These days, I don’t care who knows that I suffer with depression and anxiety, but even now I still find it hard to talk about how it affects me and what exactly I go through. But I’m not talking about that today. Today I’m going to tell you how my crappy situation turned into, well a still pretty crap situation, but it became so much more bearable.
In April 2014 I was diagnosed with severe depression after finally going to the doctor after feeling like shit for a few months. In fact I built it up so much and what I was going to say to the doctor that when I sat down, I inhaled to start to talk and on the exhale I burst into hysterical tears and cried harder than I had in years. I was in such a state that I was sent over to the Counselling service for an emergency appointment and given another GP appointment to talk about my options. I hadn’t even told my Mam, my best friend in the whole world, that I was going to the doctor, or that I was feeling that way until I came home. I was put on antidepressants and started counselling. But the antidepressants did not agree with me. I felt nauseous constantly, they increased my metabolism and decreased my appetite leading me to lose 1 stone in 3 weeks. Anyone who knows me, knows that this wasn’t weight I needed to lose.
And with this brought back anxiety issues like never before. I had experienced issues in 4th year and in 5th year after the shop I worked in got held up and I’ve always had a nervous disposition but never like this. If I left the house I would get anxious that I would be sick or get an upset stomach outside of the house. I hated the dart or the bus because I felt trapped and I called in sick to placement about 3 times because I had panic attacks in the mornings. When I was to do my set of 3 nights I actually went in to the hospital, went up to the changing room, had a panic attack and actually called in sick as if I was at home and not 5 minutes away from the ward, and then went home. So in August 2014 I was diagnosed with severe depression and Generalised Anxiety Order, the doctor being pretty sure that I’ve had it in varying degrees since I was six.
I missed my first day back in college because I went in, spoke to a few girls in my course, went down to the toilet and had a panic attack. But then things changed, I psyched myself to go into my admin session of the first day when a girl in my course came into the bathroom when I was at the sinks and asked how I was. I honestly just told her “um I’m actually having a panic attack right now” and begun to have another one. She was the best person to have told in the that moment and was the first person to know outside my 3 best friends. She told me to go home, relax, and come in again tomorrow. Which I couldn’t do until about noon.
This is when things got better. I started going to counselling again, I was put on another set of antidepressants, but the same thing happened and the stone I had spent most of the summer trying to put back on was gone again. People told me that I looked gaunt and asked if I sick.
I can’t remember making the decision to tell people, but I just started to. I realised this was just part of my life now and I had to deal with it. I got involved in the Student’s Union and people were just so open about their problems that I felt like I could be too. If it came up in conversation I didn’t care if people knew that I had anxiety or that I can sometimes slip into deep depression for a few weeks at a time.
And because of my openness about my mental illnesses, I have felt so much better. There’s no anxiety about people finding out, if I’m on a night out and feel anxious everyone knows and makes their best efforts to help me, I know if I have to pull out of going out because I’m too anxious, my friends understand, so all the anxieties I had before surrounding this has just disappeared.
My lecturers know and as such have given me accommodations on my extremely bad attendance before Christmas this year, something I’m hugely grateful for.
So yeah, everything still isn’t peaches and cream, but my whole life has gotten dramatically better and easier ever since I talked to people about my problems. I urge you to do the same. Don’t suffer in silence. Please talk.
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