Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Guest Post

A while ago I tweeted whether anyone would like to do a guest post on my blog and got some phenomenal responses. This one is by @Bicky_ who has opened her heart on this post and I for one am so honoured to have this on my blog.

Over to you Bicky_





It's hard to understand unless you have physically been through it yourself. Even if you've been close to someone suffering from depression, it's nothing like you can imagine. Which is why I wanted to write this. If you read one thing today, please make it this. Even though it won't be short.


I don't want to do this as a woe is me type post. I want to do this because I lose followers everyday on my Twitter because I often rant and rave and feel upset. I just want people to understand why.


I can't pinpoint a time in my life where I thought 'oh that must have started it' because not only do I have a bad memory. I just don't know. Some things it may have boiled down to are as follows;


- I got taken out of my first Primary School in Year 2 because I wore glasses. I'd get new ones and the kids would take them off me, throw them across the playground and totally wreck them.



- I got sent to a new school and made my first best friend (more on him later) but it took me quite a while to become comfortable with the other kids.



- I hated High School. Doesn't everyone? I was bullied the entire way through, back stabbed by friends. And yes I know everyone is but to the point where I don't speak to anyone that I spent those five years with. Not a single one. Not even my 'best friends'.


- In my last school year we had a Year 11 assembly from our Head. He was on about receiving�sad news during the night because there had been a car crash. It's a sort of blur to me but I remember thinking it wouldn't be anyone I knew. Then he said the name and I think I may have stopped breathing, and my heart stopped beating for a minute. He said the name of my first best friend. He was one of the ones that was killed. I just couldn't believe it. I went to my IT lesson and I couldn't stop thinking about the horrendous crash. There was a memorial assembly at school a few days later and I ended up walking home after because I literally couldn't stand it. That messed me up a lot. It was not his fault at all, they were forced into the car. I think partially that's why I did so bad in my GCSEs and why I left college because all I could think about was the crash.


- A lot of stuff has gone in the past couple of years with my parents and family, which I don't wish to delve into. But I felt like I was to blame since I was caught in the middle.


It wasn't till the start of the year that I thought it might actually be depression. I thought I could cope with it myself. I felt weak even saying the word out loud. Who wants to be relying on a tablet to keep you breathing and happy?

So what is depression? I'm sure we all know to an extent.


Depression�is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person's thoughts, behaviour, feelings and physical well-being.�Depressed people may feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, or restless. They may lose interest in activities that once were pleasurable, experience loss of appetite or overeating, or problems concentrating, remembering details or making decisions; and may contemplate or attempt suicide.�Insomnia, excessive sleeping, fatigue, loss of energy, or aches, pains or digestive problems that are resistant to treatment may be present.


Facts;

- Women are twice as likely as men to get depression.

-�1 in 4 British adults experience at least one diagnosable mental health problem in any one year.

-�As many as three in four cases of depression (up to 75% of cases) are neither recognised nor treated.�

-�By the year 2020, major depression will be second only to chronic heart disease as an international health burden (this is measured by its cause of death, disability, incapacity to work and the medical resources it uses).

- About a quarter of suicides in the US are felt to be due to undiagnosed, or misdiagnosed major depression.



So how is it diagnosed? I asked my Dad to make a Doctors appointment, I couldn't bring myself to tell him why. I felt anxious from the minute we started driving to the surgery. I just wanted to get out of the car and bolt as far away and as quickly as I could.



When I got into the room I was glad to have a female Doctor. Something about that made me feel slightly better than if it were a man. I explained to her that I think I might have depression. She gave me a folded piece of paper that I wasn't allowed to look at, told me to go away with it and fill it out when I wasn't thinking of anything else. Answer the questions quickly, without thinking too much about the answer and come back the next day.


I gave the piece of paper to my Dad and told him to look at it. That was my way of telling him. I couldn't bring myself to tell him straight up, even though he is a sufferer himself.


I opened it that evening and it contained questions such as 'How often have you been feeling down in the last week?' And the answers are multiple choice, everyday/more than half the days/some days/not at all.



