It is a well known fact that living and managing a long term condition can lead to depression.
Yet the psychological support is exceptionally poor. Often there is a a 6 month waiting list. Although statistics prove and there is evidence to support the links to depression and long term conditions. There is very little recognition at diagnosis and often no service.
How I got through the last 2 years I don't know. I have always been an out going person who prefers to smile and laugh rather than be miserable and grumpy.
Having worked in roles that exposed me to the general public,I can safely say I was the Queen of Trivia!
People I met kept on saying "you always look great and you never looked stressed" little did they know, that behind the make up and smiles, there was a dark cloud looming that seemed to be getter bigger and bigger.
At first I kidded myself that I could cope with all my emotions and the day to day challenges having a family of 5 & long term conditions brought.
It started to dawn on me, that when I felt low I managed to pull my self back up, but each time the low points were getting lower and lasting for longer periods of time.I sunk that low I couldn't even cry anymore. I was no longer the happy go lucky person I had been all my life. I just wore a mask of false happiness everyday.
I got up one morning about 6 weeks ago, I realised I didn't want to feel like this any more. I made an appointment at the Doctors. I spent about 40 minutes with her, discussing the different treatment options.We decided on a 6-9 month course of anti-depressants and counselling sessions. I voiced my concerns about medication and she reassured me it was fine and there would not be a problem when it came to stopping them, as we would do it together slowly.
What I found very profound, was the Doctor said "well done for coming to see me ". Something I will always remember in future. My doctor saw my weekly at first, then fortnightly, now it is once a month.
I started to take my medication, it took a few weeks, until I started to feel the benefits. 8 weeks down the line I feel so much better. I wish I had asked for help months ago. What sadly stopped me was the stigma surrounding depression.
What I have learnt is: sometimes in life you are thrown a huge curved ball, but no matter how intelligent, happy etc you are that is not always enough.
I have a counselling session tomorrow, I can't wait as all that bluuuuurrrrrrrrr inside me can come out!!! What a relief.
Most of all I am almost back to my old self! Yipeee! Queen of Trivia.
My message is: Don't be afraid to ask for help, it's not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength.