My Experience with Depression

Since October of last year, a lot has changed for me. After ten long years I finally admitted I had a problem that I needed to get help for.

The problem was that I kept having break downs, I wasn’t eating, I was barely sleeping at night but sleeping throughout the day, I became very reclusive, I had no motivation to do anything, constantly worrying and over thinking about things, feeling down a lot of the time, as time went on it got to the point where I was putting my life at risk. I could be here all day listing all the problems that I had. After years of experiencing this, all it took was one little breakdown before college for me to finally seek help for these problems that I was having.

My mum booked me a doctor’s appointment and I went down there with my aunt and uncle. I was worried because I didn’t know what was going to happen. I had been to the doctor’s a year before but he was no use, but this time I was seeing a different doctor. When I met the doctor, she was really nice and I basically told her all the problems I’d been having and where I think they might’ve stemmed from. A few weeks went by, I had to have a blood test to see if there were any underlining problems, which there wasn’t. The doctor diagnosed me with depression, prescribed me 20mg of fluoxetine and recommended I give bereavement counselling and therapy a go.

The antidepressants had some pretty horrible side effects to them, and after four weeks the doctor upped my dosage to 40mg instead. The severity of someone’s problems doesn’t reflect on their medication dose. There are people out there with moderate/severe depression who are on 20mg, and there are people with mild depression who are on 60mg. It’s just about finding the right amount since everyone is different. For me though, 40mg of fluoxetine has been doing the trick. The tablets don’t make you better overnight, it was a good three or four months before I started to feel the effects, you just have to stick with them.

I gave the bereavement counselling a go. The first few sessions were very hard since I’ve always been a shy person, and my social anxiety certainly wasn’t doing me any favours, especially when the sessions involved me talking for an hour with very little input from the counsellor. The great thing about counselling is that you can talk about anything, literally anything, and the counsellor won’t judge you, they’ll just listen. I’ve been having this bereavement counselling since early November, but recently the counsellor told me he doesn’t think I need him anymore since the chats about bereavement ended months ago. So in a couple of weeks’ time, I will be having my final (hopefully) bereavement counselling session.

A couple of months after that doctor’s appointment, I had my first therapy session. I’m still currently doing the CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) and it’s been a big help. I’ve been stuck in my own little ways for so long; the therapy is helping me see things from different perspectives. Just because I think I’ve done something wrong, or I think someone thinks negatively of me etc. doesn’t actually mean it’s true. I’m not sure how many more sessions I’ll be having, but already it’s been a massive help.

Like I said, a lot has changed. I dropped out of college because it was making me miserable and it wasn’t something that I thought would benefit me. However, I’ve packed in smoking, been smoke free for six months. I’ve been going out a lot more, feeling optimistic about the future. I’ve put on weight (it’s a good thing, but I’m gonna need to buy more trousers). I’m passionate about the things I love again. I had my first job interview a few weeks back, and it went well. I’ve also been doing things such as donating blood, I also plan on spending my first few pay checks doing charitable stuff like helping dog rescue centres (buying food, toys, blankets etc. for the dogs), buying toys to give to children’s hospitals and hospices, I want to do something to help cancer patients and the homeless as well but I’m not entirely sure how to go about that yet.

Unfortunately it hasn’t been easy getting to where I am now. They say things have to get worse before they get better, and that’s certainly been the case with me these last seven months or so. At the start I was very impatient; I didn’t feel like anything was changing which led me to doing some stupid things. I began drinking in my room almost every day for a good month; I’d even attempted to hang myself a couple of times. I didn’t feel as though anything was going to change. Luckily, I overcame all this and a short time later I started to feel better.

I’m still on the medication, and I still have regular doctor’s appointments but I feel like a completely different person now. Things are definitely looking up for me but as I’m not Superman though, I haven’t been able to do all of this by myself. I’ve received a lot of support from my family, my friends (mostly), and from the professionals that have been treating me.

The reason why I wanted to post this is because for those people reading this who are going through a similar situation to me, I wanted to say that things do get better. For those people on here who feel they may have a problem, while it feels scary, the best thing to do is seek help. Stuff like this doesn’t go away, as I learnt, it only gets worse over time. Life may seem hopeless, but things can change for the better, there are loads of services available for helping people like myself. I can’t speak for anywhere else, but in the UK, all the help I’ve received has come from the NHS.

If you’ve got to this part, I’m assuming you’ve been reading along. I know this has been quite a long read, but I’m hoping it’ll be some use to someone on here.

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