Your Stories About Depression
Depression and meWritten By:
So, where do I begin? Lets go from the start. I was rushed into hospital with suspected meningitis in October 2011. They later found out that it was a severe kidney infection, poisoning my blood which was why I had an unusual rash. I was in a serious condition for 5 days, which was where the depression started. I never really liked staying in hospital, but I just got on with it. But that time was different, I would go hysterical every time my mum and dad had to leave me, I wouldn’t eat, I wouldn’t talk to the doctors. I was over the moon when I got discharged but I wasn’t in the clear just yet. I was on medication from home for over 2 weeks, and was too weak to even get out of bed on my own and I still felt severely depressed. My boyfriend was a waste of time at that point and broke up with me the day I got discharged. That was the day it spiraled downhill. I never wanted to wake up, eat, talk or even wash myself. I very nearly gave up all together. I’m lucky that I had my parents to support me, they where the only ones that truly understood as they have depression their selves.
As soon as I recovered I went back to college. I had a lot of catching up to do as I had nearly two months off all together. The staff where very harsh on me. They thought they where helping me, but instead they made me feel so small that I would make up excuses every morning so I wouldn’t need to go. They always yelled at me, picked on me, forced me into things and made me feel unwelcome. The only member of staff that never did that was my vocational tutor, Fran. She let me go at my own pace and treated me the same as everybody else even though I was hardly ever in. The only course I fully completed was Fran’s because she never got at me.
Then, of December 2011, two weeks before the Christmas holidays, the depression came creeping back. It was the last day of college, every one was happy as we didn’t have to do any work. But I didn’t feel right, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but I knew for sure something was wrong. I tried to push it away and have a laugh with my friends but it didn’t work. I ended up breaking down in the corridor just before I went to class, and one of my good friends Owen was running around like a headless chicken trying to find some tissue for me before my make-up smudged. He ended up going into the girls toilets ha ha. I dried my eyes just before we walked into lesson so I looked normal, but Fran knew something was bothering me. I broke down again and she called me to her desk, and I told her about the depression. She took me out the classroom and into the chapel (it’s a catholic college). I let all my feelings out to her, and she just sat and listened. In the end, the only thing she said was she’d also suffered from depression and has had it for a long time. It felt a lot better talking to someone else who understands and knowing I won’t upset her easily.
I went back to college on January 4th, and I didn’t feel any better. All the grief and stress getting put onto me by the staff lead me to harming myself. At that point it was just with sharp pieces of plastic so I didn’t hurt myself too much.
In the beginning of February, I had a warning from the head of attendance saying if I had one more week off I’d be kicked out as my attendance was only 25%. Later on that day, we rang her back telling her I’m dropping out because I felt ill that day and I knew something would happen. Its a good job I listened to my gut. I have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and it flared up bad. I was throwing up for 8 hours until 4 am. I finally managed to crawl into bed at that time and try and get some sleep, but it didn’t happen. I had severe joint pain all over and couldn’t move my arms or legs. I had to be helped into my parents bed (as its comfier) and had pillows under every part of me trying to ease the pain. It took me two weeks to fully recover and I could only eat plain foods for about a month afterwards. By this time I was back with my boyfriend. We’d sorted everything out so we was back to normal. But a new problem started.. I’d been in the house so long through being ill I was too scared to go out. I was scared catching something or something happening to me while I was out. My boyfriend finally managed to persuade me to go with him and his family for a meal and to watch a movie in the cinema. I went and I struggled with the food and started to feel ill again. I was so close to having a black out in the car but I fought it off. The film took my mind off it as it was scary. It was ‘The Woman In Black’ that we watched. As soon as the movie was over I came straight back home, climbed into bed and cried myself to sleep.
In March 2012, I was referred by my GP to see a counselor. The first time I went was to see a man called Rob. He was asking me questions so he could decide which would be the best option for me. He decided to get me an appointment with Jen, one of the best counselor’s there. Jen’s been amazing. Every time I go and see her, she makes me feel so much better. She’s so warm and welcoming and just by looking at her you can tell she’s never quick to judge. I can tell her EVERYTHING without feeling stupid.
