uK charity Time to Change have been challenging mental health stigma through their work, including a recent tv advertisement, which. I adore. Today is national Time to Talk day, as talking is one of the things that help most with any kind of mental illness. Just a simple “how are you?” Can change the course of a day for someone with a mental health problem.
So, I decided it was time to come out. Nope, not out of the gay closet. Out of the mental health closet.
I suffer with Anxiety and Depression and I am NOT ashamed.
I have suffered with anxiety and depression since March 2012, although I did not recover my diagnosis until June 2012. Why? Because it took me that long to seek help. I felt sad. I felt like I was drowning. I felt like I couldn’t hold my head up and be my own person. I felt insignificant and small. People told me “you’ll get over it”. And “everyone has bad days”. It wasn’t until I went to my dr and she immediately out me on antidepressants that I realised that this was a real, medical problem. Not just me overreacting, it is medical.
I have had times where I felt like I couldn’t cope any more, where I have leaned very heavily on my lovely wife. Thankfully she has pulled me back to the surface several times. Someone once said to me, “depression feels like you are drowning, but you an see everyone around you breathing” and that is completely right. It’s hard not to compare yourself to others. People say things like “but what do you have to be depressed about?” It’s true. I have a lovely wife, a nice house, two lovely dogs and a job I enjoy. But my brain says I am depressed. I have had hard times that need to be worked through, but that doesn’t make me weak or a bad person.
So, how do I cope nowadays? I have a wonderful wife and several wonderful friends who are always there for me. I take the rough days with the smooth and I go back to my dr when I need to. I try to overcome my anxiety sometimes, by going out alone or doing something new. I have counselling, which I go. To every single week. I went part time at work. All of these things are helping me cope with what I now realise is an illness, not just a state of mind. Depression is a very real thing, just like diabetes or asthma. It is very real. Talking is the only way to end stigma, so that’s why I’m telling my story.
So, there you have it. My name is Laura and I have depression and anxiety. And I am not ashamed.
For more information on Time to Change head over to their website – http://www.time-to-change.org.uk