In aid of Mental Health Awareness Week, I have a blog post written by a special friend. Here she shares how speaking to her friends helped her with her depression and made her feel more supported.
Thank you so much for sharing xxx
It’s hard to sum up a lifetime of depression in one blog, but this is my experience, and what opening up to people did for me.
I have always felt “down” but didn’t realise till I was 25 and my mum Took me to my GP to get medication that I actually suffered from depression. I had a difficult childhood and a lot of it continued into adult life. It has left me scarred and it’s hard to shake off certain behaviours as a result of it.
I started taking the medication around the time of meeting my current partner and his big circle of friends. The topic of mental health never really came up, and I was quite happy on the medication so no one knew about my mental health state other than my partner and immediate family. It wasn’t until a few years ago when I decided I was “cured” so to speak that I came off them. I came off them with the GP, gradually, but with no therapy, and only telling a few people. The experience was horrific and within a month I was back on them, most people around me unaware to what I was experiencing. A year later I decided I wanted to come off them to be medication free for a few years in a plan to start having children in the coming years. This time I decided to do it completely differently. I came off them over a period of 6 months gradually.
There were dark days in that period and on one of them, I decided it’s finally time to tell a circle of girl friends who had no idea. I was tired of pretending that I’m fine, because on that particular day I was really quite depressed. I told them over watsapp which felt easier than face to face. It felt scary, and a bit self involved, but I was worried if I kept ducking out of events or not responding they’d think I was being rude or not interested. The truth was some days I struggled or couldn’t go to things because I was so sad or over whelmed in my own head from my depression I couldn’t face anyone at all. The reaction was outstanding. No judgement, no surprise, just pure love and sympathy.
That day itself caused people to open up to me about their own experiences. It was moving, and I was overwhelmed by the love and support by this group of girls. For me, that was enough. But then a few days later I had a knock at the door. It was the same group of girls with a huge hamper of basically a how to stay positive survival kit!!!! Biography’s on people who suffer from depression, a journal to write down what you’re thankful for, pamper bits, photos, a card. I cried and said thank you, but I still can’t actually put into words how grateful I was for that whole experience.
That day changed a lot, I now don’t feel like I’m hiding. I now feel like I can say to one or all of them, I’m having a bad day, please talk to me! And they know I’m not just in a bad mood, they know it’s part of something bigger. Opening up to even one person about your mental health condition won’t change everything, and of course I still suffer, but it HELPED. I was extremely lucky in that I had an entire group of people around me to support, but if you can find one person you trust you should open up to them and talk about how you feel. If there’s no one you know personally, open up to a professional, or a charity available to help. It may seem insignificant, or that it won’t make a difference but, from someone who has suffered for so many years, opening up to people is the only thing that has got me through. It really is time to talk.
Thank you for sharing xx
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