Guest Post – Mark

I have followed Mark for a long time on twitter and he is someone I have great respect for! I was delighted when he agreed to write a post for my blog and I hope you enjoy this as much as I have.

Music is helping Mark in is recovery and you will be pleased to know I have added his songs to the blog below.

This post may be triggering for some as it talks about suicide so please be careful if this subject may be too much for you… now over to Mark

===============================================================================

My story starts on Oct 17th 2001. The day my life changed forever.  I was working as a musician and working for a production company. I also ran 4 performing art schools for children. That day was a normal working day for me another gig another show. During that day we were on the road driving towards the venue when I was involved in a severe road traffic accident. I was a passenger and we were hit by a drunk driver coming round the corner at high-speed. That’s the moment the lights went out and one life ended and another life began. People were killed but I ended up in hospital seriously injured.  So began a long dark journey. I suffered broken bones and a brain injury. After months of recovery it became very apparent that I was not the same anymore. Headway got involved and so began the long slow process of starting life again and trying to recover only now it was different.  I suffered a frontal lobe brain injury. My emotions and everything about my personality had changed. I also found I couldn’t do what I used to do so on that day I had my life stolen from me. Another way of putting it is I was raped of my life. Months went into years and years. I was diagnosed with clinical depression PTSD and borderline personality disorder.

During the following years I attempted to take my own life on several occasions.  From taking overdoses to standing on a train track waiting for a train to come. The train didnt come. Once I was allowed to drive again I also drove to the lake district and took another overdose but some how I was found by the police and was rushed to hospital. We lost our house our cars are savings and most of what we owned .During this time I spent a lot of time inside an acute psychiatric hospital on a secure ward . I did not want to live any more because my life had ended as I saw it , I couldn’t earn the money I was earning and I couldn’t look after my family. My family went through hell my wife wanted to leave me and my children needed counselling. Such was the damage on our lives. During this time I was given a CPN called Kelly Perkins . She turned out to be an angel a saviour . I now owe my life to her. Along with many talking therapies  CBT and others. She along with Lyn Atkins another angel from headway kept us together as a family. Without their help we would not be together today.
Another problem I encountered was the lack of understanding from some family members. Often stigma is very close to home and  on one occasion drove me to another suicide attempt.

In 2010 we decided that the best thing we could do was to move to try and start again as everything around us reminded us of our old life. We moved from Bedfordshire to Dorset.  We settled into a quiet life by the sea. This was the first time I was trying to live a new life with some hope. Sadly during the spring of 2013 I suffered a relapse and ended back inside an acute ward. I was again suffering extreme anxiety depression and suicide thoughts again.
During my stay I found an old guitar and for some reason I started to play a bit again. This resulted in my wife bringing in my guitar.  I now found I had words and songs pouring out of me so I started to write and write.

During this time I had also started to become aware of Dorset Mental Health Forum. Somehow through my recovery this time I found a new purpose and that was that I had a passion for mental health issues and all the songs I was writing was about my lived experience , I had found a new voice and so I started to talk more openly about it. I was on a new meds regime and these were starting to work. I then found myself having meetings with Dorset Mental Health Forum. This led to me getting involved with something called Tea and Talking in conjunction with Time To Change leading to becoming a peer specialist for the forum now I had found a new purpose in life and that was to spread the message of recovery and to tackle stigma. I have been recording all the new material which is now nearly finished and will be available soon. Recently I was inspired to write a song for the Time to Talk campaign which I have done. I have also been asked to write a song for Blue Apple Hero’s about PTSD .
My passion and focus is now on raising awareness and sending out a message through music and speaking that recovery is possible even from the darkest place. I will live with what I have for the rest of my life but thanks to some great people and of course my wife who has suffered greatly  and family I move on to a new life, one that is wanting to see and help others who suffer . That’s my lived experience and I share it in the hope that it brings you hope.

Mark Storey

Mark can be found on twitter here

If you would like to submit a post for this blog please get in touch with me via twitter/facebook or email using the contact page

Introducing Jonathan Rottenberg

As I have a lot of readers from the United States I jumped at the chance to allow Jonathan to write a guest post. He is the man behind a wonderful campaign that I hope I can help him build up. Please read his post below and share with the world!!