I took it back the next and my Doctor diagnosed me with moderate depression. I was given a prescription for Citalopram which I've been taking since the start of July. At first I didn't see too much of a difference. I still hated myself more than ever and wanted to die because of that. I've thought about suicide a lot and it's not a nice feeling, feeling like no one would miss you if you were to vanish. That no one would care. It's not selfish of me to think like that, it's how I truly felt.



I honestly don't think this song will be to a lot of readers taste but it's based on suicide and the stories are from families and parents who have been through it, thery are really very sad. I would listen to this song for hours on end because it helped me through. Along with the quote one of the brothers said 'suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem'.


Please watch;



'It's ok to get help. You're going to miss out on so much'.






Now the tablets have been running for a few months, I'm finally starting to step out into that light that seemed like just a tiny flicker of light at the end of the tunnel.


I'm feeling better within myself. I'm laughing more, I'm opening up to my Dad and my best friends about things I thought would just go away, that were stupid things.


If you feel like you're suffering from depression please, please speak to someone, be it a Doctor, a friend or someone in your family. Letting it fester does nothing. I did that because I though I could cope with it on my own but I think in theory, it just made it worse.


If you know someone with depression, listening can really help. And just remember to avoid saying, 'pull yourself together' or other remarks that make the person think that it is their fault that they are ill. When it isn't, not at all. Depression is a physical thing (to do with the amount of Serotonin in your brain releases) rather then something that's mental.



So that's my shortened version of my story. I'm finally getting better but like anyone, I have down days. Which is sometimes why I have time off from my blog or post things that annoy people on Twitter. It's not because I'm seeking attention it's because I use Twitter to vent instead of keeping it all pent up inside. So next time you see someone down, whether it be me or someone else, offer them a kind word or take their mind off it by talking about something totally different. It can make the world of difference.


Don't be afraid to speak out - I'm still here.


Bicky :)

 
 
Thank you so much Bicky_ for writing this, It moved me to tears. x x x
 
Kellie
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18 comments

  1. What a brave and honest post. I know you will come through this Bicky.

    Anna x

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  2. Wow, what a truly moving post.
    Your one remarkable young lady, Bicky
    And what a sad song, touched my heart.
    xxx

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  3. Such a brave post that didn't take much to move me to tears. I've been there and alas I'm back there again :( we need to be more honest and open about this and hopefully this post will point at least some people in the right direction - lots of love and luck bicky from a fellow citalopram taking chick xxx

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  4. Kudos to you Bicky for speaking out. Such a brave post to do. Hold On is an amazing song. Quite inspiring :) xxx

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  5. I am depressed myself, and although I am lucky to have a new outlook on life which is helping me get better, I do understand how you feel and I think this is a very interesting post.

    TBH, I have always been skeptic of taking pills to make you feel better, but after a chat with my GP I sort of understood. I'd like to share what she said:
    "When you feel down, your brain doesn't produce feel good hormones. When you feel down for a long time, there just aren't enough feel good hormones anymore. That's what happens. Your mood is broken. If you have a headache, you take paracetamol. If you break your leg, you go to A&E. So why won't you take something to fix your mood? After a while, there will be more feel good hormones in your brain, and you will feel better".

    The only thing with Citalopram is that it gives me the craziest weirdest dreams ! Anyone having the same?

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  6. I love you Bicky. Hope to see you in the New Year xxx

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  7. Amazing, I found this post from Beth's twitter (@anchorrose_) and I'm so glad I clicked it. It's crazy that this issue affects so many people, and yet it's still a bit of a taboo subject to talk about.
    I've suffered with depression for a number of years, my doctor has known of my troubles since I was about 17 (I'm 22 now) but I've never accepted any help because I felt like it was something I should be able to deal with on my own. Since then I've been diagnosed with further illnesses caused by stressful events and had to drop out of Uni.

    I won't go into all my stuff too much, but I just want to say that I've just in the past few weeks sought help, and I wish I'd done it years ago, so that maybe I could be living a "normal" life now.

    To everyone else suffering - we will get through this.

    xxx

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  8. A very brave and moving post. I hope that you will get though this difficult time which affects so many, myself included. I had depression in my late teens and it took a while but I did come out the other side. Anyone suffering should not be afraid to ask for help from wherever they need it. It is a lot better than suffering in silence, and the people who care about you would be so upset if you didn't. x

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  9. Thank you for all your supportive comments girlies. I really was wondering if this was such a good idea. I don't want it to seem like I'm seeking attention but it's not something people will willingly open up about and I think it can be quite dangerous is if they don't.

