Hazel of Scotland tells her personal account of depression, from points of denial, struggling with symptoms, then the path to recovery.
“My name is Hazel I’m 46 from Scotland and have been struggling with depression for a couple of years now. I wasn’t aware I had depression until it was diagnosed at the start of 2015 when I got really bad. I’d had a lot of problems in 2014 which I was just putting down to viruses and migraines, but it got so bad that in December 2014 I had to give up work. Decided it was better to give up my job than to be sacked.
Anyway I argued with my doctor, “no, not me, I’m not depressed or suffering from anxiety.” Even with the campaigns in the UK I was still not going to admit to myself never mind anyone else I had depression. Doctor eventually convinced me to try the tablets and he was great at explaining to me why they would help.
I took the decision that I wasn’t going to hide from this and for me it was right to to let people know me that I was suffering from anxiety and depression cause at times I was doing strange things and suffering from anxiety and panic attacks. I wasn’t as open and friendly as I had been in the past so I though it was only fair to let people know. I even announced to my friends on facebook that I was suffering from anxiety and depression. I even included a note on my linkedin page that I believed in being open and honest with prospective employers and that I was suffering from depression, but working on getting better and I was looking for an employer who was interested in employing someone who was honest and hard working.
I’ve had people tell me privately that they suffer from depression but they don’t want to tell anyone. I’ve had a retired nurse congratulate me on telling people that I suffer from depression.
I am a member of the healthunlocked anxiety and depression forum and it saddens me at how many people in their late teens and early 20s are suffering and don’t know who to speak to. It saddens me to read about the people who can’t talk to their families or friends about this illness and who don’t have a close friend that can confide in and who can help them when they need it.
I am much better now than I was last year, but I have worked hard to get to this stage and I have to work at it every day as I don’t know how I am going to be from day to day. For example last week I was back to sleeping for at least 12 hours plus a day, but yesterday and today I’ve been okay with being able to get up at a normal time and do my tasks that I had set up for me to do.
Some people have said to me that I’ll be fine cause I am taking the tablets. No my tablets help me to feel stable and grounded enough to do all the other hard work that I need to do to rebuilt my self-confidence and self-esteem. I work every day on mindfulness, anxiety control, thought control and also eating healthily. I am aiming to be an even better person than I was before the depression.
I hear people say I want to be the person I was before. I don’t say that I say I want to be happy, outgoing and even better than I was before the depression because I know I will never be the same person I was before it.
I was very frightened that I would never feel better to start with and I hated the nightmares, not being able to think straight or concentrate. I even went through a stage of self-harm just to be able to feel something. Working with my doctor and a psychologist and having friends and relatives who are there when I need them has all helped, along with the hard work I put in everyday.
I am now on that wiggly path to getting better. The one where you go so far, then detour back a bit, then go forward and bit more, then go round in circles, a bit further forward, a bit more back and so on. 😀
I wish you all the best and I hope you feel proud about getting the message out there about depression”