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I joined this community yesterday and thought I would introduce myself to you all.
My name is Pammie, I am 37 years old and I was diagnosed with clinical depression in June 2015. Although I think I have probably been suffering from depression and have been in denial for nearly 20 years!
I have been ill with one illness or another since February 2014 and the same problem kept reoccurring and then other illnesses would join in, never life threatening but enough to zap me of any energy I had. I joint primary carer for my elderly grandmother with my younger brother in March and April 2014 when my parents went on a 7 week holiday to Australia and New Zealand and my grandmother took quite ill while they were away also, as I was closer I was the one called to go and deal with her more often than not. It was hard going and I did feel stressed out. She died in June 2014 at the ripe old age of 94. During all this work was not the greatest and I was struggling, I was in a management position and I resigned from my post and was lucky enough to be able to continue working in the same place in a lesser role, it is still stressful at times but not as much as it was and in a different way.
In March 2015 I was off work for 3 weeks with viral fatigue, looking back now, it w as the depression making itself known to me and screaming at me to get help, which I didn't really do, I denied there was anything wrong other than I was sick of being sick. In June 2015 I was sick again and went to the doctor, this time however I did nothing but cry for my whole consultation and I was finally able to admit I needed help. I was put on 20mg of fluoxetine and it took several weeks for me to start to notice any difference, even then it was slight, my manager at work was on holiday when I was given my diagnosis and on her return I was able to go and speak to her. She has been a huge support ever since and she suggested speaking to my works counselling service, I contacted them and went for my initial consultation 3 days later, I started counselling officially 2 weeks ago and there have been several things come from it, that I never realised affected me as much as they have. Being bullied in high school by a group of boys, being told I was ugly, not good enough to date anyone, that sort of nasty thing that teenage boys are oh so good at. Well it's left me with a fear of never being good enough, thinking I am not a good person, that I not good enough in anything I do and I do quite literally hate myself, I feel like a failure and that I let everyone including myself down. It also didn't help that my parents didn't seem to understand and we're making comments like "you're not depressed you can't be depressed" "get a grip of yourself" and "you are becoming addicted to those tablets" I was devestated and I seemed to implode a bit and got more tired again and I actually forgot to take my medication for 3 days as I was sleeping in for work through it all and running out the house without taking them. I managed to write my parents a letter and I emailed it to them with links to some articles I had looked up to try and explain myself better. My brother came with me to talk to them and they finally understood, they assumed it was other factors causing me to be ill and until that point had misunderstood everything. They habe been the support I have been missing and it finally was the biggest weight off my shoulders having them understand and support me. My friends and work colleagues who I have told have been amazingly supportive and I have been shocked at the amount of people who have turned round and said, I've suffered with depression.
I think if I was to give any advice to anyone I would say the following I am finding managing to talk about having depression is theraputic in some ways, making people understand to an extent what I am going through. I have also been writing down everything in a journaling app I found that allows you to upload not just written words but photos and gives you the opportunity to tag your entries so you can look back on them. As of 1st August I have been recording "Three positive things that have happened today" I have written three things every single day, even if it something silly like "I got up on time today" because for me at the minute that is a positive thing for me to be doing! Music is something else that gets me through, there are certain songs that I can play and they just help me through the bad days and keeps me smiling on the good days. I am slowly realising that I am sick and it takes time just like a physical injury to get better. I need to be patient and not try to rush my recovery, I will get better I just hate the feelings I am feeling right now because I often feel empty and alone even when with friends.
The other thing I did at the beginning of July this year was to get not just my 1st but my 1st 3 tattoos 1 on each wrist and the 3rd on my back, all have meaning. My profile picture is my left wrist tattoo, my semicolon butterfly. My story isn't over and a butterfly to me represents rebirth and transition. My right wrist is song lyrics that mean alot to me and the one on my back is my starsign.
Anyway sorry for the novel, and thank you for taking the time to read my story.
Well done you Pammie! I am new on this site - I don't actually suffer from Depression, being one of those irritating 'glass half full' people, but I an the care giver for my husband who has suffered from this dreadful condition for 50 years. One of he big problems he has is that he cannot talk about it, cannot say how he feels or what is going on in that head of his. He is the most gentle, kind and loving man when he has his better periods, with a great sense of humour, but when the black hole opens up and he falls into it, that man disappears completely and a shell sits in the chair all day with his eyes closed to the world, that is when I eventually get him out of bed in the first place!
He grew up in a family that didn't understand, thought he should 'pull himself together', a common misconception, and were embarrassed and ashamed of what they didn't understand. He was always hushed up if he ever attempted to talk about it, end result - now he can't put anything about it into words.
I went on a course about mental health issues to better understand it and know that admitting to the problem and discussing your feelings is a huge step to coping with it and all it brings.
Once again, well done you. Give yourself a pat on the back for getting that down on paper and if you want to contact me to share highs and lows, trials and triumphs, then feel free.
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