Depression And I | Mental Health Awareness Week

by - 10:00

I've always been very open when talking on my blog about mental health, but something that I've realised is that I haven't fully talked about my struggles with depression. In my eyes, anxiety is easier for people to understand than depression, and so it's been way easier for me to talk about. 

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and over the past few days I've seen so many incredible, inspiring blog posts, Instagram posts, tweets & YouTube videos all talking about and highlighting various mental health issues (which is great). One of these people is Daniel Howell. He's a YouTuber who I've loved and looked up to for many years, but all this time he's had depression and I didn't have a clue. He made a video talking about depression, giving advice etc. and I guess you could say that his video has inspired this post. If you want to watch his video then I'll leave the link HERE. 



I got depression around the same time that my anxiety started (so around aged 12), anxiety & depression go hand-in-hand so it's not really a surprise. I didn't know what it was and my naive self just thought that this is what being sad is like and that everyone feels this way sometimes. Of course, I was wrong. 

Depression to me feels like nothingness. Nothing matters anymore and I lose all feeling. Even the things that I once loved so much become worthless to me. Many describe the feeling like they've fallen into a black hole, which I completely agree with. It's almost as if I'm not there. I could be on a table full of my friends, all happy, talking, joking etc. and it feels like I'm not even there. Blank. 

The feeling can come and go, but when it comes, it tries to stick around for as long as it can. I can have good days without feeling depressed, but I can have bad months when I do. And even now when I can say that I'm 'better' and that I've overcame the worst of it, I can still wake up one day with that feeling and there's nothing that I can do to ease it. 

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I often struggle to do basic things. I struggle to get out of bed, I struggle to shower, I struggle to write, blog, work, I struggle to read, to clean, to feed myself. All basic things, and from an outside perspective, it may just seem lazy or your basic procrastination, but it isn't. 

Depression strips you of your motivation, your energy and, honestly, your will to survive. When you're living with depression, every second of your day is just a dark blur. So my natural instinct is to just sleep through it until I can finally wake up and feel better. 

Unfortunately, that doesn't work. 

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Over time, I have found a few things that can 'trigger' my depression or make me feel worse, and also the things that help me to keep it away. One thing that makes a HUGE difference is sleep. For many years, my sleeping pattern has been very sporadic, I put this down to my mixture of anxiety & depression. 

My anxiety causes me to stay awake. It causes me to get very restless, fidgety, unable to shut off etc. My depression only wants me to sleep. With a mixture of them both, my sleeping patterns can become toxic. I end up staying awake all night, and sleeping all day. This makes my mental health worse. I often find that if my sleeping pattern is off and I end up waking up in the afternoon, then I will feel worse, and if my sleeping pattern is good (going to sleep early, waking up early), I often wake up in a better mood. BUT this is in no means a 'cure', I can have a good nights sleep and still wake up in that hole. 

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I've dealt with depression for 7 years, largely on my own. I've overcame a lot and I still have so far to go. I've been through CBT twice, I've harmed myself, I've hidden myself in my room for days and cut people out of my life for no reason, but I can safely say that I'm in a better place now. And If I were to give advice to anyone out there going through it themselves I would say, look after yourself. Try, with best of your ability, to shower, eat, sleep well, go outside and for heavens sake, talk to someone! It's okay to ask for help and once you have someone who knows, and understands, what you're going through, life will be much easier. 

To those who are lucky enough to have not experienced depression, help those that are. Recognise the symptoms and if someone comes to you for help, just listen to them, look out for them, encourage them. 

SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue 
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Irritability/restlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities 
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Overeating or loss of appetite
  • Persistent sad, anxious or 'empty' feelings
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide
PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION:

  • Headaches/migraines
  • Back pain
  • Muscle aches/joint pains
  • Chest pains
  • Drastic change in weight
  • Dizziness/lightheadedness

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Anxiety UK:
Phone: 08444 775 774 (Mon-Fri, 9.30am-5.30pm)

Depression Alliance:

Mental Health Foundation:

Mind:
Phone: 0300 123 3393 (Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm)
Website: www.mind.org.uk

Samaritans:
Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)

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Caitlin x


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2 comments

  1. This was so inspiring and I completely agree I have struggled with it myself and I know what it’s like but I could relate to your words on my own. I love reading posts like this it’s so inspiring, keep up the amazing work xx
    caitlynhearts.blogspot.co.uk

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  2. I loved reading this post. It was so informative and inspirational! Thank you for sharing

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