For the first few years after my breakdown I struggled (or failed) to get out of bed, to wash and feed myself. I was unable to find pleasure in anything and was terrified of nearly everything. Four years later and I am still dragging myself up from the mire. I am still out of work. Still often too anxious to leave the house, unable to go to new places without accompaniment by one of a few select people. I find socialising very difficult. In fact, I find most things difficult. Sometimes I am 'on form'; happy, chatty and seemingly carefree, but this is not often, and does not last long before my energy plummets.
When I have a bad day I feel like nothing's changed, but when mentally coherent, I can see just how far I have come. It is a daily struggle, but I am finally learning how to manage my anxiety and depression. "Learning to manage it" is something I had been told many times by therapists and mental health practitioners, but it is only now that I understand what they meant.
As you may have noticed, I am very open about my depression. One of the best allies of a mental health condition is discrimination. If you're having to prove that you are ill, you can not mentally focus on getting better. I hope that I keep up this blog, and that it helps both me, and the wider battle to reduce ignorance of mental health conditions. By reading the blog, you'll find out if it does. I will be writing about my own experiences, as well as highlighting issues and studies relating to mental health. If there is a particular issue you would like me to research and write about then please do not hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
In the mean time, take it easy and I shall communicate to you soon.
*Please note I am not in any way a qualified practitioner and you should not take my word as gospel. If you feel you may be suffering from a mental health condition and you wish to seek help, please contact your doctor. If you are having suicidal feelings, contact your doctor or call the Samaritans on 08547 90 90 90, as I did.