I’m writing this to continue the discussion about mental health issues. I’m happy to see more discussion happening, and I think it’s important to keep talking, and to reduce and eventually remove the stigma of depression and other mental health issues.
I have depression. I’m ok at the moment, but there have been many times when I’ve counted out the pills that I have, or wondered about other ways of ending the pain. Depression is painful, both mentally and physically. I’ve been hospitalized for depression. I’ve had talk and behavioural therapy. I’ve tried various types of medication. I’ve been on Prozac for years now, and that does seem to help. I tried to come off it a few years ago, and that was a big mistake!
Depression makes me feel worthless, useless, pointless. No matter how many people tell me, countless times, that I do make a difference, that I am loved, it just doesn’t sink in. I don’t believe it, when I’m in the depths of a deep depression.
Sometimes I can feel it creeping up, and sometimes I’m able to push it back. Other times it just comes on relentlessly, and I can’t do anything, except try to disappear. I haven’t been able to work out a trigger, or a reason for it happening. Sometimes it will go again within a few hours, and sometimes it takes days.
It’s like living life in sepia. I feel so disheartened and sad during periods when I’m not depressed and I look back at times, and realise how much I missed, how much I didn’t fully enjoy, because I was so depressed. It’s depressing having depression!
I am fortunate and grateful to be in a place in my life that I’m travelling. My husband and I sold our home, and have been permanent travellers for the past three years. We’ve seen some beautiful places, and had some wonderful experiences. Mostly I can enjoy it, but I know that often I’m not enjoying it to the fullest. You might say “what do you have to be depressed about, you’re living the dream!” But this is a chemical imbalance. I can’t help it, I can’t snap out of it. It’s like telling myself to snap out of a broken leg! I’ve been reading lately about several travel bloggers who have depression or anxiety, I’ve also read sadly of a couple of them who have committed suicide. I don’t know if those of us without a permanent base are more prone to depression, or maybe we’re trying to get away from it, by continuing to move on.
I’m so grateful to have the support of my husband, family and friends. It helps immensely. Strangely it also helps to know that I’m not alone. More of us are talking about mental health issues, and that’s important.
I’m going to keep on keeping on, keep on trying to live my life to the fullest that I can. If you have depression, please talk to a health professional. It’s not always easy in some countries, in some cultures, to get the help you need, but please try. Try to talk to people who love you. They want to help, they want to understand. Ask for help. I’m learning to ask for help, to ask for support when I need it.
I am strong. I will continue.
If you have mental health issues, please ask for help. Contact a suicide help line:
In the UK: phone 116 123.
In the USA: phone 1 800 273 8255
In Australia: phone 135 247
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