Let's Talk About Depression

Stock image from Unsplash of a girl laying on a bed

Depression, it's horrible and some days I don't even know how I feel or if I can go on. It's a daily battle inside my head that seeps into every aspect of my life.

A lot of people get confused when it comes to depression in my experience. I have had people tell me to get on with things, that I'm just sad and need to "man up" (a term I completely loathe), or they think that depression isn't a real illness, getting told these things when you are depressed just does not help in the slightest. There are so many misconceptions about depression and I feel that this is something we should be more educated on as there are many people who go without getting diagnosed because of the stigma attached to it, and a lot of people who jump to the conclusion that they have depression when they are in fact just feeling a bit down.

I know that a lot of people understand that mental health issues aren't trivial issues but for the most part, I see so much negativity towards something that can take over your whole life. This definitely seems to be the case when I'm reading through Tumblr, it's either one extreme or the other. (Tumblr is a blog hosting site where people create blogs and share with the community there.) Sometimes on my dashboard I will see posts talking about how depression doesn't exist and that people who are having a bad day are getting "babied" into thinking that it's ok to take up the time and money of the NHS (UK health system) for just feeling down. Then there are posts that talk about how depressed they are and that their entire life is over just because they have had a bad day at school/work etc... When this happens, I feel like it completely undermines people with genuine depression because then others will think that it's a nonsense thing that shouldn't be treated. 

Now I am not taking away from the fact that people do have bad days and that everyone is going through their own problems but with depression, I feel people are far too quick to jump on the back of it and say that it's what they have when they don't know the first thing about depression. So, this is why I believe there should be more education in depression and other mental illnesses, so that people can learn the facts and get to know the difference between feeling sad or being depressed.

This topic is close to my heart because I grew up with my mother who was depressed... BIG TIME and no one would help her really. She was also bipolar, schizophrenic, multiple anger disorder and much more. From a very early age I was witnessing the effects that all this had one someone which wasn't pleasant to say the least. I have also been diagnosed with depression myself and I am currently still suffering from it, but I am on medication to help me.

Here is a link with some information on depression; 

I would like to tell you all my story of depression, It's not something that I normally open up about as I am quite ashamed of it, and in reality a lot of my friends don't have any clue that I have been diagnosed with it... ever. So where shall I start? The beginning is an obvious choice, but I feel I should divulge some information before I do. I am currently still struggling with depression right now which has taken over my life to the point I cannot leave my house some days, I am on new medication for it which seems to be agreeing with me (for now). So please bear with me as I write this, because I know I can let my emotions get the better of me and this is the first time I have really spoke about this out loud... well I am writing about it but you get the idea, right? This is a pretty big thing for me to open up about and it's scary to be doing it over a blog post, but if this even helps one person in ANY way, then I have succeeded in what I set out to do. This post isn't just to inform people on depression but it's to selfishly help me come to terms with opening up about it myself. Ok, so, now allow me to start from the beginning.

I was first diagnosed with depression in 2011 by my Dr. At first, I didn't know I had depression, it all started in 2008 when my Mum died. I took her death pretty hard; I couldn't function right at all; I was 15 and it was very sudden. She took her own life on 2nd August 2008 leaving behind me and my gran to try put our lives back together after this tragic event. I started to drink heavily; I was hardly ever sober which I feel masked my depression for a while. Eventually I got sober in December 2008, well I wasn't drinking every day which was a big step for me, I started collage in September but was never really bothered with learning but I got my head down and tried hard to get my life back to normal, but something kept eating away at me, inside I just knew something was wrong but couldn't put my finger on it. I went through 2009 not feeling myself, I kept going with life, but I was slowly becoming less social and my moods changed rapidly. By June 2009 things weren't too good, I had just come to terms with my mum's death when my Great Granddad passed away in hospital. I was completely and utterly devastated to say the least, I knew it was coming but it still killed me a little inside. He was everything to me, he taught me how to count money, to respect people and much more. I felt like everyone around me was just dying off which made me even more depressed, but I still wasn't diagnosed. Come 2010 I thought things were looking up, I was a little more social, but I was having panic attacks left, right and centre. It was horrible, then in august 2010 I found out I was pregnant which took me completely by surprise, another major thing I had to come to terms with but I got there, I ended up being excited beyond belief about it then on the 26th September 2010 I got told the baby wasn't alive. Everything in me fell apart once again and no sooner was, I told this that I started to miscarry, then around a week after that I split up with my boyfriend (the father of my unborn child). I felt like the whole world was against me, so I turned to alcohol again... I was never sober; I was abusing prescription pain killers and I tried to overdose a few times resulting in me being kept in hospital for a couple of days. It was after that I got diagnosed with depression which was in 2011. By then I had it pretty bad, I didn't want to get out of bed or talk to anyone, I was suicidal every day, I hated my life. The depression completely ripped my life apart, it seeped in and took over me as a person, I didn't recognise myself anymore, I wasn't that bubbly, hyperactive girl who was on the go all the time anymore. Instead I was constantly in my bed and if I wasn't, I was thinking about new ways to kill myself or I was out drinking and doing things I am in no way proud of. 

