I'm Heather, i'm 29 and I have recently come to terms with the fact I have depression.
If i'm honest I can trace the roots of it back to my teen years... I've always known, on some level that I've been a little low/off/moody, whatever I chose to call it. Two years ago I started suffering from panic attacks and anxiety. I'm currently on 60mg fluoxitine, I started on 20mg about 18 months ago. I'm going to get a doctors appointment (hopefully) next week to discuss trying another medication as I feel like the prozac isn't really doing it's job any more.
Anyway, the point is, I've been in denial, I've not wanted to call it by it's name. I've said I've felt low, blamed hormones, extreme PMT and anxiety but it's getting to the point now that denying it is no longer possible. For the first time since my teen years I've had thoughts of self-harm and felt hopeless, like if this is how I'll be for the rest of my life, is there really much point in living it? The main things that stop me acting out these things is my wife, my parents and my friends. I know they'd all be devastated. I have a hard time understanding why, but I know they would be and that's enough to stop me for now.
I abuse alcohol and food. Not to the point i'm an alcoholic or 30 stone, but if I don't get out of this rut, I may be in a couple of years time the way I've gone downhill the last 6-9 months.
I also suffer from ridiculous feelings of guilt. I feel guilty for having depression. Like I don't meet the criteria. I had a happy childhood, my parent's may have been slightly 'helicopter-ish' and over-bearing, but they loved me and brought me up well, I didn't want for anything really, I didn't suffer physical or verbal abuse, I had friends, I got bullied due to my weight, but virtually everyone gets bullied at some point in school, my parents were totally accepting and wonderful when I came out to them years ago,I have a wonderful, caring wife, we've just bought our first house, money is tight but we're managing... in short, I should be happy; so why am I not? I feel ungrateful. I feel ashamed that I am so much better off than a lot of the world's population, yet I don't seem to fully appreciate it.
I know mental illness can affect anyone, maybe this is selfish, but I can't help but think, why me? But at the end of the day, some people become diabetic even though they eat healthily, some people get cancer yet they've never smoked in their lives, some people have heart attack's even though they're not overweight and work out. Sometimes shit just happens to people. Now I'm not saying that people who have been through difficult times in any way deserve depression or anxiety, I'm just saying that it's a lot more justified than it is in people like me.
I am, however, a hypocrite, I say mental illness is just that, an illness, it's not discriminating, it affects anyone, but when it comes to myself, I don't feel that way. I feel like a failure, I feel like I'm letting everyone around me down, like I don't deserve these people in my life. Like I should be alone, in some run down pub, drinking myself to death with other people in my situation. If I can't appreciate what I have, then maybe I shouldn't have it.
I have been to my GP several times over the last 2 years, I've applied for NHS therapy sessions, they told me I drink too much (a few times a week, not all day, everyday) and I need AA. The GP just chats to me for 5 minutes and ups my meds. There is still such a long way to go regarding MI awareness and treatment as I'm sure many people here know. They shove a prescription at us and wonder why people become alcoholics or self harm or commit suicide. The brain is the most complex organism we know of in the universe, I doubt a tablet is going to fix it doc.
Anyway, I just needed to get that stuff off my chest. I hope I haven't upset/offended anyone in any way, these are just my thoughts and opinions, they're not important, it just feels nice to let them out now and again. I have wonderful parents and an amazing wife, but I don't want to worry or upset them by telling them the full extent of it. They know I suffer with anxiety, I'll leave it at that for the time being.
Thanks for listening,
love Heather xx