I’ve thought for a long time about this post and if I should be honest with the world. Im not afraid of being honest, but there are times when honesty crosses the “too much information” line. And perhaps that’s where I got stuck, should I, shouldn’t I?
I like to think I’m quite an open person, ask me something and ill usually tell you straight away, (obviously depending on the question!?), so when I was asked recently “do you take anti-depressants” – I was a little taken-a-back. It was a sort of “I’ve never been asked this before mixed with what should I say here” kind of feeling.
Back when I had CBT sessions I had to fill out this questionnaire thingy, which at the time I thought nothing of, till she read over it and said “Katrina, you have definately got depression”. Floored. She saw my reaction and did her best to reassure me that with everything I’m going through, pain and life in general, that’s it’s pretty OK to be feeling depressed. OK? I remember thinking, maybe if i go back again tomorrow and do the questionnaire thingy again, it will say I’m not depressed. And I’ll be ok. Reality was/is that was never going to happen.
He too said “Katrina, with all this going on, I’m surprised you haven’t asked me about this before now”. Light bulb moment *ting*.
Ahhh ok, so these feelings I’ve been having are real? I had never put the jigsaw together, and never thought about it, but joining the dots now, 5 years on, I realised I had never noticed the signs. Or had I, and just chose to ignore them?
Depression has such a stigma surrounding it, and not being “depressed” till 5 years ago, I hadn’t realised just how much of a stigma. I am still me. I am still the person I was before it was written in to my file that I suffer from depression. I have not changed.
But even mention the word and people presume it’s like the plague, they will catch it if they come too close. But the thing that gets me, people change, and by people, I mean those around you. I have found that those around me, usually end up on one of 2 sides. 1 side thinks it’s absolutely ridiculous, depression doesn’t exist, it’s all in your mind and if you don’t have a positive outlook on life, you aren’t helping yourself. You don’t need a tablet to make you happy, you just need to get over yourself. The 2nd side, treat you completely different. You are treated like a child, like you are going to break down at the slightest difficult situation. You are given looks of pitty, and constantly asked “how are you”.
What happened to just being normal around me? I won’t break for god sake, but nor will I be pressured in to believing that my frame of mind is all that’s wrong with me.
So yes world – I take anti- depressants. And no, I’m NOT ashamed to tell anyone I do. So what if I need a tablet to help me get through a day? Remember my life has changed, adjusting to my new life will take time and a lot of mental energy, and if one tablet helps me with that, then that’s what I’ll do.
I will not be left to feel ashamed that I need help, I admitted it, and I got help.
So before you judge anyone having any form of help for depression, be that medication, counselling, therapy etc, think before you speak. You have no idea what that person goes through on a daily basis, and judgement is not what that person needs.
“Yes, she’s smiling. But don’t let that fool you. Look in to her eyes, she’s breaking inside”.
Here are some links to help you – please, don’t be ashamed to ask for help.