear, I have a wonderful family and seemed happy with my life or so I thought.
I have quite a busy life and am always on the go, my work is very physical and with two children life can be demanding. Four months ago I stated to feel very tired and started to feel unable to cope with all life's demands. I shrugged it off and tried to carry on until I had a complete melt down and began crying uncontrollably and I have to say that the past four months I have not gone through a single day without crying. I went to the doctors and was told to increase the dose of the antidepressants which I have been on since the birth of my son. Unfortunately this didn't work and I was getting worse. My mum who I am very close to came to stay with me as my husband works long hours and I was struggling to cope and be alone with my thoughts and anxiety. I returned to the doctors who gave me valium short term to alleviate my extreme anxiety which was crippling me, I was unable to eat, sleep and was suffering from panic attacks regularly which are very frightening. I know these are very addictive as I've had them in the past so I have used them sparingly. He also decided to change my antidepressants which I was happy with until a week later. The new medication left me with suicidal thoughts and I didn't care about life and didn't want to carry on. This was such a scary feeling, I had a wonderful family which need me and I love very much so why was I feeling like this? The doctor told me to stop this medication straight away which I did; I guess not all antidepressants work for some people.
I have been seeing a counsellor weekly to try and get to the bottom of my fears and anxieties which is helping me. It is refreshing to know that certain feelings are normal with anxiety and depression and I am not alone. That one thing with this illness is it makes you feel so alone and isolated. Over the past four months I haven't socialised and have completely shut myself off, I have continued to work until last week as my doctor advised me to rest. My job is very physical and it was advised that I eliminate all stresses in my life as I still continue to struggle. I have just been referred to my NHS mental health team as the treatment I am receiving is not being successful as they would like it to be and I continue to struggle daily. Without the support of my family I am not sure what my future would be as living with the anxiety and depression is a constant struggle which at present I deal with daily. At the same time I do now feel more optimistic and positive that life will get better, if I was asked that two weeks ago the answer would have been very different. What people need to understand is that it is an illness which no one from my experience would want to go through. I always say I would rather someone chop my legs off, if you have a broken arm people can see it and it can be mended with depression you cannot see it and it takes a long g time to mend. Depression is not a quick fix and not something you can simply shrug off or pull yourself together and I am sure many reading this will know.
Who knows why I have been suffering this time around, things are beginning to become clearer in time with help from my counsellor and I am trying to accept this. The only advice I can give to people who are suffering alone is to get help it won't go away by itself, you need support from professionals and loved ones. Depression is more common than you think and people are accepting it more now as an illness and more help is available. Remember you are not alone and it isn't a sign of weakness, this is one thing that I have now realised and accept.
Thank you for reading
Summary: Things will get better