 

A New Campaign to Raise Depression Awareness and Crush Depression Stigma: Come Out of The Dark

Our national conversation about depression for the last twenty years has been on hold, largely reduced to a narrow dialogue about the promise and peril of antidepressants: “To Prozac, or not to Prozac?”  Peter Kramer’s Listening to Prozac raised expectations that antidepressants would soon make depression obsolete. As this proved not to be the case, there was the predictable backlash. In Robert Whitaker’s Anatomy of an Epidemic, antidepressants (and other psychotropic medications) are not only ineffective, but the villain, responsible for worsening the epidemic of mental illness. The next movement will be a backlash to the backlash. If we do nothing different, we can conclude with supreme confidence that all the heated talk about drugs will continue to monopolize the stage and preclude a real conversation about mood and mood disorders.

The continued ascendance of the conventional disease model of depression is part of the problem. The conventional approach tends to view the legions of the depressed and the formerly depressed as a “broken” people, an ever-afflicted group that will likely need repeated assistance over the life course because of their theorized defects. The biological defect model may have been created with good intentions, but it is both belittling and inaccurate. Depression like any mood state has a biology but it is simply not a disease in the same sense that Parkinson’s Disease is.  To try to maintain that depression is a brain disease is to cut off a more interesting conversation at the knees.

I am a depression researcher and former depression sufferer who has looked at the poor state of the national dialogue and has been moved to try and change it. I am using social media, particularly Facebook,  and Twitter to start a movement of people committed to changing the conversation about depression. We desperately need this not only for adults. We also desperately need it for my daughter, Sophie, and for the rest of her generation, the teens who will soon be young adults. Our youth will face depression in high schools and on college campuses in epidemic proportions that will overwhelm them, their parents, and all counseling resources.

One major obstacle to a more affirmative national conversation is that depression has lacked a unifying public symbol that could bring it out of the dark like Livestrong© bracelets did for cancer or the rainbow flag did for LGBT. When most people think of depression, their first associations are to unfortunate images, such as a dark cloud, the color black, or a noose. One reason that depression stigma lives is that depression has a serious bumper sticker problem.

But this is essentially an issue of failed marketing and messaging. It is very hard to talk about depression when it is always on societies’ terms. Depressed and formerly depressed people are ever on the defensive. To change the terms of the debate, and spark more productive conversation.  I have developed a unifying symbol to function in a depression anti-stigma campaign. These are glow-in-the-dark wristbands that are printed with the phrase COME OUT OF THE DARK.

Come Out of the dark wristbands

This summer, I was using my Facebook page to probe for interest in these wristbands and I made an offer that I would give away a glow-in-the dark wristband to anyone who would be willing to send me a picture of themselves wearing it. I bought 200 bands from China and planned to give them away from time to time to readers who were interested. Initial response was rather tepid and I started to think it would be complete flop. For reasons that I do still do not completely understand, the wristbands went viral on the internet, and I was flooded with 3,000 requests from all over the world.

I received requests from parents for their depressed children. From people who lost loved ones to suicide. From teachers for their classrooms. From therapists for their patients. From counselors for their support groups. And from many individuals who have been touched personally by depression, both those who have conquered depression and those who were still struggling with.

I think that part of the viral appeal of the wristband campaign is the slogan, which has several possible meanings

•   Let’s end society’s ignorance about depression.

•    Let’s support depressed people so they get well and stay well.

•     Let’s create an environment where people can speak freely about depression and no one feels compelled to conceal their pain.

And part of the appeal is that total strangers are giving you something for free that will make you feel more comfortable living in your own skin.

By the end of the year my goal is to have distributed 5,000 of these wristbands.

People who have received the wristbands are starting to return pictures. If you look at this gallery of the first wave of people who have come out of the dark, I think you can more easily understand why this campaign has taken on a life of its own. It’s both a social media campaign and a word-of-mouth campaign – both of which inevitably will shift the conversation about depression on more favorable terms.

The great response to the Come-Out-of-The-Dark campaign so far tells me that change is in the wind. People are tired of hiding, tired of hedging. They are ready to reclaim their identities as fully human.

The stakes are high. Conservatively, 13 million US adults are currently in an episode of depression; more than twice that number have had depression in the past. When we add in caregivers, millions more are indirectly affected by the quality and the quantity of our national dialogue about depression.

But we have the momentum. With your help, I give the stigma of depression about another six months to live. I welcome help of all kinds. As of this moment, I am still offering the free wristbands. All you need to do to receive one is to be one of the next 1,000 people to sign up to receive my free newsletter (US addresses).

