Since 15 as well as the occasional panic attack, I had mild depression, no idea what the trigger was. But as I later learnt in A-level psychology, there isn’t always a trigger, it can be down to a chemical imbalance in your brain. Just before I turned 18 I was doing my A-levels, working and living alone in ‘sheltered accommodation, things got on top of me, the depression got to a point where it kinda spiralled,.
I started to bleed and clot very heavily and had severe pain. At the hospital I was told at one point that I was never pregnant and another point that I was but had miscarried. I was never given a definitive answer, regardless of the positive tests I decided it was easier to deal with if I thought it never happened. But I plunged deeper into the depths of depression.
My medication were increased to 20mg. I stopped eating almost fully and I skipped college for 6 weeks and started cutting myself and drinking. Things were easier to deal with then. I didn’t have to think and over analyse things so much. I just want to point out that I NEVER ever wanted to kill myself, the self harm was more like a release. May sound sick but it gave me a buzz, it released adrenaline and helped me feel better. It turned all the mental pain into real physical pain, something I could see, touch, feel.
It somehow made it easier to cope. The staff were I lived started to pick up on my secrets and they referred me to a young peoples drinking support service which did really help. And I got help for the self harming, they tried to give me replacement techniques but what really stopped me self harming was when one of the cuts got infected, it was a wake up call, a slap in the face.
I was gob-smacked at the extent of what I’d done and it turned my stomach, I vowed never to do that to myself again and I never have. I’m totally ashamed to even think about it now, but proud that I’ve not done it for nearly 4 years. I quit work a few months later to concentrate on my final college year and have some more me time to de-stress.
The next year or so I plodded on, did my a-levels, didn’t achieve as well as I could have but well enough to get me by. But in that year I am beyond ashamed to admit that I did have casual sex with quite a few people. I flitted between relationships and had no self respect or self esteem whatsoever, my morals kinda went out the window.
I thought so little of myself and when I did what I was doing I kinda felt better at the time as stupid as it sounds but afterwards I’d feel awful. Dirty disgusting, used. But I never learnt because although I knew it was wrong, I felt it was all I was worth. And to this day that haunts me. I feel sick at the thought. I know people who were worse, slept with a lot more people, didn’t use condoms, but what I did was bad enough.
Just before I turned 19 I met my now boyfriends. And yes we had sex pretty quickly and got together pretty quickly. But it was different. He was different. He has got me through so much. Helped me feel better about myself, helped me through my nanna’s death a month after we got together, and about 4 months into the relationship I fell pregnant. We had a good relationship on the whole.
When the baby was born he didn’t help much (which he feels awful about now, I know he does) and the next 4 months or so were hell. We treated each other terribly. I started to go to church, it gave me an extra support network, I still go now as I like the feeling of inner peace it brings. Even so, my bf and I were apart for about 9 months. Solicitors were involved and everything. I ended up on 40mg of Citalopram and beta blockers for my anxiety, as I’d started to have panic attacks a lot more and a lot worse.
At one point I wouldn’t go anywhere on my own. I stupidly got into a new relationship (which was a disaster, he wasn’t the Mr nice guy he cracked on to be) to try to prove to myself and the world I’d moved on. I was in a dark place in the clutches of PND. I ended up having seeing stress anxiety and depression management workers, it really helped.
I started to see things differently, developed new coping strategies. The way me and my baby’s dad started talking again over Facebook was weird, without knowing the other felt the same we both found ourselves missing each other and a few chance meetings occurred and we realised we liked each others company.
I forgot about all the bad stuff, felt happier than I could remember being for a long time. Eventually we spoke about our feelings and decided to give it another go take things as they come, and now I’m happier than ever, my son loves it and my depression is at bay, I’m still on 20mg of Citalopram to keep the serotonin balanced as with me it does tend to be a chemical problem, only made worse by triggers in my life.
I am much more hopeful for the future now. I am looking at sorting my career out now and getting a new house with my son and partner.
This post is an inspiration anonymous post to highlight the effects of depression
- Charlie Suen: Another Citalopram victim. (leoniefennell.wordpress.com)
- Citalopram agression, how much evidence do we need? (leoniefennell.wordpress.com)
- My Personal Panic (angelschoice.wordpress.com)
- Ways to Recover from Depression effectively (neumannpsychology.wordpress.com)