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