From late 2012 onward, it got incredibly worse. I was suicidal half the time, I couldn’t control my negative thoughts and I was harming myself badly. There was a big knife hanging from the kitchen wall as we’d got it as a present of a family member when they was on holiday, and that’s what I’d use. Every time I self harmed I felt so ashamed. I’d burst into tears and run to my parents. It didn’t help that in October, I caught the flu a few days after having my flu jab. Considering the jab stops you getting it as bad as everyone else, I was very ill. Which didn’t help at all as again I was bed ridden, and being in the same room all the time, staring at the same four walls made me feel even worse. As soon as I started to recover I would try and get up for a bit for a change of scenery and try my best to take my mind off it somehow. It finally worked and things started to improve. By Christmas I was a lot better. Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year. Because that’s when we all show our love for each other and that really gives my feelings a boost. Just the thought of waking up Christmas day to my family being together happy cheers me up.
Now, its 2013 and I’m beginning to learn how to cope. I know that whatever happens I have my fiancee, my parents, my best friend and Jen to turn to if I need someone. I’m not on the road to recovery just yet, but they made me realize that I am worth it, I need to fight to get my life back and that I should never give up. I still have bad days where I don’t get out bed, eat or talk to anyone. But despite the fact I can be stubborn on a bad day and no matter how much I argue and push them away, they’re always there. My fiancee holds me while I cry into his shoulder and doesn’t say a word until I calm down, my parents and Jen just sit and listen while I cry and let everything out and support and comfort me in whatever way they can. I can’t thank them all enough but in a way, I’m glad I suffer from depression. Its made me realize how I can trust and depend on the people closest to me no matter what. Its made me stronger and the harder it gets the more I want to fight.
So thank you depression.
- A tip you should try if you struggle with self-harm: Draw a butterfly on your wrist and name it after someone close to you. You cannot rub it off or wash it off. If you do the butterfly dies. Leave it to fade away on its own, and when it has, the butterfly is free. (I’ve done this thousands of times and it really helps!)
Rediscovering my Passions through DepressionWritten By:
Legs dangling out the windowsill into the unforgiving cold of Beijings winter, I sat in a trance, wondering what happened to me. At 28, I was in the global management cadre of one of the most prestigious firms in the world with an awe-inspiring title on my business card. I had a loving boyfriend and many friends. But wrought with numbing migraines every other day for six months and ER visits every week, I couldnt cope anymore with my work, with life, or with myself. I had sunk into depression, ready to jump to my end.
I had glided up the corporate ladder back then, and thought I boded well with workplace challenges. Thus, I arrogantly assumed I was too good to be stressed. Therefore, I was appalled that doctors concluded my depression was likely triggered by stress stress that I placed on myself in all aspects of life and work. Eventually, I was ordered to take leave of absence from work. I gave up trying to manage my team via the blackberry I was physically unable to stare at a small screen as my head thumped like a bulldozer, vomiting every other hour. For the next 24 months, I hid from the world, lost about 33 pounds and fluctuated between insomnia and 30-hour blackouts.
This was two years ago. Since then I have fought incessantly with depression and came close to killing myself several times.
To battle this dark hopelessness, I started Chinese calligraphy and taichi lessons to calm down and maintain some sort of social contact. My psychologist also suggested that I record my thoughts.
So I started writing in my journal. I had already kept one since a young age but had neglected writing in it. Eventually, one day, an idea sparked off in my head I will blog about it.
I didnt know much about blogging, and never had the time to when I was working as an executive. However, hiding away at home gave me the time, if not the same amount of energy. I read about building a blog slowly online: wordpress, themes, plug-ins, comments, SEOs, social media.
Gingerly, I tried. I bought a domain with my name. Then I played around with themes. Then I started writing. At first it was a platform on which I vent my emotions and dark thoughts. Writing became part of therapy to confront my thinking and suppressed emotions. I became more aware of who I am and appreciated reasons for my collapse. Slowly, feelings of negativity and helplessness reduced.
I didnt even think anyone would read it. Much to my surprise, people somehow found the blog. To my greater surprise, they liked what I wrote. Then I thought, perhaps I was not alone, and that my readers and I could encourage each other through this struggle.
In addition, during my worst periods of depression, I had closed off contact with my friends and cut myself from social media. And none of my friends knew about my blog until perhaps a few months ago. I was more than surprised I was shocked. Not only did they not think me weird, quite a few of them actually told me they have had the same experience.
Thus, with my writing, I had opened up. Opening up and admitting I had depression is helping me confront the challenge and recover.
More importantly, through writing everyday, a year after I started the blog, I suddenly realized that I had loved writing all along. I was passionate about literature and poetry and creative writing when I was younger. Yet, I had forgotten over the years as I vainly attempted to make money and earn more powerful titles on my business cards.
