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Depression … A word that can make your whole world crash down around you...
It was back in 2015 when my mum suggested that I went to the doctors. After disagreeing with her and saying that I didn't want to go, I went … Only to be told that I had depression. My heart dropped, I was nearly 16 and didn't exactly know what depression meant. I hadn't even left school yet ... I didn't think I was old enough to be diagnosed with something like that. I’d never even thought about it! I didn't know that it would have had such an impact on my life … My moods were really low, I was sleeping a lot, I wasn't going out with friends, I had really low self-esteem, I was always negative about everything and I always seemed to be angry.
After talking to the doctor on my first of many visits, they suggested going straight onto antidepressants, something I certainly didn't want to be on. They went on to suggest counseling for young people which I agreed and went to. Counseling just really wasn't for me. I just couldn't find the words to say … I was asked question after question which revolved around bullying at school and a boy I was spending a lot of time with—NOT trying to find the root cause and talking about things that had happened when I was younger. I then headed back to the doctor just after my GCSEs had finished and agreed that the next option would be a small dosage of antidepressants.
I tried these for a few months, I was taking fluoxetine but after a year or so they started really irritating my throat and chest causing me not to take them. So, I then went back to the doctors again to get them changed over onto something more suitable. The doctor suggested upping my dosage as I still wasn't feeling great. I could have cried at that time, I just wanted to get "better." I just felt like a failure ... I thought I’d be able to do it on my own. I then changed them to citalopram which I seemed to feel a lot better on. From then on I have still had my ups and downs. I’ve had days where I didn't take them and I've had a few weeks when I didn't take them, but I hands down admit that without them I would certainly be taking a massive step back into my old ways.
I never wanted to believe I had depression, I was embarrassed. I thought people would judge me even more than some people already had done, but in the recent years my feelings have become worse as I’ve gotten older. But, I now know how to deal with it and how to comfort and look after myself. Now I’m working and trying to start driving lessons, earning my own money and deciding what I want to do in my life. Men, friends and social media—they all have had a massive impact on how I'm feeling. Even when you feel depressed it's not always caused by anything. It's one of those down days. I'm more accepting of my depression now and can openly talk about it to people suffering or people wondering about mental health. I researched and read articles on other peoples experiences and advice and took it on board myself. I finally now accept it and can acknowledge when I’m feeling depressed. I can recognise that it is different from being genuinely sad. Sometimes there is a very fine line between them both. Although, what I call "depressed" days can last days or even months!
I've lost interest in a lot of things. I used to enjoy photography (I still do) I just really struggle finding motivation and enough confidence to work with others I haven't previously worked with and sharing my work on my social media platforms! I've lost interest in meeting with friends and planning days out. I mean don't get me wrong I do go out, I don't completely shut myself away anymore (as much as I’d like to) and do things. But, sometimes I don't feel like it, which of course is normal but its the times I don't even want to get out of bed and leave the house which makes it difficult.
People tend to think everyone who suffers with their mental health have suicidal thoughts … I openly admit I don't but when I’m stuck feeling down, I always think about how much easier it would be if I wasn't here. I wouldn't have the worry of work, money, depression, bullying, people, friends, or anything. Things are always easier, but it's getting through those things that make you feel more in control of your mental health. Sometimes I can't bring myself to go into work, I have to drag myself up to get dressed, put my makeup on, eat breakfast, get dressed and get to work. I could get ready for work in tears, adamant I can't go, knowing once I get there things tend to ease up, my mind’s taken off of feeling sad. I hate having to say to people that I don't feel well and people assuming you feel sick or have a headache or whatever. I always feel as if I'm lying when I come in saying I feel rubbish but I smile, have a laugh and joke but it doesn't mean that I feel better. My mind's just taken off of it for a few moments.
I have such great support from my family, but friends are also what you should have in the time of need. I've never been in a position to talk to anyone. Since school, I've built up a wall just to block people out and to protect myself. I’ve never really fit in with a friend group, I’ve always been the odd one out, the one that doesn't do what everyone else is doing. It’s just never really worked out for me. It's always been quite difficult to confide in someone as my trust in people has been built up and knocked down quicker than anything I can imagine. I'm stuck in that stage of not being able to build friendships because of how others have been in the past, I just can't seem to let go.
I find it difficult to accept that things go wrong. Things from messing up on the till at work, to the silly things like my hair not going into a bun properly, it could honestly ruin my day. I try my hardest to stay positive about things, I mean my life isn't all that bad. I just turn all the positives into the negatives and then feel like I've failed myself when I make myself feel rubbish.
I really struggle with looks, it's such a big thing for me at the moment and no matter how much I tell myself I look okay, I could still just burst into tears every time I’m in front of a mirror. I really struggle with my weight. Over the past year or so I’ve put on a lot of weight, some from comfort eating because I felt so crap about myself which obviously hasn't helped in the long run! Every time I’m at work or out shopping I'm constantly looking at people wishing I had slimmer legs, or their lovely long hair and its so difficult to keep telling yourself that everyone is different. As cheesy as it sounds it's true … We really are all unique, although it does still make you feel so rubbish.
But all in all ... I am slowly getting there. My mental health will most likely be with me for a long while, but I will do everything in my power to help myself and anyone else I can put myself out for.
I am so proud of how far I have come in the recent years and I hope I continue smashing it as much as I can!