I’ll be writing this partially in response to a conversation I had with the apocryphal “man in the pub” and partially because I think it might help others in a similar frame of mind. It’s also intended as an outlet for me. I doubt I’ll edit it much, although it will be divided into sections, so it’ll possibly jump around a fair bit, although I’ll try to keep to the topic in the heading for each section.
In brief however, I was diagnosed with depression in my late teens, and seventeen years on I’m still having a hard time coping with it. I’ve been described by at least one psychiatrist as “borderline bipolar” and am on several medications to keep me relatively sane. Statistically I’m aware I’m not alone, and have met, worked with, and am friends with many people in the same (or similar) boat.
I probably won’t go too deeply into my past prior to being diagnosed; there are sections of my memory from the recent past that are fairly well blocked or forgotten as well. Although some would say I should “face my demons” and man up to what’s locked away, personally I believe they’re hidden for a damned good reason, and don’t think it’s worth me investigating them just yet. So please don’t expect any “juicy bits” or gossip, as this is intended to be more of a window to my mental disability and how I’m dealing with it, and not a diary of my life.
“Disability?” Yeah, disability. For those who don’t know what it’s like to find themselves locked into the lowest emotional state possible, those for whom depressed is how they feel when their ice cream falls off the cone, or very occasionally wake up not wanting to go to work, depression may not seem like a particularly difficult thing to deal with. Many people will just say “Yeah, we all feel like that sometimes” without realising that for the depressive mentality, it’s usually not just one or two days, it can last weeks, months, or even years. That’s entire stretches of time where not only do you not want to go to work, you don’t even want to wake up, even on weekends. And relative to the rest of the spectrum of depression, those can be the good days. It affects your work and social life, sometimes leaving you with neither. So yeah, it’s a disability, just not one that’s often recognised as such.
Some of what I write may turn out disturbing, some of it may sound plain crazy, and some of it will likely leave you feeling worse than when you started reading it. I apologise in advance for this, but I’m not going to sugar coat it at all. I just hope that for those that do read it, there is enough that makes sense and can be used to help them or those they know, in figuring out how to deal with depression. I do not claim to be a depression guru, psychiatrist, doctor or “messiah,” just a man who’s lived with depression for over half his life, and who would like to help others learn how to live with it.
So, there’s a button marked “Index” over on the left if you want to join me on what, I hope, will be an informative and possibly useful journey through my mind. Good luck, and I hope you get something useful from all this.