Okay, time to be honest. I haven’t been very well lately and I am really struggling. It’s taken me a really long time to come to terms with this and actually reach out for help and give myself a break. I suffer from depression and anxiety and have done since I was about thirteen or fourteen. I didn’t know what was going on back then but that was what it was then and what it is today.
Back in my first year of uni in early 2014 I tried to get some help but gave up too easily and just tried to keep pushing through, constantly exhausting myself and making excuses for not meeting up with my friends or attending my classes. However this year I decided I have had enough and went to the doctors and got a formal diagnoses and some help. My doctor was really lovely and a felt like I could open up and be really honest with her about how much I have been struggling to just survive. I sound like I am being over-dramatic but trust me I’m not. That’s how it can feel for people with depression- you just loose the will to live and find basic everyday tasks like getting food and having a shower virtually impossible. When you throw anxiety into the mix it makes things ever more frustrating. I panic and worry about all these things I could and should be doing but the depressed voice in my head tells me that it’s not worth the effort anyway and there’s no point even trying. It’s a constant contradiction and it is so tiring to go through again and again.
I’m currently on some medication to attempt to sort out the chemical imbalance in my brain that is causing the depression so I can start working on coping strategies to overcome the anxiety. Annoyingly right now after five and a half weeks the tablets are making my anxiety much worse and my mood hasn’t really lifted that much overall. However I’m not going to give up, there are different doses and different medications that work best for different people. I was so scared to go on medication because it felt like giving in but it’s not like that at all. It’s a super strong thing to do. It’s stepping up and saying “hi, I need help, I can’t fix this illness with sheer willpower” and there’s nothing wrong with that. Depression is an illness and just like any other illness you deserve to get the right treatment for you so you can live your best life.
I’m having a pretty good day today which feels pretty weird as I have been feeling so shit lately. It makes me feel somewhat guilty which I know is ridiculous. My rational brain hates this illness. To combat that guilty feeling I decided to write this post to share my truth and let other people know they are not alone. I also hope if you are one of my friends reading this it explains why I have been so distant lately. Since being open and honest with myself I have felt so much less pressure.
My university has been amazingly helpful since I told them how bad things have been for me. I have an extended deadline for my work as I literally cannot focus on anything, not even a movie, on a bad day. The living support team and my personal tutor have been amazing at pointing me in the right direction and letting me take things at my own pace. My friends and family have also been way more understanding than I ever imagined. I know that won’t be the same for everybody but you never know until you speak up.
Speaking up can be the hardest thing for some people, let alone people with mental health conditions but it really does lift so much pressure from you to just tell someone and start down that path to a better life. I don’t know if I will ever be fully better but I do know that things can improve. I will always have good days and bad days but being open about my depression and anxiety means that people know why I’m acting the way I am, even if they don’t fully understand it. Anyway, I’m going to stop rambling on now. I hope this blog post explained some things and maybe gave some people some hope. Thank you for reading this far. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below.