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Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Long time , no post.
Today I read a post on a blog I read and felt prompted to write this as  a reply:


Thankyou for your post. I've suffered from the black dog fr as long as I can remember too. Those that don't understand an sound heartless, but I've learnt that it;s usually fear and/or ignorance that makes them react the way they do. Sometimes there is no rhyme nor reason for the depression apart from a chemical imbalance, sometimes it's reactive as you say.
"This too , shall pass" is a really good mantra to have in my case. It gives me something to hold on to at my low points. I used to feel guilty about being on meds, but once read a book by someone I really admired but had no clue that she suffered from depression. She got so low that she once walked out of work and signed herself straight into a pychiatric hopital because she didn't think she would make it through th next day if she didn't!  After 2 months she was discharged. She learnt that she might never be free of the depression but learnt how to manage it better. She also realised that she may be on medication for the rest of her life, learnt't not to feel guilty about it and to look after herself better.
After 2 suicide attempts and the guilt I carried for being on permanent meds, I decided to take a leaf out of her book and can happily say that it was the best thing I've done, After all, if I was on life saving meds for another reason, I wouldn't feel guilty about taking those!
Could you see if your health authority offers Counselling or CBT. Every so often I refer myself to them in Birmingham and have found it helps quite abit.
Pleae don't feel guilty for being depressed, its as much a part of you as your diabetes is. Take what ever help you can, look after yourself, celebrate the good days & remember "This too shall pass.
Hugs and best wishes from Birmingham.
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My depression was first diagnosed when I was in my twenties. I was an Army wife, along way from home & desperate to start a family, when I broke down in the Doctors office. I was handed a bottle of pills and told to go home and rest and go back in 2 weeks. This I did but by this time things were a lot worse and I was admitted to hospital.
I was in a comfortable room,on the 5th floor. I had a nurse with me 24/7 for the 10 days I was in there because the Doctors thought I was a danger to myself. (I had already made 1 suicide attempt when I was 19). The nursing staff were brilliant, the doctors less so.To them , I was a nuisance, an inconvienience, (this was in the days when army wives and families were still considered "excess baggage. You had to give your husbands army number to get an appointment! Thankfully things have now changed - alot!) I was discharged with another bottle of pills and told to "report back to the med centre every fortnight" which I did but it was a joke. No counselling , just another bottle of pills and see you next time.
Fast forward 2 years to January 1988/ The regiment was away on exercise and I was alone with a 10 week old baby. The C.O's wife came to visit, as she did, every wife, when the men were away. I answered the door in a milk soaked nightie and not liking what she saw, made me get washed and dressed, carted me off to the hospital where Kyle was born. I cried all the way there  and all the time I was in the Doctors room. She had pulled strings to get me in to see this doctor, who was lovely but who I was convinced was going to take my baby away from me.
He was not convinced that this was just "Baby Blues". After assessing me and reading my medical history, he told me that I was suffering from serious depression and the traumatic birth of my son had made it worse (3 day labour & emergency C-section). He arranged counselling for me, arranged for my husband to come back early from exercise and put me on mild medication, enabling me to still feed the baby. Turns out his wife had been through the same experience with Army Doctors and even though he was an Army doctor, he was tying to change the system from within.

Depression did not sit well with my first husband, who kept telling me to "pull myself together" , that there was nothing wrong with me & I'd only had a baby after all! That marriage didn't last much longer needless to say. The final straw was when he flushed my Meds down the loo because he thought I was too dependant on them.

For a long while I was on meds, battling to come off them because I felt so guilty about needing them. I did have months , even years off them,but denying myself the benefit of them because of guilt and wanting to be normal. Eventually I became so unwell and depressed that I was off work for 6 months at a time, several times.  My Doctor arranged Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Counselling sessions and a brilliant Community Psychiatric Nurse who visited me weekly for nearly a year. He also arranged some appointments with a Psychiatrist who took the time to explain what my depression was and was not. which helped me understand myself and my symptoms better. I suffer from Clinical Deppression occasionally becoming Manic/ Bipolar Depression. It can also be Re-active Depression brought on by events or unsolved issues.
I learned how to look after myself better, physically & mentally. Saying No was, and still is at times, very difficult but if I don't look after me, I can't be any help to others.

I'm so grateful for our NHS.  They are overworked, understaffed and underpaid but they are the only reason I'm still here and I would urge anyone who needs help to find out what their local Mental Health Trust can offer. It may take time to access the service but it is so worth it.

I'm now married again & OH is so supportive because he's been there, done that. We help each other on the bad days and the good. The good days outnumber the bad. I tell myself frequently "This too shall pass", sometimes not as quick as I would like, but it does go. I also tell myself daily that the 2 pills I take are so worth it because it's true. They keep me on an even keel and enable to live my life, not just cope with it but really live it.

I really hope my story helps some-one to get help if they need to.

God Bless

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