Depression: Oh no, not again…

When I was diagnosed with depression, I assumed that it would be something that, with treatment, would get better. A one-off tough period in my life.

That’s what an illness is, isn’t it?! Something you can recover from completely.

I understood it might take time to recover but I was aiming for that upward line on the graph. It was a shock that it didn’t quite happen that way.

Around six months down the line, when I thought I was on the road to recovery, I started to go down hill again.

Fast.

Depression oh no not again with text

It came out of nowhere, literally overnight. I pleaded with myself; please don’t let this be happening again.

I couldn’t understand it.

I had been working so hard – going to counselling, hypnotherapy and also taking anti-depressants.

So why was I feeling that I was on the downward slide again?

My GP explained to me, that sometimes depression doesn’t go away completely. It becomes something we learn to manage.

I was so disappointed in myself – I was working so hard to be better. To recover.

All those feelings I had leading up to being diagnosed came flooding back. I wondered how on earth could I battle this for the rest of my life?

I had started to care little about my appearance. I was sleeping during the day, every day and I couldn’t see past the fog that clouded every thought. I had feelings of guilt towards my family and friends; they would also have to cope with me being like this. I had to find a way of managing this, not just for me but also for them.

Taking it back to basics

I am incredibly lucky to have a solid support base around me. I didn’t realise at the time, but they are also aware of the signs when I am going down hill.

Depression is an ‘invisible’ illness. You assume the symptoms of depression are invisible to those around you.

My husband suggested that we come up with a kind of coping plan – a plan that we could follow when I was feeling unwell. A way of reminding me that these thoughts will pass. A way to go back to basics with the things which have helped me in the past.

Part of my plan is to make regular appointments with my GP, to keep an eye on my progress and to review medication. Those appointments are reassuring. They also give me something to aim for, something to shower for!

When I can feel depression sneaking back in, I tell my family “I’m going down hill again”. It’s not easy to say, it’s a big deal for me – to admit that aloud. I try not to see it as failure.

It’s hard to admit to others, but it’s a step towards acceptance and it means that you keep everyone in the loop. I also practice a little more self care during these times – these all sound obvious but they work for me:

  • Have a bubble bath
  • Listen to uplifting music
  • Listen to inspiring podcasts
  • Treat yourself to your favourite meal
  • Watch your favourite TV show. Friends always makes me laugh. It’s also a bit of escapism which really helps even for a short while. It’s nice to have a break from your thoughts, a distraction.
BuddyBox

The turning point for me was putting together a coping plan. Being prepared for these ‘oh no, not again’ moments. I make sure I talk to those closest to me. Even if I don’t want to. Even if it starts and ends with tears. It helps to tell someone I am struggling all over again.

Depression can creep up on you. You don’t always realise what’s happening. That’s why it’s good to talk to others. Allow them the honesty to say if you don’t seem yourself. It feels hard to hear it and can be difficult talk about it.

And at other times, depression can inexplicably descend on you overnight. Either way, I have to hold on to hope. To believe that the reverse is also true, that it can go, and it will go. It won’t beat me.

Please help us to help others and share this post, you never know who might need it.

 

  • Such a great article

    • The Blurt Foundation

      Thank you Suzi 🙂

  • Sue

    I couldn’t get much help from my GP (apart from medication) so I went to Mind for help, best thing I’ve ever done. They provided me with strategies to cope with my depression and how to recognise warning signs of another “slide” and what to do about it. They also helped me to realise that taking medication is not a sign of “weakness”. If you don’t get any joy from your GP (I was given a 3 month waiting list for a phone call from i-talk) see your locaal Mind group, they’ll either help you or point you in the right direction to get the help you need.

    • The Blurt Foundation

      Mind are a wonderful organisation! Thank you for these perfect tips 🙂

  • Tmsyn

    fantastically written, i’m going to use this to help me with managing my chronic depression xxxxx

    • The Blurt Foundation

      We really hope this has been of help to you 🙂

  • Thank you for sharing that. It helps so much to hear stories like these as it helps you to feel less alone. I too thought my depression would go away eventually. Sadly it is something I have to live with. Accepting it or at least trying to has been a big step which has brought peacefulness with it. Small things like hot baths do help, and living one moment at a time and one day at a time has helped me enormously. I am a perfectionist, a planner and someone desperate to acheive; depression made me so ill though and it’s only by letting go of those things which I did desperately want that I have started to heal. Like you I tried my hardest to beat it, but it was simply letting go that helped the most! No easy feat. It is still here but by befriending it I manage so much better. Wishing you strength and healing

    • The Blurt Foundation

      Wish you strength and healing right back Anna. You’re never alone, and we’re always here if you’re struggling.