 

Jonathan Rottenberg is a leading researcher in the area of emotion and psychopathology, where he has focused on major depression. He recently edited Emotion and Psychopathology: Bridging Affective and Clinical Science, published by the American Psychological Association. Since receiving his PhD degree from Stanford University, he has been at the University of South Florida, where he is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of the Mood and Emotion Laboratory. His work has been generously funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health and he has authored over 35 scientific publications, including many in the top journals in psychology and psychiatry. His work has received national and international media coverage, reported in outlets such as Science News, Scientific American, The New York Times. He is author of the forthcoming book, The Depths: The Evolutionary Origins of the Depression Epidemic.

Blog: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/charting-the-depths
Book: http://www.amazon.com/books/dp/0465022219
Author page: https://www.facebook.com/charting.the.depths

Guest Post – Cagsy

Since my teen years, (now reaching nearer the half century mark), I have struggled with life.  Never being able to find the balance.

Always been up and down like a yo-yo, but have found over the years, that I have more downs and feeling unhappy most of the time.
I don;t take anti-depressants, as they really disagree with me.
Recently I had BeMe contact me for an assessment to offer me therapy, as I have been through so much in life, and
still have family issues today, which I find hard at times, especially when lots of things happen in a short space of time.
Those are the times I can’t cope with.  Going back to therapy. They rang me, and I talked to them for around 45 mins, only to
be told I was too depressed for therapy!
Shortly after my appointment with my psychiatrist came through, I spent 2 and a half hours talking to her about my troubled past
with my Dad who is a recluse now, (he is 83), he doesn’t see anyone including me – i keep trying thou.  My abusive marriage, which
has left me with PTSD, my son whom has tried to kill himself and ended up in a unit for one week, I had to voluntarily section him.
And for the last couple of years, struggling with my girl, who is 13, with raging hormones and ADHD and other complexed needs.
Plus my childhood and the abuse I suffered.  So, over the years, no one to really talk too about this, it all came flooding out. Relief – yes.
But also couldn’t see a way out, at which this point the psychiatrist thought about sectioning me as she thought I could have been a danger
to myself.
After convincing her I wouldn’t do anything silly, she decided to let me go. I cried all the way home, but tears of relief as she listened to me.
Really listened to all my heartache and pain. To which I truthfully realized, talking is good. It’s just you have to be careful, who with.
At the moment I am finding life hard again, I don’t have a social life, because I have to be here for my daughter for her extreme random behaviour.
Which is challenging at times. But she is important and my top priority.  I don’t have any support for myself, or for her. I do still suffer from
depression, but not as much as I used too. If I feel under the weather, or I get really low, I normally go to bed, or use distraction, as in the form
of my kindle, where I can lose myself playing games on it and forget about the world as a whole. My friends are all busy with their lives,
and I can’t really go out anywhere at the moment, Sometimes I think my life is doomed, but then we have to make the most of it.
As I say, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, it’s just often we don’t see it.

 

Read Cagsy’s blog here

you can also follow her on twitter

Moosey Takes A Break… And needs Your Help

For the next week or so I am going to be taking a wee break from this blog.

Going to keep myself busy with things around the flat that need a good clean and hopefully decorate as well. If any of you live in the east London area and have some paint that you dont want please consider donating it to me so I can get cracking as I can’t afford paint yet LOL or anything that may help make this flat spotless considered.

So here is your chance to have your say while I am gone…

As always the opportunity for you to write a post for this blog is open and here is your time to shine.

Any topic on depression is wanted, be it from a sufferers perspective or from someone who lives with a person with depression. Any subject any topic related to depression is open for you to get things off your chest and share with the followers of the moose.

Please send me an email at thedepressedmoose at hotmail dot com with your post and I will get it uploaded – no words limit, as many or as few posts as you feel able to write. just give me a name to use and/or a link to your twitter account or any link you wish to share.

I feel amazing still and now want to make the place look great too!

See you on the other side, I hope that there will be some guest posts coming your way soon!

Rose is Back For a 3rd Time

As always I am happy for people to get in touch if they wish to write a post about depression. The more people we can get talking about it the better it becomes for everyone. Don’t be shy get in touch via the contact page! Garry

 

The talking trouble.

One thing that is mostly done against depression is talking, to either a psychiatrist, therapist or psychiatric nurse. Some people find it very pleasant to talk about their problems, I am not such a person. So what do you do when talking difficult?

1: information

when I first came to the psychiatrist and therapist, I had no idea what to expect or what would be expected of me. This made the whole thing a lot more scarier, many thoughts went through me. “do I have to tell everything about me?” “are my problems big enough?” “what will he/she think of me?”. “what if I can’t answer their questions ?”.

I will answer those questions now.

1 no, you only have to tell what you are comfortable to share, a relationship of trust between doctor/therapist/nurse and patient has to grow, he/she knows this too.

