Life

Talking about mental health

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I’ve had a difficult couple of years, and that’s putting it nicely. Don’t get me wrong there have been good times, but in all honesty they’re overshadowed with this overwhelming sense of failure.

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I really noticed a change in my behaviour and day-to-day life a little while back, when my eczema started worsening. Sleep wasn’t easy, I was in a lot of pain and general life stresses started to get me down. I’ve cancelled going to events and days out, and spent endless weekends stranded in bed, in too much pain to move. It’s only really been the last couple of months or so where i’ve really struggled, I’ve been getting no more than two hours of sleep a night, i’m barely eating and I feel anxious about everything, things that usually wouldn’t phase me in the slightest. I know that i’m 24, I have a good job and group of friends and I should be happy, why should I have a reason to feel depressed? But recent events have made me put life into perspective and I need to put my mental health first.

The tipping point, the breakdown of my relationship last night. It completely blindsided me, ending over the phone in just a few short minutes. Granted we weren’t dating long, but it was the happiest I had been in so long and I genuinely saw a happier future ahead. I suddenly had this wave of sickness and panic over me, I had nothing. While all my friends are settling down, buying houses and travelling the world, I was stuck, renting a small room in a house share, with only just enough money to get by and finding myself on my own once again. In the last 24 hours I’ve felt angry, upset and desperate that he would change his mind, but that’s not how it’s worked out, and at least he was honest about how he felt, can’t be angry with that! I know I’ll move on in the near future, just came as a shock at how quickly your happiness can be swiped away! And if you (my now ex) are reading this i’m sorry things didn’t work out and I honestly wish you all the happiness you deserve. I’m also not saying this has caused my depression in any way, shape or form, it’s just let’s say, the straw that broke the camels back.

After weighing up how I’d been feeling for the last few months I decided it was time to address my mental health and take a huge step in talking to my doctor. He was amazing, and listened as I pretty much poured out all my feelings and everything that had happened over the last year. We addressed when he thought my depression started, which was probably back at the start of the year when my eczema started deteriorating, and at the end of it I walked out with a script for anti-depressants. I am feeling scared, and unsure of how they will work and if it’s a good idea but I need something to get me back on track and feeling more positive. The doc said they should help me sleep, which in turn means I don’t scratch my skin as badly overnight. Addressing my skin issues will be a huge step in feeling better. I also need to make an effort and eat more, and better and to take better care of my body and mind. I know I won’t see changes overnight, but just talking about how I’ve been feeling with someone, it’s lifted a huge weight off my shoulders.

Mental health is such an elephant in the room and people are genuinely afraid to talk about it. But i’ve spoken to my manager today, who may I say, has been incredible and really understanding about the whole situation. And just before you start to think, I am not writing this for any sort of attention, nor to make anyone feel bad. This is my genuine journey of getting back to who I used to be, and to urge you, if you have been feeling any signs of depression and anxiety like I have to go to your doctor, speak to your family and friends and make steps to a happier you. This is the start of a happier me, just you wait and see.

If you need help but don’t know where to turn, visit the Mind website.

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