    And Martian Delights, I have insane dreams anyway but they've def got a lot weirder!

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  10. Thank you for this post Bicky, so brave of you to write it.

    I've luckily never had major depression myself, but I work as a psychologist to those who have had brain damage due to car accidents and stroke, and I have seen depression. People don't realise how tough it is until they experience it.

    Reading the facts about depression people say they feel for those with depression, but the facts don't even touch the surface and I admit that even I don't know the true extent. The most scary fact I know of depression from my psychology training is that those who commit suicide are actually coming out of depression, develop an awareness of how tough they've had it and decide to end it - if they were just able to hang on,they'd ride it out potentially.

    Again thank you for this post and for helping raise awareness for an all too common, yet still stigmatised mental health issue.

    xxx

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  11. Thanks Lauren! I totally agree. Unless you've physically been through it yourself I don't think anyone can understand and even then people react differently. Like people always say contemplating suicide is incredibly selfish but sometimes it seems like that's the only option.

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  12. That was a really brave post, thank you. And well done being brave enough to take that first step to go to your doctors.

    Some years ago I didn't know what was wrong with me but I insisted I was fine. I went to my doctors who asked how I was, I said fine then burst into tears & couldn;t stop. Not so fine after all! It was a turning point for me and I got better & like myself again, after a long time.

    Even now I have flickers and I truly am my own worst enemy in my head, but I know I never want to go back to how I felt so I use a lot of CBT techniques to combat my inner bully. Loving yourself is tough but worth it.

    I wish you all the best as you deal with this
    xx

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  13. Thanks Stef! I am generally feeling better about myself. Not loving yet but defo liking a lot more and learning to accept compliments. I always say I'm fine, I still do it now. But normally only in person coz sometimes I don't want them to know everything that's going on. Yano?

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  14. You are so brave. I'm so glad you sought medical help and that you are beginning to feel better. I hope, reading your post, will give more people courage to speak about things like this xx

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  15. Yeek. Where to start? Prepare for an essay! :S
    Firstly, serious respect for having the guts to write this and stick it out there on someone else's blog. Secondly, cheers for making me cry till my head hurt! :)
    I used to listen to Good Charlotte all the time but I've never seen that video or realised the real meaning of the song. Really poignant.
    It's hard not to ramble on this topic so I'll try and just say a couple of things. I've had depression on and off ever since I can remember. I hate talking about it and I do a good job of hiding it - to the point that most people who know me, except those closest, think I'm the happiest person they know.
    It's a horrible thing because so often you do think people will think you're attention-seeking - you can't physically see it so why would anyone believe you? I've always felt guilty for feeling depressed because I have literally no reason to. I am so lucky.
    My mum once said to me that it's just like having a broken leg just that you can't see it. She's never had it herself but she is the most understanding person about it, dealing with me and my Dad having it. I don't know what I'd do without her.
    A counsellor once said to me that I should never feel guilty for feeling down. There is a type of depression, celled endogenous depression, which has literally no apparent cause.
    There have been times when I've thought about suicide, but the thing that always stopped me was the unselfish part of me. I couldn't do it to my mum. Or the rest of my family.
    I used to listen to this when I was at my worst: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnO3VRwC5ys I think it just made me wallow, but I still love the song.
    So I have waffled, sorry. I have so many thoughts, opinions and experiences on this topic.
    One last thing: I've had a course of self-led CBT and have been a lot happier for a long time now. Best of luck to you kicking the thing where it hurts xxxx

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  16. Great post Bicky - you are really brave for opening up like this. It was a really interesting read for me as I fell out with a good friend in secondary school because she suffered with depression and I was too immature to realise she couldn't just "get a grip" or "snap out of it". We did reconcile later but it was never the same again because of my ignorance. It is great that you are trying to help people understand what depression is and what it means. x

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  17. Just wanted to say wow, you're incredibly brave and thank you for sharing your story. xx

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