2 if something is bothering you it is important/big enough to talk about it. 3 these people are trained not to judge you and are ultimately there to help you and its good to keep in mind that they see a lot of people and heard a lot of story’s, you are not alone with these problems and there is always someone weirder then you. 4 then you say “I don’t know” or “I have to think about it”

it’s also good to be aware of the rules of confidentially where he/she is bound by, everything you say in therapy or with a doctor stays between you and him/her. There are exceptions to the rule, when you say anything that makes them believe you are a dangerous to yourself or anyone else they have to take action to ensure safety even if that means breaking confidentially.

Some countries have laws that say that they have to report abuse when the victim is someone who can’t protect themselves (like a child). It’s easy to find on the internet what the law says about that in your country.

When you are a child (under 18) its good to inform yourself about if and when your parents or legal guardians are informed. You can also talk to the therapist/doctor about what he/she will say if they do inform them.

You have rights as a patient and its good to look into them before you go for your first meeting, you will know where you stand.

2: questions

when you are with a therapist or doctor they like to ask a lot of questions but keep in mind that you can also question them, its important to understand what they are doing to help you and if something doesn’t make sense to you question them about it. If after the session you think of some things that don’t make sense, write them down to ask about it next time.

3 : pen and paper.

Talking about problems, especially emotional problems is not easy and sometimes you just cant say what you want to let them know. It’s okay to write these things down either before or even during the session and let them read it. In the beginning I always had a letter with me with the things I wanted to talk about. It is a good way to get the conversation started and let them know what is important for you at that time.

My therapist and psychiatrist even let me email them when being in the same room when they are reading the letter is too scary.

4. you’re the boss

its good to know that if you are an adult your therapist/doctor can’t do anything without your consent (if you are a child its your parents/guardians consent they need). The only exceptions to the rule is if you’re or anyone else’s safety is in danger and even then they need a judge to sign off on it.

Also in the conversation the doctor/therapist will follow your lead, so you decide about what you talk but you also decide if you don’t want to talk about something or if you had enough for that session, you are not obligated to fill the hour.

5. when it doesn’t click switch

therapist and doctors are also just people and there are no two alike. You can for example have 5 very good doctors and feel more comfortable with one then the others, they also have their own style and it doesn’t always match your needs. So if you don’t feel good with one, see if you can go to another. They also know that and understand that it just doesn’t always click and won’t feel personally offended by that you want to switch.

All this doesn’t make it easy to talk but maybe just a bit more manageable. I think everyone is a bit scared when they have to talk about the most personal feelings, you feel vulnerable and that is very understandable. But even when talking is difficult as it is for me, it can feel good to let it out and have someone who understands you and that makes it worth the effort.

Guest Post – Rose Returns!

I am interested in what distractions people use when dealing with their mental health. I asked on twitter if anyone was willing to write a guest post about distractions and Rose sent this in! Rose also wrote a guest blog for me recently and I am delighted she has returned!

The original post she wrote can be found here

Over to you Rose….

 

The art of distraction.

Why would I need distraction ?

When you are depressed there are many things that can help you to feel better, sulking about it isn’t one of them. It’s not hard to understand that sitting on the sofa or lying in bed all day isn’t going to make you happy, especially when your thoughts are mainly about the fact that you are not happy.

Now even though it’s not very helpful, it is natural that your depression is on your mind a lot, it’s a feeling that is impossible to ignore.

This is one of the reasons why distraction is recommended by healthcare professionals, to keep your mind busy with other things.

You might wonder why not just not think about bad things then ? Well, the best answer on that you can give yourself, with help of a little experiment.

When you are reading the rest of this post, don’t think about a cuddly pink bear, whatever you do don’t think about that cuddly pink bear! Got it? Good.

Another reason is that doing things that you use to enjoy can bring back the feeling of enjoyment. It won’t be there immediately and you might need support of medication to be able to feel enjoyment again but when there is any change its best noticeable with those things you use to love doing.

simple but not easy

when you are depressed, you don’t really want to do anything.

Especially when you are deep in the depression.

Then everything is heavy, its like walking with cement blocks on your legs and you are already tired before you even begin. Your concentration is gone and you are pretty sure that you will fail at everything you try.

Naturally your instinct is to just stay in bed and wait until it’s over but as we discussed earlier, that won’t help. It’s very hard to any motivation to do anything but keep remembering that it is important in getting better.

