Just because depression isn’t visible, doesn’t mean it’s not there.
Depression is something that the majority of us will suffer with at some point in our lives. Whether we realize it or not. It comes in different ways for all of us. Some of us just think we’re feeling a little low. Some of us feel like life isn’t worth living anymore.
When I first went in about my mental health, the Doctor wasn’t sure whether I was confusing depression with anxiety. Now I look back on it, maybe at the time I was, but I’ve definitely had an element of depression.
I battled for a very long time with my mental health, and I was stubborn enough to not accept the help and let the Doctor prescribe me medication. I was scared I’d be on it for life and become addicted.
A colleague of mine at the time managed to convince me to try it because I’d got to the point where I was nervous about even answering the phone. I was pushing everyone that cares about me away by not talking about my feelings because I felt like it’d just be a burden on them. They did everything I did, worked hard, looked after the children etc. So why couldn’t I do that?
My plan of action.
I finally took the plunge and went to the Doctor asking for medication. I was already on propranolol for my anxiety but that didn’t touch my mood. When I finally gave in I just sat there and sobbed, rambling onto the Doctor about everything that’s built up for me. I felt stupid. So many people in the world are going through so much worse than I am.
I did, however, feel better for just letting it out. The Doctor prescribed me a low dose of sertraline, as what I was feeling clearly wasn’t just my anxiety.
I went back after 2 weeks for a review of my mood. To be honest, in that short space of time I didn’t really see an improvement, apart from the fact that it had helped my anxiety issues slightly!
Within a month of that, I felt like a totally new person. I was no longer crying every day or breaking down over the smallest of things. My patience had improved when it comes to Dinky and his challenging behaviors. Most importantly, I was actually able to smile again.
How do I get a diagnosis for depression?
It’s not something that the Doctor will just diagnose straight away, especially if you’ve not had any past history of mental health. The Doctor will likely prescribe you some antidepressants and ask you come back after a few weeks to check your mood. The Doctor may even refer you to see a mental health worker if you really don’t want to take medication for your depression.
I’m not saying medication is the way forward to cure depression because it isn’t the case for some people. I’m just saying it helped me and still is. I hope to come off of my medication soon.
If you feel like you may be suffering from depression, please go and see your Doctor. It doesn’t mean you’re weak. In fact, it means the opposite. You’ve got the strength to go and tell someone that actually, you’re really not doing okay and need some help. There is nothing wrong with that. Just because depression isn’t visible, it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
There are many treatments available such as cognitive therapy, medication (I’ve tried both and both were very helpful), and even Christian Mental Health facilities. Please don’t feel like it’s weak to ask for help – it actually makes you very strong! Take care of your mental health today!
Here are some links to find out more about depression, take a mood test, and how you can get the best help for you.
Please remember that you’re never alone in this. I believe that you can get through this.