As you know a while ago I began writing about depression and how I am dealing with it and the strategies that I have been using to help myself when I begin feeling depressed. If you haven’t yet then you can find some of the articles under the category one in four.
In many ways writing about it here and sharing my experiences is a cathartic experience. It helps to write because it lets you examine the words and think them through. I have always done my best to work through my problems through introspection and writing seems to work best for me, it’s why I prefer to blog rather than youtube.
Over the Christmas break I was feeling okay. I missed my family and was a bit homesick but I felt in control.
I thought I was doing fine.
But a few weeks ago I had what I can only describe as a bit of a break down. You see there is a difference between dealing with your feelings and covering them up and it seems that I wasn’t as good at dealing with them as I thought. The saying “no man is an island” is very Very true.
I have always been able to rely on my Sister or my Mum for a sympathetic shoulder but I have always kept the truth from them about the real extent of my depression, until I couldn’t hold it in anymore and ended up having a very emotion breakdown over Skype with my Sister. It’s at this point that I came to realise that it was time to speak to a professional about how I am feeling.
As a men we often think we should handle things ourselves and I will admit to quite a few father issues as well. I’ve always seen it as a failing when I can’t deal with my own problems. I say things to myself like, oh it’s your problem no need to worry someone else with it, your Mum has her own life to lead, it’s not that bad your just having a whinge, don’t dump your problems on other people, everybody has their troubles you are not the only one. There comes a point though when you have to realise that you aren’t getting better and that if you really want to get better then you have to make a change.
For me it was finally accepting that it was okay to ask for help.
Reaching out to my Sister and telling her how I have been feeling has helped. I think they are finally beginning to understand just how much of a problem this has been for me. It’s not just me being sad, it’s been a real problem for me most of my life.
Seeing a Psychiatrist wasn’t a decision that I made on my own but I am glad that I was pushed towards it. Speaking to somebody outside of my circle who has no attachments to my family or friends is really good because I feel safe enough to talk about the stuff I haven’t told anyone in the past. Getting professional help isn’t something that we should be afraid of, we go to the doctor for a broken leg, why not go for a broken soul.
I feel really comfortable with the Psychiatrist that I am seeing. She mostly listens and although she says I am suffering from depression she hasn’t push me towards taking medications which is what I am trying to avoid at this stage. She also has no agenda other than the help me get better so when I bullshit her she sees right through it and I’ve had to re-examine a few truths about myself that I thought were pretty rock solid.
My mental state right now is the best it’s been in a long time and I feel in control of my life again.
“The fact that you’re struggling doesn’t make you a burden. It doesn’t make you unlovable or undesirable or undeserving of care. It doesn’t make you too much or too sensitive or too needy. It makes you human. Everyone struggles. Everyone has a difficult time coping, and at times, we all fall apart. During these times, we aren’t always easy to be around — and that’s okay. No one is easy to be around one hundred percent of the time. Yes, you may sometimes be unpleasant or difficult. And yes, you may sometimes do or say things that make the people around you feel helpless or sad. But those things aren’t all of who you are and they certainly don’t discount your worth as a human being. The truth is that you can be struggling and still be loved. You can be difficult and still be cared for. You can be less than perfect, and still be deserving of compassion and kindness.” — Daniell Koepke