Last year I came to the point where I couldn’t bring myself to do anything any more and I was taking into hospital. In the psych ward they also work with distraction, they had a whole program mainly meant as a way to keep your mind occupied. That the program wasn’t optional helped me into doing things again, for a long time I just did them because I had to but then there where moments where I began to like it again. Following the program wasn’t optional what was a good thing as I wouldn’t have done it if it was.

What helped me a lot when I came out of hospital is having someone who reminded me that it was important to keep doing things and someone to help make plans so I didn’t spend too much time on thinking about what to do. Also a gentle kick in the behind is at times just what I need.

My favourite distractions

this is what I love doing the most, writing. Not only (hopefully) informative post but also fiction in form of short stories and poems usually. Also I am working on a novel that I would love to finish and publish it someday.

I often write as now in English but my novel really will be in my native language, Dutch.

It’s not only working as a distraction for me but is also therapeutic as writing is a good way to express myself.

There are times when writing is just too difficult because it requires either thought or inspiration, neither is my depressed brain very good in.

reading is also something I really like, when I find that I can’t concentrate enough to read myself I find that audio-books are a good alternative.

I also like to puzzle, I make simple soduku’s on my phone or on paper. Jigsaw puzzles are also a great thing to do. I puzzle quite obsessively and often, it works quite calming for me and gives a feeling of accomplishment when its finished. When concentration is low I stick to simple and small puzzles so it doesn’t become frustrating.

Games on phone or computer are also often played and the tv is well watched.

With dry weather I try to get out of the house at least once a day. before this week it was always work that forced me out but work had due to all kind of thing become too stressful so now I am home. So now I walk and bicycle to get my fresh air (exercise is good for body and mind)

another thing that I have to watch on is that I am not days alone, this is a difficult one for me.

I do have the need for social contact and others are a great source of enjoyment and distraction but getting in touch with people isn’t easy for me as an autistic person. I go by a friend and to my parents from time to time but don’t want to bother them too much. Not sure how I am going to solve that one to be honest but I’ll find a way.

About that bear

if our little experiment has worked (and if this post wasn’t too distracting) you will have found that you never have thought so much about a cuddly pink bear as you did now. When you try not to think about something then in trying to do that you constantly remembering not to think about it what causes you to think about it.

Redirecting your mind to something else is far more effective than just trying not to think about it.

Guest Post – Charlie

Charlie’s Blog on Depression

 

I must admit that I have been depressed at times of my life, but I am a schizophrenic and have a chip on my shoulder about people with depression. I am at war, yet at their mercy, because I have loved people that are bipolar or at least suffer from depression.

I know that this is a completely irrational view, and I hate it because really what I want to do is give them a big hug and tell them everything will be okay. But depression does not work like this; it is a vacuous hole in which we are sucked. And there seems to be no escape from the downward spiral.

They say, whoever they are, that there is a fine line between us. So I reach out to you and say help me and I’ll help you. We may be different, but we have at least one similarity: we both suffer.

I hold a mirror up to myself and I see all kinds of terrors in my mind. As someone who is depressed, if you hold a mirror up to yourself you see the same. But remember with balance comes light, and in that light comes form, shape and color. It is these things that will help you to lead a normal life, so I say to you “express yourself” in some way. It is through self-expression that we find catharsis.

I guess what I am trying to say is that we all hurt, but as an outsider to your darkness it hurts me to see you like this. And there seems to be nothing I can do, my helplessness is the seed for my hatred of your condition. I know you have to live with your condition as I have to live with mine, but we have to live with each other’s too. Therefore I suggest that I do not start a war with you, and you smile, because as we all know smiling helps a great deed!

I can’t see that I can say anything more, except that I am thinking of you; I think of you everyday when I find it hard to smile. For I get sad, terribly so, too. But I think that things are going to work out alright for us, I really do. Because life is for living so I reach out to you and say “no, it is time to step out of the darkness and into the light”. Easier said than done I know.

I cannot say anymore, funny I wanted to leave on a high note. I guess we all do, so here we go. No inspiration, it ceases.

Hey, look behind you. Nothing there, well it could be worse, much worse, it could be me smiling inanely and saying “smile your on candid camera”; was that a high note, no just an attempt to make you smile. Did it work? I guess not.

Goodbye for now,

Charlie Charles

Guest Post – Rose

My name might be fake but my story isn’t, my struggle with depression began when I was about 13.

another thing you should probably know is that I am diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, communication (especially verbal) is difficult for me and expressing how I feel was until my 16th or 17th nearly impossible.

When I got depressed for the first time I didn’t know what hit me, I was just a child so I didn’t know what depression was, I just knew that I felt bad, very bad.