Time wore on. As I journey towards recovery, through my writing and building a blog for myself, Ive come to know myself more. If you can believe it, depression can be a positive experience to boost your future career, because you, like me, can become more equipped during the experience:
- Improve self-awareness: Confronting thoughts behind emotions to understand why you feel a certain way helps understand who you are and find out what you want in life.
- Rebuild confidence: Be open about your depression, regardless of how others react. This is a crucial step to renewing self-confidence and being entirely comfortable with who you are.
- Rebalance priorities: Rethink what is important in life (heath, relationships) rather than blindly climbing a corporate ladder.
- Empower passions: Use this down time to (re)discover what you love doing, and pursue it.
- Embrace work: Recovery from depression builds character, an asset to any employer and company.
- Un-box yourself: The last thing you want to do, is take a certain job because it provides perks you think you cannot live without, yet sacrificing your own mental and physical well being. Opportunities are boundless: part time work, freelancing, entrepreneurship, working from home
Depression has guided me to a greater knowledge of myself, albeit perhaps, through a bit of a detour and meander. Yet, I would not have come to this awareness of my values and passions had I not gone through depression, and still go through the depressed moods these days.
Today, I busy myself, when I have the energy, by fleshing out my experience, in hope to inspire others who are going through the same struggles. Simultaneously, Im giving myself some time to rediscover who I am. My motto is Be me. Be natural. I must stay true to myself in order to prevent future depressive episodes. I maintain my writing and thoughts at the blog (http://nochnoch.com) Ive built, which is fast growing and in my relief, resonates with many.
I had never thought I would say this, but Thank you, Depression.
Raised in Hong Kong and Australia, Noch Noch was a young, overachieving executive for an international corporation, working and living in the worlds most premier cities. After seven years of living the life she dreamt of, or so she thought, she suffered a serious episode of stress-related depression that turned her life upside down. As she battles with depression, Noch Noch is on a quest to be the wake up call for others in similar plights. She strives to be true to herself, jotting down her reflections on living with depression and self-awareness at Be Me. Be Natural. (http://nochnoch.com).
Back from the brinkWritten By:
Anybody who knows me thinks of a funny, outspoken loud mouth who loves a good laugh a drink and a party. I would be at the crux of the here and now, always on the edge of bizarre, lapping up attention like Nero. It seemed that I could not enjoy life more, but there was something I hid from all around me, something that bought me more shame than I can even describe in words. I was not the person I pretended to be, I was not happy, in fact, I was a mess inside.
A year ago my father passed away and I was unable to attend his funeral, I felt isolated and alone. I was miles from my family and had poor connections to those who were close. As far as I can figure, this is when the welling up of pain and emotion began. I just bottled everything up. I had people around me that I didnt want to seem weak in front of, people that expected more of me. Friends would say I dunno how you handle this so well, but I wasnt handling it, I was putting it on the back burner and let it fester away amidst other problems. I was adding fuel to an already smoldering fire.
The next year went by in a darkened haze, my drinking worsened and my health faltered. The more I put things off, the more I felt I was obliged to. The mere mention of certain things almost made me vomit fear and sadness and self hate. I would make excuses to leave because it was too much for me. I could actually feel a ball of pain building in my chest day after day. Then the horrible thoughts began. Thoughts of ending this life, thoughts of not being here and how much easier it would be. I could not do my favourite things without these thoughts invading my mind. When I would draw, play the guitar, even be with a woman, these thoughts pounded my consciousness daily. And all the while I laughed, had fun and made out I was ok.
This went on for some time, the sadness burning a hole in my chest and defiling my thoughts until it all became too much for me to handle. My mind thrashed from one extreme to the other, my body responded in kind. I had refused to trust in anyone else and it had led me to ruin. November 2011, I made an unwise, uncalculated choice; I decided to take my own life. Obviously Im terrible at tying knots, or I just didnt really want to die. Whatever was in my head that day, Im still here. I lost my mind, terrified my housemates and felt a shame that I dont know if I can ever erase, but Im still here.
Its in our darkest moments that the most unexpected people reach out to us. People who were merely acquaintances before become friends, people that understand, people that know. It somehow made me believe that I do have a purpose here. It made me believe that my job isnt finished yet. It made me realise that I do have friends even though I never saw it. I can see through the murkiness now, my mind is clearing. I see that there will be a time when I am happy again.
