Depression the illness we all seem to be diagnosed with at some point or another in our lives but it is still treated as taboo to speak about, Lets see if we can change that. I know this topic is going to hit home for a few people and i can only hope that this will create some sort of awareness and start a conversation that has been put off repeatedly.
Firstly i would like to start off with some statistics;
- Australia is currently ranked the second highest anti-depressant used country in the world.
- Almost 8 Australians every day take their own lives.
- Depression will be the second only to heart disease as the leading medical cause of death and disability within 20 years.
The facts above are frightening and that is only Australia – Depression has become a worldwide crisis and has caused an increased amount of deaths leaving nothing but heartache and grief.
So why don’t we talk about it? I believe that the subject is completely looked over because there is not enough education on Mental health, this stuff isn’t taught in schools, we are completely unaware of how or why this can happen to us it just does and then you are told to deal with it or find some doctor that doesn’t give a shit about your health to write you up a script for a pill that will make you forget about the pain for a while. You become numb to everything and everyone around you, almost like a walking zombie with no purpose. When i was younger i remember my dad coming home and telling us that he had been diagnosed with Clinical Depression, his doctor had prescribed him 2 different sorts of pills to take every day, these included sleeping pills & Anti-depressants. Dad stayed on the Anti-depressants for 3 months but he admitted the pills would make him feel completely numb, he once told me that the medication he was taking was that strong he would sit outside reading the paper and see a child playing on the street and if he seen a car drive past and say it had hit the child he would feel absolutely nothing, no desire to go and help, just complete emptiness. Hearing this of course scared the shit out of me, i might also note that my dad is an underground coal miner so taking a pill that emotionally draining and working in a high risk environment is incredibly alarming. I do remember him telling me that there are also several other men working in the same team as him taking the same medication, how? i have no fucking idea but this is just one of the things that needs to be spoken about. I also need to note my dad no longer takes this medication as he became aware of how unsafe and not normal that side effect was.
After my final year in high school i was going through a bunch of different changes in my life; i was unemployed and had absolutely no money, my weight was something that i was having major problems with and my parents were in the middle of a break up so our household was not pleasant at all. I found myself getting deeper and deeper into a state of depression but would never just admit the fact that i was undoubtedly Depressed. Months went by and day in day out i would keep myself locked in my room watching endless TV series’ to keep my mind busy, eating whatever food i could heat up in the microwave and take back into my room and at the end of the night i would cry myself to sleep, for what i thought was no reason, but i couldn’t stop myself it never ended. My relationship with my parents was not great at the time, i had a few good friends but i found it hard to leave my house feeling so uncomfortable in myself to see them. I would say i let this happen for 6 months until i decided maybe i needed help, this was something i would usually go to my mum about but i felt like she had so much going on with dad it was best i spoke with an outsider someone who knew absolutely nothing about me and would just sit and listen. I made an appointment at my local doctors and spoke with the GP he seemed quite concerned for me and put me in touch with their local mental health counsellor, the lady was lovely, the fist appointment was quite daunting for me because i hadn’t thought of what i was going to tell her i just went in and let her ask me questions and the conversation just seemed to flow after that. After the first appointment i was diagnosed with Depression and asked if i would like to go on anti depressants, i thought it was actually really considerate of her to ask me IF i wanted to take them, to which i replied “no, I don’t need a pill to make me happy, if i wanted to be happy i would be, but i just don’t want to” she was completely understanding and just told me to keep up with the on going appointments and we can take it day by day. Until i suffered depression myself i was not aware of the help that is out there along with me seeing a mental health counsellor i was also referred to a phsycologist if i needed and given multiple numbers to call if i needed more urgent attention after hours, Not saying i was in any way suicidal but the help was there no matter what. I can only hope that if there is anyone reading this going through similar or even worse situations you are getting the help you need, it is so accessible these days.
While depression is acknowledged in the medical world as an illness i also strongly believe it is just a mindset, one of the hardest mindsets to overcome. It really does come down to the person, the situation they are in and how strong they have trained their mind mentally to see past every bad thing that is happening and focus on some slither of good they can find. I would never say i went through a severe form of depression but what i did go through was an incredibly hard thing for me to overcome it took me years to find and learn the tools i know now in having a happy and healthy mind. If someone you know is struggling with their life or you notice something off about them, please take some time out of your day to ask them how they are going, let them know you are there and that you want to listen. If it is you that is struggling please do not be afraid to find help, don’t dig a deep hole and lose yourself in there, there is light you just have to search hard enough to find it.
Sending love and Light,
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