I got put on antidepressants but at first, they didn't agree with me, if anything I felt worse on them and started to self-harm, so the Dr changed up my medication. Eventually things started to get better, I was out socialising again, I was smiling, I felt worth something. Things were looking up for me which was great! I didn't want to end my life anymore, I wanted to live life to the fullest. What I didn't see coming though, was getting hit with depression 10x harder than I did the first time. I had to quit collage, I stopped seeing people, I started to self-harm again and I lashed out at everyone that loved me, it was horrible to say the least. I was back at the Drs near enough every month for about 7/8 months until my medication was regulated, and we found something that worked for me. Since then I haven't felt the same, I still have it creeping up on me when I least expect it which is horrible when you have a child. Don't get me wrong, I haven't self-harmed since 2013 or tried to kill myself but that's not saying I haven't thought about it. I'm scared it will never go away, that I will always have a feeling of worthlessness. Something that does help me through the tough times is seeing my son smile or hearing him laugh. That's what brings it home for me, because I don't want to leave my little guy without a mum or not be able to do anything with him because my depression. I want to be the best version of myself for him. My son is the most important thing in my life, and I am so blessed to have him.

The thing with depression is, it seems to creep up on you, it starts out small and slow then all of a sudden you aren't who you once were. Sometimes I don't think people understand that, But I guess you wouldn’t, would you? not unless you had experienced it yourself. If you ever feel like it's more than just feeling sad... GO TO YOUR DR! and if they don't help you, you go to another Dr. You keep going until you get help. I know that it's not easy when you are in the position of not knowing what's going on but reaching out and telling someone about how you feel is the first step in some cases. This won’t work for everyone as we all experience it in our own way, some people can't just go and get help but if they feel like they can't because of the stigma attached to depression then that isn't going to help. We need to make it more ok, it shouldn't be something that is looked down upon, people should be able to feel like they deserve help because it's serious, not be told that they will snap out of it or get over it because that isn't how it works. If you knew someone who may be experience symptoms of depression then you can help them, you can encourage them to talk to a health professional or someone they trust to get the ball rolling or you could talk to a health professional on their behalf, but get permission first! because taking important steps for them can hinder the situation rather than help. It's not going to be easy for anyone with depression, but it's going to be a hell of a lot easier to live with if they have the right support and medication. 

You should check out Project Semi Colon. I think their work is absolutely amazing and I will be getting my semi colon tattoo soon, because my story isn't over yet. 

Screen grab of projectsemicolonhttp://www.projectsemicolon.com/

Well that's all from me, I hope this post has been eye opening and can help someone, anyone. And if it does? My post wasn't for naught. 
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  1. Jordanne, this was very brave of you. Opening up about this disease is difficult. You may have just helped someone, so that certainly makes it worth it. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you continue to do well.

    1. Thank you so much. It took a lot for me to finally talk about it properly, and I'm sure some of my friends will be shocked but understand now why I have been distant at times etc... Thank you.

  2. This post left me crying. Well done for opening up. Although I've never lost my mum, or even my dad, I lost my grandad and my bestfriend and it breaks my heart even now. My mum also is a depression sufferer as well as having bipolar! Luckily enough her bipolar isn't really severe. I have also suffered with depression. For 8 years now, never been to a doctor about it to get help and to be honest, I'm glad I never did. If you ever want to talk to anyone, I'm a message away! It's so difficult when people don't understand depression, my boyfriend is one of them people. I hope you're okay.


    1. It's really hard when people don't understand isn't it? I have a lot of people in my life who feel that "just think positive" and they assume I'm better by telling me that, it's not theory fault though, they just don't know how to deal with it etc... I'm glad your mum's bipolar isn't too bad though, I know how it feels living with someone who is a severe sufferer of it and it's not a great situation. See I'm the opposite, I'm glad I've been to a Dr, I'm glad I got the diagnosis and the medication because it has made such a difference to my life.