Tuesday, 8 May 2012

My Illness

I was diagnosed with serve depression on the 18th April 2012, it wasn't a single event but an accumulation of incidents that have happened over the past 2 years. Heightened by events at work over the past 8 months.I'm writing this for one simple reason, its the only way I know how to heal myself.

I was a mess, I was crying all the time, I was so low emotionally that I contemplated all sorts of actions, hell I even cried when I was playing Advance Wars and my men were getting killed! Its a computer game for crying out loud.

I didn't turn to drink, I didn't turn to drugs, I bottled it up and became something I wasn't happy being. Irritable, moody, with a temper that would rise up at the simplest of things. I didn't hurt anyone, it was perhaps worse because it was verbal, Ive always had a way with words!. My turning point came one afternoon when I decided I couldn't take anymore. I was either going to do something stupid or get help.

The signs had been there for a months, I wasn't sleeping, I was lonely, I was scared. The person who laughed loudly and enjoyed others company was no longer there, instead I replaced him with someone who never saw the funny side of things, who wanted to spend all his time alone and who struggled to get up and go to work every day.

The reason I kept going was because I had to, I had no choice. I couldn't allow my kids to see the person I had become, I couldn't show them I wasn't strong enough to cope. My wife depended on me, although I wasn't much use to be honest although I tried my best to hide it, we argued a lot far more than normal, I was a shell of the person I had been a year before. However when I finally told her she was and has been brilliant and I cant thank her enough.

Its hard to explain to someone how you feel when they haven't suffered from depression. People try to say the right things but you can see it in there eyes that they don't know what to say. There is a stigma attached to depression, especially in men, we are supposed to be the strong ones, the ones who others lean on. Well I need a break, I cant go on like this anymore.

I went to the GP who was fantastic, he diagnosed my problem within minutes and gave me some pills to help me. The first day I didn't take them, I didn't like the thought of being under the influence and was scared at what they would do to me. I thought I could handle it, that after speaking to the doctor I would be okay again. I wasn't, I was wrong.

Ive been off work for three weeks now, I'm due to go back next week, although I'm not sure I can face it. Part of the issue is there, I have been given a choice of action but I'm not sure I can do it, I'm not sure I'm strong enough anymore. To take that route would bring more pressure and anguish. The pressure keeps coming and I need it to stop. Will it? Who knows. I may have to leave there to free myself from it.

I'm making progress every day, this is the first piece of writing Ive done in a while where I wasn't depressed writing it, I have to admit some of my writing got very dark at one stage due to how I was feeling. I have been out a few times but I get anxious around people now, Ive lost the confidence I once had. I'm taking stock of my life and as much as I don't want to make some of the decisions that will face me I know I will have to. Its about what makes me well now, I have to put me first.

I know I will have this for the rest of my life and that scares me, but I know the signs now and I know when I need help I can get it. I'm one of the lucky ones, I wasn't brave enough to take the course of action others do and will do in the future. I will never judge another human being who takes their own life after what Ive been through, I have walked in their shoes and it is a very dark and lonely place.

If you think that someone you know may be feeling a little down, take the time to talk to them, to try and reach them even if it takes two or three attempts to reach them, believe me they will never forget the effort you made. Don't give up on them you may be the only hope they have.

I'm not strong, I'm not brave, I'm a normal bloke who was lucky enough to have people around him who could see the signs and wanted me to get better. For that I thank them. If you wish to find out more about depression or you think you may know someone who is suffering from it please click on the link.


  1. Well done. You are brave and strong, whatever you say. Well done for not turning to drink or drugs, and for taking the steps you needed to to deal with this, and for being honest and telling the world about you illness.

    The pills do work, and SSRI's are not addictive, so do keep taking them and keep getting better. Good luck!

  2. Anthony, I'm so glad you were able to talk to your doctor and get the help you need, I'm glad too that you have a loving and understanding wife. Just keep taking care of yourself and I hope it keeps getting better.

  3. Hey Anthony. Thanks for sharing (despite what you say it IS brave). Hope the days are getting lighter for you.