Depression

I still have my moments, but I have candle-lit those dark depths now – I’m A new man


I still have my moments, but I have candle-lit those dark depths now-

  I’m A new man

I registered with Depression Forums in 2006 but only posted there at my worst times. When I went through my worst episode I realised I should be here for life. Depression and anxiety are things which may stay with you for life, and I see it as checking in and managing it to make your life better. Depression Forums teaches you that there are other people who are going through similar things, and sharing your input with them is a vital tool in order to understand the illness.
I now log into Depression Forums frequently to help the people out who are going through similar things all the time, and also to see if there’s anything which I could do to improve my own life.
Helping others with what I could was a baby step towards recovery, no matter how much of an impact you feel it will make. Posting in the “water cooler”, an off-topic forum in DF, was another baby step I made in order to feel some positive energy by conversing with others. Together, over time, those baby steps combined to make a gigantic stride into a sunnier place for which I conquered.

I still have my moments, but I have candle-lit those dark depths now-

  I’m A new man

I registered to Depression Forums in 2006 but only posted there at my worst times. When I went through my worst episode I realised I should be here for life. Depression and anxiety are things which may stay with you for life, and I see it as checking in and managing it to make your life better. Depression Forums teaches you that there are other people who are going through similar things, and sharing your input with them is a vital tool in order to understand the illness.
I now log into Depression Forums frequently to help the people out who are going through similar things all the time, and also to see if there’s anything which I could do to improve my own life.
Helping others with what I could was a baby step towards recovery, no matter how much of an impact you feel it will make. Posting in the “water cooler”, an off-topic 
forum in DF, was another baby step I made in order to feel some positive energy by conversing with others. Together, over time, those baby steps combined to make a gigantic stride into a sunnier place for which I conquered.

I have had anxiety and depression pretty much all my life. I didn’t have an easy childhood, with many allergies and deficiencies. Of course all the kids at school felt I was a freak, and abnormal and my free time became gradually more avoidant of human contact. I spent many years of my life dreading what was going to happen at school the next day, feeling humiliated and broken. Then over the space of a few months, at age thirteen, my anxiety turned into what I would call a strange combination of self-harm and obsessive compulsive disorder. I would feel the need to seriously hurt myself all the time and until I did this my mind would echo the same compulsion until I acted on it. There were times I was so scared I would tape my hands or handcuff myself to the bed so I couldn’t use my hands. This meant I hid all of my precious belongings away so I couldn’t touch them or damage them. It was nothing short of terrifying being scared of yourself, unable to run away or hide, with all your distractions taken away in fear you’d break them.

Of course after feeling like this for a long time, this lead to me feeling deeply depressed and anxious, and I was sent to a child support unit. I was able to converse with people here in a way in which I wasn’t ridiculed or made to feel abnormal. Slowly but surely I recovered and went back into a support school at which point I felt mildly confident in my ability to live some sort of a life, no matter how restricting or terrifying at the worst of times.

I believe years of this wired my brain to think down as opposed to up. Throughout college I had periods of depression and anxiety but always tried to convince myself everyone felt the same in life.

The illness has continued throughout the years but came to a head when I searched for full-time work. I would often turn up to work with one hours sleep, zombified and bereft of enthusiasm or drive. I lost jobs because of it. And of course the fear of hurting myself sent my anxiety levels skywards. When I went to see my doctor he gave me some anti-depressants. Things began to pick up. Whilst the meds definitely did wonders for my depression, physical anxiety symptoms increased and it took years to diagnose. When I tapered off the anti-depressants, with no anxiety for weeks, one day I woke up to a darker, bleaker world in which everything felt washed away. Gradually, the harmful thoughts returned, worse than ever.

After trying more anti-depressants, I developed some adverse effects from months of trial and error, making me feel worse rather than better. I couldn’t breathe properly for weeks, sometimes lying on the floor in a burnt mess, wondering whether there was even a point to ring for the emergency services. At other times I had painful feelings in my stomach, indigestion, severe burning skin and lack of breath. During the times I wasn’t like this, Depression Forums was where I posted.

In the coldest December, my self-harm thoughts were sky high and hit a peak when I acted upon one of them. Fifteen years after I had first felt it, this was the only time I had succeeded. The chronic pain, anxiety, and misery from it took me to the darkest depths. I can only describe this feeling to be the darkest of all – in danger of myself, my own worst enemy, unable to run. Which lead to darker thoughts involving the word beginning with S and ending with E.

I just forgot about my job and realised I was fighting for survival here. Many doctors and hospital appointments later, I realised that the hard work was all mine and I continued posting on Depression Forums. If I could be a part of the world again, someday – I would be happy. Finally, an anti-depressant named Amitriptyline was helping me sleep. I was on a high dose and it took a long time to work, I would say three months. The side-effects were bad – I love playing guitar and I felt my fingers were numb. But with the will to get back in the world I just ignored it, I could live without one of my loves, if it meant I was out of the black hole. Months later I noticed my hands were fully functional, giving me optimism that the bad situations can change.

13 years of hell – and how I’m now a new man

Now I have been back at work for an entire year, and until last week hadn’t seen a doctor for eleven months. My doctor could not believe the person who walked into his room last week. “You look like a new man” were his words. I’ve even lowered the dose of my meds just in case I am too happy. To great success I was promoted to senior status in my role and I can almost afford a house now. My colleagues really helped me out by being supportive, I found faith in people – and my managers were supporting me all the way. Whilst work can be stressful, life has never been better! I have learnt about what makes people happy, and what I can do to make my life more enjoyable – like grooming or having your hair done, clothes and general image. I have learned distraction techniques to distract my attention away from the dark thoughts at the worst of times. I have learned that people can give you positive energy just by you showing an interest in them, even saying something as discrete as “hi” and giving a smile. These are all things you and I can do. They are not a quick fix, but all these things together go towards your recovery. I am getting involved in things I never thought I would be. I groom myself and treat myself like any man should, I have an interest in clothes, can play piano now as well. And my guitar playing has never been better! All these things are building confidence which for this person was once so low he never left the house.

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