LESSON ON DEPRESSION

It’s not that deep until it happens to you.

I read that once and it’s so real. We sympathise, listen and nod along but never fully understand or ‘get it’ until we ourselves have been in that position.

I am so glad there is now a bigger awareness of mental health. Looking back, I first started getting depressed during my first year of University in 2012. At the time I didn’t know I was depressed and blamed it on low moods and change of environment; thought it was just a late moody teenage phase. If there was more of awareness back then I believe I could have dealt with it a lot differently and my life choices overall would be a lot different.  Instead, I left University, got a job to keep busy and went back to another University several months later. Things got better but with the ups and downs of life, the depression always followed me. It took 5 years to finally seek professional advice and to finally tell my friends and family. Instead of constantly replying to messages saying “yeah I’m good thanks, you?” I was actually expressing myself better and able to say ‘you know what I’m actually not good today and here’s why’.

After seeking professional help I realised University wasn’t the reason for the depression; it played a minor part however, I was triggered. In the year 2014-15 statistics show 1,180 students left Universities in the UK due to mental health (1). Shocking right? And we can only assume today that number has increased. I have always been bubbly, somewhat life of the party but when you’ve been depressed for so long your mind adapts and learns how to act around other people; its hard to know what someone is going through under the exterior.

I have dealt with people who have been depressed due to family life, being unlucky in love, not being able to find work and people who genuinely haven’t worked out why they feel this way. As mentioned before, you will never be able to pick a depressed person out of a lineup, however, bearing this in mind we can work through this together to make life easier. During mental health awareness week, I tweeted about my issues and I’ve never felt so free it; to finally be open. Depressions job is to eat away at us, so don’t let it. Unleash your true feelings; even if you write it down and throw the piece of paper away- at least that’s a start.

Further recommendations:

  • Make use of my services. My service is real and relatable in comparison to someone who is talking from theories and studies. With my experience and knowledge, we will be able to make a strategic plan to be a better you.
  • Seek professional help. Contact your GP and they will be able to refer you.
  • Get reading. If you are not ready to talk to anyone about your feelings, a great start would be to understand your mind and how to tackle the issue:
    -Depression: A practical guide – The Flag Series by Dr Harry Barry
    -Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions by Johann Hari
  • Stay active to keep your mind active. Whether you say yes to all social events or pick up a new hobby; don’t let depression know you’re sitting at home letting it get you.

For further assistance/advice on depression, please comment or click ‘Let’s Talk’.

Reference:

The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/may/23/number-university-dropouts-due-to-mental-health-problems-trebles

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