Friday, 19 February 2016

Living With The Devil | My Story With Depression

Hi Guys,

I would like to add a disclaimer before I begin that this will be a post about mental health. If you are at all triggered by other peoples experience then I urge you to please be careful before you read on. Also, if you just in general don't like these type of blog posts then feel free to take a look at my other posts which are based on other topics. 

I don't plan out my blog posts what so ever. I wait until an idea comes to mind or an idea is sparked by something I have seen, heard or something that I'm feeling at that moment in time and I guess this has been playing on my mind for a while. So what better way than to talk about it, right!?

After the passing of my granddad just before Christmas I made one promise to myself that I would better my mental health for him. However, if you suffer from depression then you will know that that's probably going to be a lot harder than it sounds. 

I stopped taking my medication and I'll be honest, I felt okay. 

I was surprised and excited that I might just be able to live my life again without the devil on my shoulder telling me all those bad things that I didn't want to hear. But I think you know what I'm about to say, don't you? Yep you guessed it, it didn't last very long.

I'm going to give you my story with depression and anxiety. The one thing I want from this post is for those who are close to someone suffering to maybe understand what they are going through a little bit more. It's crazy, I would never do this with a person face to face but sometimes I like to close off and make believe that this blog is only between me and myself which makes writing this a little less daunting.

So, let's start from the beginning. I want you to know that I was a happy child considering all of this, I just have to include things that are sad to show you how my anxiety and depression started!

I was never a huge fan of primary school and I think that was because at that age I was beginning to realise that I was in a lot of ways different from others in my class. I was shy, timid and in a lot of ways anti social to the point where every time my mum went to a parents meeting the only thing they would say was "she is sooooooo quiet!". 

I never understood why everyone else made friends easily and could talk to teachers and answer questions without even thinking twice. I used to pretend I didn't know the answers even when I did just so I didn't have to open my mouth in class. I remember one time crying on the way to school because I felt like I couldn't breathe and unzipping my coat because I thought it was choking me. Which I know realise it was a panic attack and I guess that was where my anxiety started.

It didn't help that I was also bigger than a lot of girls in my class. Don't ever think for one second that even in primary school kids can't have self esteem issues because I can tell you from experience that they definantly can. I used to 'forget' my PE kit because I hated changing in front of my other class mates or I would run off into the bathroom to change because the thought of people seeing me change clothes made me sick to my stomach. I feel so sad saying this now because I wish I could go back in time and tell myself that just because I was bigger it didn't make me any less beautiful than the kids around me.

Anyway, time went on and I never grew out of being shy and timid but before I knew it I was heading off to high school. 

The first year of high school was horrible for me. I had no friends and I couldn't bring myself to make any. I used to stay with my cousin and his friends at break times because I was too nervous to be the kid that was alone and vulnerable. However, I was lucky enough to find a group of friends that I stayed with and are still friends with till this day. Although I was loud and annoying around them I still stayed within my inner circle and found it hard to communicate properly with teachers and other people without feeling anxious.

I didn't start having massive anxiety problems until the last year or two of school. I remember being in class and my best friend Katherine taking me out numerous times because of anxiety attacks. There was a lot going on in my life at that point and as we where preparing for exams my uncle passed away and it all just took a huge toll on me. I couldn't sleep at night because my heart would pound and I eventually asked my mum to take me to my GP because I thought there was something wrong with my heart. Turns out there wasn't - again it was just anxiety attacks. I was put on medication and they worked for the most part.

Eventually, I left school and felt strong enough to stop taking my anxiety medication so I did. I managed to stay off them for a while before I went through extreme anxiety. I couldn't eat, sleep and leaving the house became forced. I remember my sister cutting an apple into tiny pieces just so I would have atleast one thing to eat a day. I was put on Propanalol which is a medication that slows the heart down so it left less chance of having anxiety attacks. I stayed on these for just over a year before deciding to come off them.

Around 2 years ago I began noticing that not only was I always feeling anxious I was also feel deeply depressed. This period is a little bit of a blur so please do forgive me if I get a little jumbled. I seemed to manage it okay until my 4th year of college. I stopped attending and my life revolved around my bedroom. I wasn't okay. 

Back off to my GP I went and they prescribed me Fluoxetine; a medication that treats anxiety and depression. I remember taking it for the first time and thinking that I was dying. My head pounded with pain, I felt sick, I couldn't eat and I was shaking like crazy. Turns out these are all side effects of the medication. I stuck with it and eventually the side effects went away and I started to notice how much of a positive effect it was having on my day to day life. I felt normal again.

Fast forward a few months. 

I managed to drag my way through the end of college and depression was slowly rearing it's ugly head and worse than ever and it hasn't really made a disappearance since. I began university but dropped out due to my mental health.

Let me tell you the worst things I have experienced because of depression:

Acceptance:

Sometimes it's hard for people around us to accept that we are in pain. Yes, depression is an invincible illness so why would anyone know how bad it is until they have been through it themselves? It's understandable in a way but it is no excuse to not even attempt to understand.

One of the most painful things to do to someone with depression is not even try to understand how they are feeling. It does feel like a knife to the heart when someone mistakes your depression for laziness or when someone gets angry at you for something you cannot control.

Self hate and guilt:

This has been a huge part of my depression. I am the type of person that will blame myself for it raining outside! I have always put a lot of pressure on myself to not upset people; that in turn has meant that I don't really care about upsetting myself. I am working hard on this at the moment. I definantly no longer want to be the centre of my own sadness.

Most people who suffer depression will also feel a tremendous amount of guilt. For me I found this hard because going through depression means suffering and watching others who care about you suffer because of your suffering. I have felt guilt ridden so many times because I know this is something within that I cannot stop. Not only are you hurting yourself but you are hurting those around you which then can escalate depression even further.

                  
No Cure:

I'm not sure if everyone who suffers depression has experienced this but this is just from my point of view. There have been plenty of times in my life where I have practically begged my GP for help only for him to give the usual "Right, okay. Well we will higher your medication dose and refer you for counciling!". It's painful to know that the only way to help us is to higher the drugs and send us for counciling that we will only receive months after asking for help. I know that they are doing there best as there are pretty much no other ways of helping but I have found it hard to sit back and accept that I can only live a normal life if I am dosed up on medication. That is even depressing in itself!


I hope you don't think I am ending this post on a negative note because I am definantly not. I am currently fighting as hard as I can to beat depression and I feel stronger than ever. Every bad day makes me appreciate the good 10x more and I will always try to help others through my bad experiences.

I will never let depression defeat me.

I want you to know that if you are reading this and you are suffering depression, you are not alone. Never let depression take away the life that you deserve to have and I want you to fight with every bone in your body to defeat it. You are loved, you are cared for and you do deserve to be here just as much as anyone else. You aren't strange or scary for having a mental illness; you are just as beautiful inside and out as the people you pass everyday.

I'm going to end this post here because I am fully aware it's SUPER long. 10 points if you're still reading! Haha.

If you ever need someone to talk to then feel free to contact me. All my social media's are linked at the side of my blog.

I would also love if you could leave me a comment letting me know your experiences and if you are dealing with or have managed to over come a mental illness.

Thank you so much for reading,

Katie Ellen. xxx

SHARE:

2 comments

  1. Hope your feeling better these days! Love how you mage to stay positive and not let it defeat you! xx

    ReplyDelete

© Katie Ellen. All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Made By pipdig