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Depression; There IS a Light at the End of the Tunnel for me and There Can be for You

I am a member of  Depression Forums and I wanted to share my story with others in the hope that it provides them with the knowledge that for me:

This IS a Light at the End of the Tunnel for me and it can be for you.

My name is Daniel, I am 19, I’m a performing musician, (I know… not the best hobby to have with this disorder =P) and I come from a good family background, both parents still around, etc.

It all started on the way to college one day. I was 16 and I was about 10 weeks into my course and I was on the bus to college, all of a sudden I was over come with a sense of impending doom, I felt like I was going to be sick, like I was going to pass out, like everyone was staring at me.  I felt like I was going to die.  

Depression; There IS a Light at the End of the Tunnel for me and There Can be for You

I am a member of  Depression Forums and I wanted to share my story with others in the hope that it provides them with the knowledge that for me:

This IS a Light at the End of the Tunnel for me and it can be for you.

My name is Daniel, I am 19, I’m a performing musician, (I know… not the best hobby to have with this disorder =P) and I come from a good family background, both parents still around, etc.

It all started on the way to college one day. I was 16 and I was about 10 weeks into my course and I was on the bus to college, all of a sudden I was over come with a sense of impending doom, I felt like I was going to be sick, like I was going to pass out, like everyone was staring at me.  I felt like I was going to die.  

At the time I put it all down to being ill. I spent the next 3 days in bed, I was so tired! It took sooo much energy out of me. I was so scared to move in case I threw up (which never even happened in the first place.)  

 

After I managed to gather myself together I went back to college, only for the same thing to happen again. I was still convinced that I was just ill and this would go in a week or two.  It didn’t.  After about 4 months I managed to actually make it to college but when I got there the same thing just kept happening. I decided to go to the doctors, who referred me to a heart specialist (For some reason they were convinced my “episodes” were caused a heart problem, which didn’t help with my worries.)

After about 2 moths more, (6 months from the start of it all), I finally admitted to myself that I had some problems. One problem was that I had no clues what to do about them.

 

Fortunately my college councilor picked up on missing college and invited me in for a chat. It took me 4 attempts to actually make it in to see her, (due to panic attacks).

When I finally got there she instantly realized that my problem was panic disorder.

She invited me have CBT, (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), with her. At first it was hard just to make it in, but after a while it got easier, sometimes I even looked forward to it. It was so nice to talk to someone who knew about my problem and had seen it all before.

I felt like I could really be myself around her.

 

 After a while we realized I wasn’t making quite the progress we expected so she suggested I see a doctor to see about medication. After three attempts to see the doctor, I finally got in to see her. The first thing I did was break down in tears. After a while in in her office she prescribed cipralex (lepraxo in America, I believe).  Its an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor).  Basically what is does is select a certain part of the brain that helps to make more serotonin, (serotonin is the chemical in your brain linked to happiness). It helps you relax but does not make you drowsy. I CAN NOT STRESS THAT ENOUGH! It doesn’t make you drowsy,  it didn’t change my personality. It doesn’t even make you relax; it just makes it easier to do so. After about 2 weeks of taking cipralex I started to notice a difference and even managed to get back on stage with my band! After a while of CBT, my therapist suggested that I tell someone, (outside the family), of my problem. I ended up telling my best friend and his mother (both of which I class as my two best friends). I chose him and his mother mainly because she was going through a similar problem at the time, (caused through some very nasty people and loosing her job.)  It really is true what they say, a problem shared is a problem halved. I know it sounds cliché but it really is true. Just having someone that you can contact at any time just to talk about it is fantastic!

To end an extremely long story short, I have been on cipralex for a long while now and my CBT has finished. I am finally ready to get back out there and work. I am currently waiting for an interview with a large web-development company and I feel like I am finally over it. I am not going to pretend I have no problems ever, but on a whole this is like heaven compared to how I was a while ago.

I would like to list some simple yet great ways to help you get through the day and cope with panic/anxiety disorder:
1. Because my panic attacks always started with me gagging I always carried a pack of extra strong chewing gum with me. Nothing stops you gagging like a menthol hit.
2. I always carried around a drink, (water, soda), for the same reason as above.
3. Remember there are 1000’s of other people like you out there. Contact them. Having a listening ear and being one is fantastic.
4. I wore a rubber band around my arm so when I felt an attack coming on I would discreetly ping in to cause a tiny bit of pain that took my mind off of it. This is not to be confused with self harm. Trust me, been there, done that, it only causes more problems.

5. Please, please, please, contact a therapist to get CBT. I would say it saved my life!
6. Don’t be afraid of taking medication prescribed by your doctor, I went through 3 different ones to find the right one, (which will be different from person to person) and please trust me. Anti-depressants, (especially ssri’s), really have changed in recent years, they don’t make you feel like a zombie, it’s just a misconception from older anti-depressants.   Again, it saved my life…

I hope my story and tips help you. And please feel free to pm me or comment or post here for any advice you may need or if you have any suggestions to add to the tips that I have posted.

Thank you for listening guys and remember there IS a light at the end of the tunnel!

Daniel aka Bowen

Source:

Bowen is a member of Depressionforums.org

 

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