My name is Scott and I suffer from depression and anxiety.
I was first diagnosed in my late teens. I already had a feeling that my head didn’t function the way it should. Not majorly, but enough for me to question things but enough for me to know something wasn’t quite right. I would have said normal, but what’s normal anyway?
Things came to a head around that time when I put myself in hospital with an intentional overdose. I don’t particularly remember doing it or the reasons behind it all, all I knew is that I didn’t want to exist anymore. No great, romantic farewells, just a mix of tablets and drink. After a few hours, my body started rejecting it, vomiting into the toilet. It was probably the vomiting that saved me.
I was taken to hospital where they said it was too late to have my stomach pumped. I remember being wheeled around corridors in wheelchair, feeling like I was in a bubble. It was trippy and surreal. That and sitting in a chair looking out of the window watching the sunrise, feeling gaunt and eroded away from existence, were the only things I really remember from the time.
I had a brief spell of counselling whilst at college, the usual kind of stuff to try and help me. I hoped that it was something I’d grow out of butility it wasn’t to be.
My first attempt with meds came a few years later. I was prescribed Prozac, the new hip wonder drug, to help stable my mood swings. Like most of Generation X (in reference to the Douglas Coupland novel that spawned a literary movement) I’d read Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel, a writer’s memoir on suffering from depression and the affects of prozac on her. It helped her so I have it a try. After a month or so I felt my mood’s balance a bit, so I took it for another few months then stopped. Hey, it had worked and I was okay now, right?
Every now and again I’d go back to medication. When I felt I needed it I would go back to the doctor’s and get prescribed something. Most of the time it was citalopram. I knew it worked with my depression and also helped with my anxiety. I would take it for about six months to a year or so, then come off it as I felt better.
And so the cycle continued.
The most recent time felt different. I spent most of 2015 waking up with an anxiety attack. I was finding it harder and harder to be out in public. My mood was fluctuating, but was spending more time dealing more time dealing with the black dog than not. I went to the doctor’s and signed back up for citalopram. I started taking it but after a couple of month’s it wasn’t doing anything but taking the edge off things. Life had lost it’s luster. I could barely pick up a guitar. The usual things I enjoyed seemed meaningless. My attention and focus were all over the place. I was somewhere else. The dog had well and truly taken a hold and it wasn’t prepared to let go it’s hold.
On the suggestion of a few people I went back to my GP. I changed my meds to venlafaxine. I went on the sick from work whilst I worked on myself. I started counseling and therapy. I slept. I learned to change my ways of thinking. I made things public on Facebook and with my friends and family. I fought it the best way I could.
It’s taken me a few months to get here but I’m back, but this time I feel stronger. My attitude feels better, I’m enjoying things and life. I feel my laughter is no longer hollow or fake.
I’ve started this blog to cover not just my fight and my story, but that of others. Mental illnesses are cruel and will happily steal everything from you that it can. I want this to reach out to people, to let everyone know that we can get through it. Some days are better than others, but every day here is a victory.
The blog will have my story, but I’m going to try and include the story of others too. If you want to take part, feel like telling your tale, then let me know. You don’t have to suffer from depression, a family member might and you want to tell people things from your perspective. That’s cool. I want this to be a forum for as many as possible. It’s not just about me, it’s about you too. We can bond together to help other’s with the daily fight. And not just with this blog either. I’m hoping to incorporate videos too, of me, interviews with other people and stories from people who’s life has been touched by this.
Any feedback, messages, offers of stories or interviews, then drop me a line @ firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s do this.