I wrote this because I realise the shame I felt in admitting that Im not ok may be the same thing that has led so many others to the terrible end I could have had. I wrote this because I hope someone sees, in my words, something that reflects in the way they feel too. I wrote this to say that Im not ok but thats ok. Im getting better every time I talk, think or write about it. I just look forward to paying off my new guitar and sitting on the banks of the Otepuni on a sunny day and chilling with my friends. Thats all I need at the moment, time to be real and true to myself. Im not 100% yet, but Ill get there.
It is possible to live with depressionWritten By:
I was a happy outgoing child, until age 10 when puberty struck. Prior to that first period, I thought I had a brain tumour - I was so depressed, so unable to function. Physically sick each morning, swollen up and with head, back and limbs throbbing. I was bullied at school because of it, my unsympathic, Victorian mother told me get over it, even trying “to beat it out of me”.
I left home never to return again after. At teacher training college I made several suicide attempts, and was later told I could not teach children because of these. I left college, alone in London by myself, struggling to make ends meet in a dismal bedsit, I did whatever was legal to make ends meet, shop work, photocopying in offices, cleaning, anything, and often lost jobs when the PMS hit. Antidepressants didn’t work for me, just made me feel worse, so I didn’t take them beyond a few months, just one time. I never resorted to social security - I just didn’t eat some days. After meeting my husband and settling down we tried to create a happy family of our own; thank goodness for a lovely mother in law too.
I had three ops, then repeated IVF, and repeated miscarriages - oh, and on going PMS throughout everything. After the last baby died (twins) I hit three years of continual depression and had my first time off work for it. At 35, I decided no more medical intervention, which resulted in one last pregnancy and miscarriage. I went for cognitive therapy- the best thing ever - with a professor at Oxford, on the NHS, where I just happen to live. I discovered I had suffered from Complex Post Traumatic Syndrome as a child (continual bullying and beating) combined with reactive depression in between the hormonal depression (late luteral dysphoric dysfunction, which is an extreme form of PMS caused by a gene abnormality).
At forty, I started an early menopause and if things had been bad before, it was even worse now, continual PMS symptoms which didn’t abate for even a day and I felt suicidal again. I was sent to see Mr Studd in London and he prescribed continual HRT (no bleeds), it was uncomfortable at times, but lifted the depression and migraines enough to allow me to work. Too tired to go on holidays, I let my husband go alone though. At fifty, I went back to college and took an MA in art, which I now teach to older students.
Thankfully the severe depression ended with the end of the menopause at 47, and I went back to college to complete an MA at 50. I now teach to older students through an educational charity. The only problem now is SAD which hits each winter and came on after the menopause ended. From Nov to Feb I rarely do anything outside, no parties. After so much medical intervention (which I’ve always hated) I am off to the doc next week for the first time about this. I may not be able to use a light box as have had eyes ops in the past. My husband thinks new types of anti depressants may work this time? We’ll see! I have developed great abilities to just hold on, batton down the hatches and survive anything in life, and theres been a lot to survive at times! I have my own coping stratergies and am willing to talk to anyone who needs an understanding shoulder, as I do know what you are going through, but it can be got through, that is a promise.
23 year old - scared.Written By:
I am 23 years old. I am horrifically depressed. I don’t understand why. I have a good, sort-of-well-paid job, I have a fiancee who loves me and who I love in return, my family are loving and supportive and we are very close.
Yet for as long as I can remember, I have felt empty. Like there is a great black hole inside of me. I don’t feel like I am living my life, I feel as though I am drifting. Existing. To me that is not right.
I have this image which describes me perfectly. The world around me moves at high speed, everyone around me is a blur. And I am stood on this busy street pavement- stood totally still. Not moving whatsoever. I long for the day that I begin moving, I yearn for the day that I start living my life but right now, I don’t ever see that happening.
Last Thursday as I was walking home from work and I came to the main road just before my street and I saw a car coming towards me. For a split second, I thought about stepping out and letting the Toyota Aygo mow me down. I didn’t do it- obviously- but that is not the point, I should not be having these feelings. They are wrong.
I am awaiting to be referred to a mental health outpatient centre in Stoke-On-Trent. My new GP didn’t seem to care at all when I- and my fiancee- begged him for this referral. I am not expecting to hear off the outpatient centre. The NHS let me down when I was 17. I saw psychiatrists. Never the same one, the same things repeated over and over again. I doubt they would care now.
I don’t know what to do anymore or who to turn to. I want to be normal. My fiancee says I am, but I know I’m not. Normal people do not have thoughts allowing a car to run them over. Normal people do not have sudden, panicking thoughts about wanting to leave thier partners.
I am terrified.