For some reason is feels more personal to write a blog about my depression than it does to write a blog about my anxiety. Nonetheless, I am doing so to help raise awareness and help reduce the stigma that is attached to having a mental health disorder such as depression.
I was diagnosed with depression in February 2016 however, I believe that I had been suffering with it for a few years before being officially diagnosed.
Physically, I was always tired and unmotivated; I just wanted to sleep constantly and that’s what I did a lot of the time. I missed classes in college because of how exhausted I felt which then turned into my performance dropping and not doing as well as I could have been. Mentally however, I was overwhelmed – I felt angry and upset a lot. I didn’t think I was worth anything at all and ultimately I felt trapped in my thoughts and like nothing would ever get any better. I would think, and still rarely do think, that everyone would be better off without me and that I no longer want to be alive. I hated myself, I hated how I looked, my personality – I couldn’t find anything nice to say about myself which only contributed to the negative feelings and thoughts that I had going around in my head already. I really did feel at rock bottom and at the time, I didn’t want to share my thoughts with anyone as I didn’t want to be labelled as ”attention seeking” or “a liar”.
My relationship with my friends and partner started to deteriorate. I slowly started to isolate myself (without realising I was doing so) and make up excuses as to why I didn’t want to do something just because I couldn’t be bothered and I think after a while my friends felt confused as to why i didn’t want to spend any time with them. My relationship with my partner on the other hand, started to feel the strain due to me constantly being upset and aggravated and my boyfriend didn’t understand what he could do to help me or why I was being the way I was. This then led to arguments which led to me feeling even more angry and sad – it was a vicious cycle.
After a while, I managed to open up to my mum who told me that I should go to the GP and explain how I was feeling, which is what I did. He then prescribed me anti-depressant tablets which I took for a few months then decided to no longer take them as I didn’t feel they was making any change (never suddenly come off any medication always inform your doctor). He also suggested that I should seek counselling from my college however, as I’ve previously accessed counselling twice beforehand I didn’t see the point and didn’t feel like it would help. After that, I tried to tackle the depression on my own again and tried to keep as positive as I could and ignore the dark, negative thoughts, which I felt I did as best as I could until I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder in September 2016.
Having anxiety disorder/s as well as depression is a mental and physical challenge daily. My anxiety was feeding my depression as my anxiety made it impossible for me to go to college, go out with my friends or go to work – I couldn’t leave my house, I was even more isolated than before. You can read more about my anxiety journey by clicking here.
After a while of waiting and trying to access different services i finally started to receive help through CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) for my anxiety as well as my depression. I now feel like I am dealing with my emotions rather than squashing them down and I feel more confident and happy within myself. It is still overwhelming sometimes however, I am on the road to recovery and although it may be a long road I know that I can get there and that other people who suffer with anxiety/depression or both can too.
Please never deal with depression on your own, people will be there for you just as long as you make that first step towards helping yourself by talking to someone about how you feel. My family, friends and partner have been really understanding and a vital support to me in my journey. You can contact: MIND, Samaritans, Childline, PAPYRUS, CALM or your local GP if you feel you’re not ready to talk to family/friends yet or to access other information/support.
This blog post has been the most difficult for me to write and share however, we need to end the stigma and labels that come alongside suffering with depression as well as other mental health disorders. Don’t forget to keep updated with my latest blog posts by subscribing or following my Instagram/Facebook/Twitter @sineadmatanle – my next blog post will be live tomorrow so stay tuned.
You’re not alone, and you can do this.