It hit me in the spring, I was still going to school and doing what I had to but in the break times I mostly just sat on a curve away from everyone till it was time to go back into class. That summer-break the gloom that fell over me didn’t go anywhere, it didn’t go anywhere for about 2 years.

I was alone in this time, there must have been a million times when I wanted to let anyone know how I felt but the words never came past my lips. And how do you say, I don’t know why but I feel sad all the time, I want to die just to make it stop? I didn’t understand it at all so how could I explain ? I woke every day sorry that I woke at all, I thought about dying all the time and looking back I don’t really understand why I didn’t die.

I didn’t get help back then, no one knew. Some noticed I wasn’t all that happy but didn’t do anything to help.

Since then I have been dealing with these depressed feelings on and of for years, it mostly just lasted days maybe a week or two but I got more or less use to feeling bad every now and then.

In my last year of school I found some people online who seemed to understand how I felt and I found comfort in knowing I was not alone.

After school I went to work, in the first years I was, despite my problems, a good worker as I worked very hard. But in 2011 it went down hill, I got depressed again and this time it didn’t leave me for months. I couldn’t keep up the quantity or quality of work and my bosses started to complain, time after time they told me I needed to be better but I just couldn’t. After a kind of intervention of my bosses telling me to get myself together, it was Christmas-break and I was alone at home.

Being alone might seem like a good idea when you are depressed but it doesn’t make you feel better, just lonely really. It was the night before Christmas and I had gone to a film to kill the time and got a bit intoxicated and went home again. My bosses had suggested to me that I depressed everyone around me and I believed them fully hearted, how could I live with myself wile I was hurting others with my presence, I couldn’t.

So I took out a razor blade and put it against my wrist, I was fully intentioned to end it all when I suddenly remembered that it would be Christmas when people (probably my parents) would find me. I couldn’t ruin Christmas for those who I loved so I didn’t do it and went to sleep.

Both Christmas days I spent with my family and was feeling a bit better by doing that, so I decided to finally made an appointment with my GP the day after Christmas. Making that appointment was the hardest thing I have ever done, did the call and hang up thing about 20 times before I was brave enough to stay on the line long enough to speak to the assistant.

I made a point of saying what was wrong to her because I knew that it would have been even more difficult to say with the good doctor (who I saw on my own for the first time) staring pitiful at me.

It was very hard to say “I think I’m depressed” to someone, I couldn’t tell you where I was exactly afraid of but afraid that I was. The appointment went about how I thought it would, I was unable to really speak, managed to answer a few questions and that was about it. As I was clearly in a very poorly state the GP prescribed some anti-depressants for me and made a follow up appointment in two weeks time. I was glad he took me serious enough to help me and the next day I started my first dose. The GP did forget to mention 2 things, 1 anti-depressants don’t work instantly and 2 you get the worst side-effects before they work (in the first week). I am not saying not to get on them but do recommend that you let someone know that you are on them, someone who can help you through it all because its worth it but its also very hard. I had (still have) a very good friend who kept reminding me that it was important to stay on them and that was mainly the thing that got me to take them every day.

They did help, for a couple weeks but then it went downhill again.

I informed my employers of my depression but they where not all that understanding, they kept pressuring me to get better soon and I couldn’t make them understand that it would take time.

After increasing my dose it became clear that I needed more help then I was getting and I got a reveal to a psychiatrist. The intake is pretty much answering a whole lot of questions, the questions where not even asked by the psychiatrist himself but by a GP in training. Some of the questions made me wonder how crazy do they think I am ? But they are just the standard questions everyone has to answer. Then she went to the psychiatrist and they talked alone for a wile before I was called back in. he said I was indeed depressed but also probably lonely and he had a point there, so he said I should talk to someone, I was reluctant to do so as talking isn’t exactly my thing. But I agreed to make an appointment with a psychiatric nurse, was a little disappointed to find out that the waiting time was 6 weeks, 6 weeks is about a lifetime when you are feeling badly. I cried my eyes out when I left the office, it had been very tiring and nothing was solved yet.

Later that day I called them again and told them that I wasn’t coming to the next appointment, then it seemed just too much effort at the time but they didn’t let me go that easy, later I was called back by the GP in training and she convinced me to at least try the talking thing.

So, I waited the 6 weeks and showed up by the psychiatric nurse. She was kind and all that we could really talk, it helped me to take a note with me with the things that where bothering me so we could talk about it. Even though the talks where nice, I got just more depressed and it was decided that my meds didn’t do the trick. The psychiatrist changed them but before I could start the new anti-depressants I needed to get off the old once. This would also be something you need someone by because withdraw symptoms will make a bad time worse.

