I have been reading posts on this website for about a week or so and am genuinley impressed by the level of empathy and warmth shown to sufferers of depression.
Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Damian. I am 41 years old and have suffered from diagnosed episodal clinical depression since the age of 20, although in hindsight the origins of my illness go back much further.
Over the course of those 20 years, I have been prescribed various SRI anti-depressants, non of which have had any long-lasting effects. I have long since realised that the triggers for my depression are a combination of stress and anxiety related factors and I believe in a preventitive approach, in dealing with the underlying causes of my predicament rather than merely treating the symptoms. The problem is, and Im sure that I share this in common with millions of others, I cannot access a regular talking based therapy, without going privately. Rates for Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), typicallly cost anywhere from £35-100, and I simply cannot afford to pay this on a regular basis. Although I have benefited from 6 week blocks of NHS counselling in the past; it is nigh on impossible to continue past week 6, as noone would ever get to the top of the list to be assessed and start their counselling. Self- help groups run by organisations such as the Depression Alliance and Mind, but to mention two are invaluable, and I will be attending my first group session with a new mental health charity called Progression which is based in York on Sunday evening (just in case anyone is looking to attend a group in that area, it may be worth considering)
Depression is the invisible menace that blights all our lives, and I for one have felt disconnected from fellow sufferers,for too long. We cannot expect other people to understand our suffering, some are more empathetic than others, but we know dont we ! oh how we know !!! I used to be careful about how I described my depression and usually talked about 'experiencing depression'. I conversed with people in an abstract manner, almost as if I was talking about depresssion in general. The ironic thing is that we are all experienced actually, and im sure that there is a wealth of coping strategies that we use everyday that may be of benefit to others. In my next blog, for what it is worth I will share with you, some of mine.
But to wet your appetite, here's a cognitive thought, that promotes confidence,comfort and well being on a daily basis. Its very simple, just try to complete one task per day, thats it and no more!Even it is as simple a domestic chore as doing the washing up or taking the rubbish out. There are days, when all I have achieved is that one task, but on the blackest days, when you are devoid of any hope, the struggle to complete this one task is so great, that I feel proud of myself, as it would have been so easy to not even attempt it. Does anybody have any pearls to impart on what can work for them ?
I am tempted to write more..... but will refrain. In the words of the renowned TV psychiatrist Dr Fraser Crane. 'Good Mental health'.
Have a great day everyone !