Depression and Me

There was another suicide this week. Things are getting out of hand now and more needs to be done for mental health.

Why do I care? You see, I’m one of those millions of people who silently suffer from crippling depression. You all see me as funny and happy, but I’m far from it. I don’t really want to talk to anyone, and there are days I just avoid conversation altogether, sometimes this can last for weeks or months. I have MDD, PTSD, Aggressive Dysthymia and Lifelong Anxiety. I waste hours every day lying in bed. Then I waste time pacing. I waste time thinking and overthinking. I waste time being quiet and not saying anything because I’m afraid. I don’t want to see anyone, every noise, loud bang, shout or a knock on the door gives me a panic attack, I cannot breathe, I am drenched in sweat, my chest feels so tight I fear it will be crushed and I become dizzy. I’m not lazy, but it’s how depression has me just existing and not living. I constantly feel like I have done something wrong, something so huge I can’t even see it, something that’s smothering me. I am inadequate and stupid, without worth, feeling that no woman will or would ever want me. I am broken. I might as well be dead.

It makes no difference if I’m surrounded by people and or friends and family, which is rare, it can be lonelier than when you’re by yourself. You can be in a large crowd, but if you don’t feel like you can trust anyone or talk to anybody, then you feel like you’re really alone and this is when you feel like there is no other way out.

For me (and up until this moment, only a handful of people know this about me), I have lost 2 children, seen many of my friends shot and killed in front of me, had one girlfriend and one wife also pass away, I have noisy and unruly neighbours that keep me awake and make my life hell, and my Landlord, does nothing to stop them or prevent ASB, and my only remaining daughter, I have not seen since she was 3. 18 years ago, and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t miss her or think about her or wonder what she has become. There are many other things that I have seen that in my years of being alive, I should not have seen. My children should be burying me, not the other way around. Life, at least for me, seems very unfair and none of what I have mentioned above was any fault of my own.

But I’m still here! Haunted by the dead. Haunted by past decisions and tortured by current events. Even when I try to stir myself up, I just get irritated because I can’t make anything come out, I cannot feel any happiness, nothing. And in the middle of the night I lie here and stare at the back of my eyelids thinking about all this. If I don’t get back on track somehow, I’m dead or will end up dead, that’s the sense I get. There isn’t a single strong emotion inside me. I feel no good emotions, I feel and see nothing but blackness as I fight my way through life, one bad day at a time.

Getting actual help is a complete nightmare. I saw my Doctor recently. The words, empathy, sympathy and compassion seemed not to exist in his world. Hardened daily by other people like me seeing him from day to day just gives the impression of him not caring about his patients, but to be honest, my surgery is small and I never really get to see the doctor I want or the same one more than twice and I’m constantly having to explain myself over and over again to locums who have no idea of my medical history. All in all, the last visit was another locum and all he did in the end was change my medication (to an amazingly low dose of 20mg) one pill a day (my last was 200mg 2 pills a day, the highest dose! which never worked, nothing has so far and they, the Dr.’s, do nothing else for me in regards to treatment). I’m a big guy and I doubt that this dose will filter through my body to get to my brain to actually do any good…

No wonder people contemplate suicide. I think about it at least twice a month, sometimes more. At the moment the only thing keeping me here is how my death would affect my family. Death is my friend. I know how it feels. I couldn’t put my family through that. But what happens when they are no longer here? Will I have found another reason to live, or will I just give in to the emptiness that surrounds me every day and just cease to exist.

Those of us who know the daily struggles can also suffer at the hands of other people and companies that do not care or seem not to understand how depression or mental health affects us with our day to day living. We are already living in a kind of hell that they couldn’t possibly understand, everything after that is just added to our bad day and much more needs to be done to help people like myself and others who suffer with depression or mental health. Waiting lists are extremely lengthy. Doctors’ appointments can take weeks or months, and in the meantime, we are just left to cope, alone. We need a new and fair Mental Health System.

Governments are wasting billions on Brexit, instead of helping and rescuing the troubled NHS, in the UK anyway. We all need to all talk more, make our doctors listen and we need to demand the help and treatment that we so desperately need. I have cried out, pleaded and begged for help and suffered for so long that I just want to give up. Curl into a ball and fall into oblivion and never have to worry about anything again. But if I did that, nothing would get done, so I am now fighting for help and fighting for change to make depression and Mental Health get the funds and resources it so desperately needs, that I and millions of others desperately need.

So, if you suffer from depression, fucking talk to someone and make your GP listen. Get as much help as you can and find a reason to live and hold on to it with all that you are worth. Don’t listen to people who say it will blow over, or that you’re being stupid or that things will be OK? Because they won’t, and if you’re a long-time sufferer of mental health, it will probably never go away. But, you can learn to cope by finding that reason to live and getting real professional help, which is hard considering there are 6 to 12 months waiting lists, unless you can afford to go private (in the UK anyway.)

How to help me or someone who suffers from a Mental Illness?

So, how can you help someone like me? Well, it’s actually very simple! Ask. We will tell you that we cannot help how we feel. We don’t intentionally push you or others away, but we need people to be patient with us and not give up on us when we really need you the most, which is every day. Even though it may not seem it, inside we’re screaming “help me”, “don’t go”, “don’t leave”, and/or “please come back.” But it’s hard for us to ask for help, especially from our loved ones and the people who are the closest to us. Yes, it may be a chore to look after or care for someone who suffers from any mental health issue(s). But if you actually love or care for someone, it’s a small price to pay. I myself, I long for the day that someone will actually want to be with me and will stick with me through my good days and bad. I also need to love. I need to be able to give myself 100% to someone. This will help my depression as well as my long term happiness, but as I mentioned above, when you feel broken, you feel like you’ll never be loved by anyone.

So, there ends my story, and if you suffer from anything, take care of yourself. You are more important than you think. Don’t give up!

The sun stopped shining for me is all. The whole story is: I am sad. I am sad all the time and the sadness is so heavy that I can’t get away from it. Not ever.” -Nina LaCour.