It was when I was completely off meds for a week and my nurse was out for two weeks that I really couldn’t cope any more, I was crying all the time and just a mess really. Because my employer had said that I wouldn’t be believed if I called in sick again and if I wasn’t doing better soon I would be fired I was afraid to stay at home. My father made the call and told my boss to leave alone.

I called the psychiatric office to get to see the replacement nurse but she wasn’t working that day, so I called back the next and she made an appointment with me for the next day.

When I got there I did something I never thought I would, I allowed them to admit me. I made that choice because I couldn’t predict what would happen if I went home again, I was suicidal

I was in the psychiatric ward of the local hospital and being in an unfamiliar place with people I have never met was a very scary thing for me. I was trying to cope with it all really and it went okay the first day because I was left alone that day. The next however I was woken up then after breakfast I was told it was time for the day-opening, no idea what that was I went with the nurse who told me that and was sat in a room with a group of other patients and they all went round telling how they have slept and how they felt, it seemed very weird to me not knowing that a wile later I would be doing the same, everyday.

Then there was on the program “movement on music” I was like what? I have to do stuff in the hospital? My idea of an hospital was lying on bed mostly and maybe reading a bit but the psychiatric ward just doesn’t work that way. After the therapy hour “movement on music” I had enough, I wanted to go home again but when I told a nurse that the answer was just NO. I was very upset by this but there seemed to be nothing I could do about it. Then I was told I was being moved to another hospital because for some reason the psychiatric ward in this one would close during the weekend. I wanted still to go home but even my parents thought it was better if I just stayed for a wile so I did. It took a wile for me to settle but I went with the program and the routine was quite nice. I started at K1, the critical care unit, the program there was a bit more relaxed then the other group and was easier in my condition to follow. Then after about a month I think I went to the K3, something I fought at first because I can’t handle change very well but after a wile I settled again and it became like a second home. It was nice to have people around me and stuff to do everyday.

In total I was in hospital for 3 months, did get out during the weekend on leave and later I worked 2 afternoons a week but I always came back “home”. I began to like talking to the nurses that I got to know pretty well and was generally feeling better. But then the doctors wanted to sent me back to

the other hospital, I didn’t want that because of the change and so I refused and went home instead.

At first it was weird being home again and having to well entertain myself again, in the beginning I missed having people around me all the time and that there was always someone (day or night) where I could talk to.

I am 25 now and I wish I could say that my fight is over but it isn’t, I still talk to the psychologist once a week and am under treatment of a psychiatrist who is specialist for people with autism.

I went through several psychiatrist in a year and even though changing wasn’t my wish it has learned me an important lesson, not every psychiatrist is the same. My first talked as much as I did so that where very quiet sessions and the second never seemed to have enough time. What I want to say is that not every healthcare worker is going to be right for you, you need someone you can trust and who you feel understands you.

Tomorrow I will increase my dose of anti-depressants again in hope that I will feel better. I still often think that I will feel this way forever and that I never get better but that is what depression does to you, it makes you believe that it will last forever.

It won’t, depression is a horrible disease but it also very curable, you just need to stay alive to see it and that is very very hard I know. The choice to die is one I can always make but I just want to make sure I tried everything before I do cause there is no taking back death.

Rose can be found on twitter here

Guest Post – An Other

TRIGGER WARNING!!!!! THIS POST IS ABOUT ABUSE IN CARE HOMES FOR CHILDREN!!

 

I decided to set up a Facebook page after suddenly being confronted with things that I had long ago buried in my past. Let me explain…. I grew up in the care system from the late seventies all the way to the late eighties early nineties. ‘Care’ as it is laughingly called was actually just as abusive, if not more so than the family I was removed from.

My last children’s home was the first one to hit the headlines and at the time we were all over the place, reporters camped outside, radio talk shows, even an I.T.V. documentary was made on the subject. An inquiry happened and the place was closed down.

As time went by that particular children’s home was forgotten about as more and more cases came to light and then mid nineties it seemed to stop altogether.

Recently however, with the whole Jimmy Savile expose happening and as his connections with care homes has become apparent, some well meaning but ultimately unthinking individuals have decided to jump on the bandwagon and join the ’cause’.

I was all of a sudden faced with press clippings and reports from my last children’s home being all over the net. Some of them mentioned me by initial, some by a case letter/number and some even put my first name with an initial for my surname.

