Let’s talk about: Depression

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“Get a grip,” he scolded. “What exactly have you got to be depressed about?”

And he was right. Yet, I couldn’t find the words to explain why I woke up crying every day and would crawl out of bed in the morning with a knot of dread in my stomach.
I couldn’t even get excited about LIPSTICK anymore – that’s when I knew something was seriously wrong.
To the rest of the world, my life seemed perfect. I had a good job, great support network, travelled the world regularly and was apparently, pretty decent looking.
According to some people, if you’re considered somewhat ‘pretty’ then you’re definitely not allowed to suffer from depression.
I wasn’t in the grip of some deadly illness and was pretty damn lucky, so how dare I have the audacity to feel down?
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So, off I skipped to the doctors, praying they would prescribe some miracle cure for me so I could stop being so blooming ‘dramatic’ about life.
I tried pills. Hypnotherapy. Counselling. Meditation. But it was abundantly clear that my depression would not be budging for quite some time.
The one thing they don’t tell you about the illness, is that bouts of impulsivity, anger and helplessness can be surefire signs that you are extremely depressed.
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Having battled a deadly eating disorder in my adolescent years, I knew what it was like to be in self-destruct mode so I knew something wasn’t right when my personality changed almost overnight.
I went from being a laidback, upbeat and confident person to anxious, perpetually grief-stricken and paranoid.
Getting out of bed became I struggle. Even the smallest setback would send me into fits of tears.
I would listen to Pink Floyd ‘Marooned’ and let the dark music seep into my soul.
An ex -boyfriend would laugh at me and call me a ‘strange girl’ when I insisted of drawing the blinds and lying in the dark so I could ‘think.’
The thing was, I did feel strange. It was as though there was some sort of poison filling my body, causing me to feel more diminished by the day.
I soon became a prisoner of my own thoughts. A vampire with little faith in my ability to get myself through it. A hopeless cause.
depression 4
I still remember the day I called the NHS and practically begged for help. When I mentioned being suicidal, the woman on the phone told me I was being ‘childish.’
I was in such a state of shock and disgust that I immediately hung up the phone.
Another thing that didn’t help was when I was constantly told I was going ‘mad’ by the person I was supposed to be closest to at the time.
Sometimes  glimpses of the ‘old me’ would pop out –  gregarious and full of joy with the world.
But depression won’t let you stay there for long. Especially when trouble is brewing.
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Depression tells you that you’re worthless, and that nothing will ever improve.
She whispers in your ear that you are nothing but a fake and a phoney, and that death is the only option for you to escape.
It can also manifest physically; chest pains, headaches, stomach problems and nausea are all symptoms of major depressive disorder.
Food becomes tasteless and nothing seems fun anymore. You long for someone to give you a tight hug and tell you everything will be okay.
depression 6
“What do you enjoy doing?” the doctor asks. You stare blankly at him and wrack your brain to think of something normal to reply.
Deciding on being honest instead, you say: “Well, erm, nothing.”
You let out a quiet giggle in the hope it will ease some of  the tension in the room.
But inside you feel ashamed. You are scared to tell him about the time you felt almost gleeful at the possibility of dying in a horrible car crash.
depression 7
Possibly the worst thing about depression is watching some of the people you care deeply about turn their backs on you.
They either simply don’t know what to say or have branded you a ‘freak’ as you play out your nervous breakdown.
When depression takes hold you feel there is no hope and that this horrible illness will last forever.
Even the smallest stressor can send you spiralling out of control and you are unable to tolerate almost any small bump in the road.
depression 8
During the lowest point of my depression the thought of taking my own life seemed like the only way forward.
But it wasn’t until I finally combined tablets and counselling with my own version of self care that I realised it didn’t have to mean forever.
As the saying goes, even hell can get comfy once you’ve settled in, and that’s exactly what happened to me.
Despair became normal to me and I fed this further by pressing the button of self-destruction – one I knew only too well.
mhaw-banner-ident
Today, thanks to finding my inner peace again and getting the help I so desperately needed, I refuse to do anything that could harm my recovery.
As hard as it was to admit I had the dreaded D word – depression – I realise how important it is to spread the word that everything really will be okay in the end.
Sometimes the darkest periods in our lives open us up to the cliched ‘light’ at the end of the tunnel.
After months of preparing myself to go under, I can truly appreciate joy like never before.
Let’s spread the word for Mental Health Awareness Week. It’s okay not to be okay.
And it’s okay to speak about it. Don’t suffer in silence.
You can speak to a Breathing Space advisor on 0800 83 85 87.

Styletto Mag is a Scottish online magazine which publishes the latest articles on fashion, beauty, shopping and life. The site was founded by journalist Lisa Boyle in August 2011. Styletto Mag is a sleek, easy to access online magazine which features shopping trends, beauty reviews, funny features and women's lifestyle articles. COMING SOON : STYLETTO SHOP - Stay tuned for the Styletto store where you can purchase some amazing one-off vintage pieces, modern, on-trend clothing and accessories to ensure you're always sporting the most coveted items. STYLETTO PRINT EDITION - Soon to be Scotland's best selling magazine, Styletto will be your most glamorous new glossy for women's lifestyle, fashion updates, beauty lust haves and much more. To contribute or submit articles, send them to Lisa Boyle at editor.styletto@gmail.com.

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