It’s treatable

have had a rough year for various reasons, most of which seem pretty minor. Work, husband’s work, kids, parents’ health all minor hassles but I suppose it mounts up. I’ve been worn out and grumpy and trying to figure out how to get out if the rut, how to cheer myself up, how to organise my home and work life more efficiently, how to manage my time better. I’ve ‘got on with things’. I thought i was coping. Some people have been supportive but nothing made me feel better.

Somehow I never quite got round to stopping and thinking about how I actually felt. I am probably not the only one here who is better at thinking things through than feeling them.

Finally the penny dropped and I did my own Beck Depression score (I never thought much of the PHQ-9!). Hmm. Moderate depression. Sudenly it all makes sense. Everything that was a big hassle and making me constantly exhausted – the common link in it all was me. I have spent most of this year depressed to a greater or lesser extent. So I plucked up the courage to see a GP (my usual one being unavailable, it had to be a chap I didn’t know before).

Knocking on his door and telling him I thought I was depressed was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I so nearly put my brave face on and asked about contraception instead. But I knew I had to do it. I cried. And he was superb, not touchy-feely but totally competent and calm and kind. I came away with a script for citalopram and started it the next day.

Well, 3 weeks later, here I am. I feel so normal that I can now see how unwell I had been, which I had little inkling of before. Every week I am meeting another respected colleague or friend who discloses their own past depression. Every week I feel better – first the lows started to lift, and now the highs are coming back – not manically, but just enjoying the normal little things in life again.

My marriage is ten times better. I have almost stopped shouting at the kids. I am working much more efficiently and no longer need to worry about workload and time management as it all seems so much easier now. I can face the jobs that need doing, and do them. I think I’m in danger of being happy again.

And now I have told my colleagues too, who have been overwhelmingly supportive and caring, I have no reason to hide or try to be anonymous.

SO I guess my message to anyone out there is: Stop. Look at your feelings as well as your thoughts and physical symptoms. Ask your friends if they think you are ok or not. See your doctor. And remember – depression is TREATABLE.

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