I didn’t at any point give my permission for some very personal details about my life to be put out there, I certainly didn’t give my permission for people to discuss me as if I was only an initial or case number. I have been transported back, through no choice of my own, to a time I tried to forget.

Worse than that was seeing the comments underneath the articles.People arguing with each other, tut tutting about how terrible it all was, posturing and ultimately stroking their own ego’s seems to be the norm.

They purport to be fighting for people like me when in fact they are doing anything but. If I wanted my details and my life to be put out there then I would have done it, I didn’t want it so I didn’t do it. It was done for me by people who seem to be so blinkered by what ever cause they are fighting they are not stopping to think about the collateral damage they are leaving behind.

The overriding thought that kept going through my mind when reading all of this was ‘you are not doing this in my name, you are not doing this in my name, YOU ARE NOT DOING THIS IN MY NAME!!!’ Hence the name of my page. I feel there is a fine line between fighting for a cause and stamping all over peoples lives and feelings whilst you do it. We are REAL people they are talking about, we are here, we are alive and we didn’t give our permission for our stories to be told and to be picked over like vultures over carrion.

If you are as disgusted about this as I am, even if you believe in the cause but can also see that this approach is wrong, PLEASE like and comment on my page so that we can wake people up to the effect their actions are having on the very people they say they are talking for. Thank you for listening and a MASSIVE thank you to Garry for giving me the space to talk.

The page can be found here

Guest Post – Petula

As a blogger I often go back and read my old posts. The ones that catch my attention the most are about how I feel regarding my physical and mental issues. I’m often surprised by the depth and truth of my emotions and thoughts. Some of that surprise comes from realizing I’ve revealed more to the world (uh, you know, wherever my blog reaches) than I remember and the other part is pure amazement: I can be deep.

In a world where fibromyalgia and Sjogren’s syndrome are in the forefront and multiple myeloma simmers in the background, I have to have some type of sense of humor. Sometimes I think it’s an invisible illness deflection; laugh so no one knows how crushed you feel on the inside. I fight depression and anxiety every day… Although I like to think depression isn’t a part of my life anymore it tends to show up just when I would rather be left alone. It has been awhile since I’ve talked about it without covering it up with pretty, vague words, which is why I answered the inquiry about writing a guest post here at The Depressed Moose. So many people shy away from the topic of depression, but it’s something that needs to be recognized and discussed regularly.

Not only is it cathartic for the sufferer, but it can be revelatory for those on the outside looking in. Sharing how I feel or think or revealing the true essence of the problem doesn’t come without pain and insecurities. There are normally two reactions I get when (if!) people find out about my depression and anxiety treatment: encouraging and ignorant. That is a bit harsh and generalizing, but it’s fairly accurate.

There are those who are supportive, encouraging and pleased that I have shared – some of them finding permission in my words to reveal their own secrets. Then there are the others who give pat responses and feedback: Just choose to be happy, all you have to do is XYZ and so on.

For instance, an old friend of mine said they don’t read my blog very often because – something to the affect of – it’s not up or happy all the time. On one hand I was hurt by those words and on the other I was angered. My blog is called “It’s a woman’s world” and I write about everything that goes on in my world. I pride myself on being down to earth, honest and completely open. My hope is that my words will speak to someone and ultimately help them in their lives and it’s also very liberating for me. (If they were my friend they’d respect and understand that, right? Not try to make my blog/writing into something that is not “me.”) And, friend, if you’d read my blog on a regular basis you’d know there is way more to me than that and I even right about.

Any-who.

My most recent adventure into the deep, dark world of depression and sadness comes and goes on a regular basis right now. Meaning there seems to be a lot of small things that make me sad. There is, however, a good side to this. Uh, that is if “good” is the correct word in this instance. I’m aware of it and I keep trying to figure out exactly what is making me sad. Wait, I know what it is, but I just don’t know the why. And anyone who suffers with depression knows that it’s the why that’s important because that one reason is making everything else horrible. Yup, I’m now sad about everything and if I can’t be left alone then I’m annoyed and angry.

What a combination.

When I come back later to read this post, I hope I am as pleased with it as I am while I write it. I want to feel pleasure in knowing that I was open and honest as well as pleasure in the hope this post touched or helped someone.

I hope you’re that someone.

 

 

Petula is the writer behind the “It’s a woman’s world” (PetulaW.com) blog where she describes herself as “blogger, writer, mom and… uh… woman.” She’s mom to four and granny to one, somewhere in Georgia.

Posts where she talks about depression: http://www.petulaw.com/search?q=depression