I’ve thought about contributing to the Moodscope blog before and so as there was a request I’ve decided to be brave and do it!
I am, as are many people here, what I call a long term depressive sort. My first bout was nearly 30 years ago although I didn’t realise it at the time. Have been through various bouts since, mostly triggered by something external although the potential is always there.
I’ve found out that my natural anxiety needs to be managed or my body’s way of dealing with it is for me to fall into depression which is obviously sub optimal.
I’d been all right for about 10 years (for all right read not taking anti-depressants) and coped through a marriage break up, meeting a new partner and us moving in together, with both our children.
Three years ago our cat went missing for a few days and my anxiety was fully triggered. Over the next few months I was very anxious, firstly about where the cat was at all times and then about more and more things. I became irritable, felt out of control, couldn’t breathe properly and then began to work too much. I work from home so it was quite easy to put in a few extra hours and worry if I didn’t.
Things came to a head one day when I just couldn’t stop crying. My husband called the doctor for me as I couldn’t and later on that day I went to see the doctor, was prescribed anti-depressants and signed off work for two weeks to start with.
I slept for about a week or so it felt. And then gradually was able to do a bit more each day. Although work itself wasn’t the issue, stopping it meant I could look after me. It felt odd at first but I came to realise that it was the only way I could get better.
I started back at work again after 6 weeks but gradually. I felt confident enough to ask for reduced hours as I knew it was better for me. I started taking an hour for lunch and making sure I had a good walk every day.
I was able to go to a group for those with anxiety issues. It was during work time but I felt fine in saying I would be going to it. And it wasn’t a problem for work. It was the best thing for me.
I’m a couple of years on from my breakdown. Still on the anti-depressants but have reduced them. I go running regularly now. I still take my hour’s lunch break every day. Those things are good for me.
Why is it then that I can’t always do what’s best for me? Why do I sometimes conceal my own thoughts and feelings to try and help others, or to try and shelter them?
Answers on a postcard please!
A Moodscope member.