By Alice Edwards
Hello everyone! My name’s Alice and I was diagnosed with Depression and Anxiety 4 years ago.
For a few years and definitely the year before I was diagnosed, I knew something wasn’t right with me mentally. I would be in foul moods and be pretty vile to those close to me, and it got past the point where I could blame it on hormones or being a grumpy teenager. I would sleep for 12 hours and still feel exhausted, I felt useless, and I didn’t know that one person could produce as many tears as I did over those years. When I went to university in 2014, I had a complete breakdown. I think it was all the change of moving out of home to somewhere I didn’t know, with strangers (even though I heard the classic ‘everyone’s in the same boat!’ line about 300 times), I just couldn’t cope. I sat in my room all weekend and sobbed, I didn’t sleep. Anyway, long story short I went to the doctors when I went home for Christmas, and that’s when I was diagnosed with Depression and Anxiety.
At first, the doctor referred me to a counselling service through the NHS, but to be honest, it was shit. Now this is no reflection on counselling as a whole, but this one was awful. She looked at me as if my dog had just died, and just kept telling me that I was thinking irrationally, rather than helping me stop thinking that way. So 6 months later, I had another breakdown. I was with a friend, and she’s told me since that she was honestly terrified that I was going to do something to myself. She knows that I’ve harmed myself before, but she thought that night was going to be the night. So after that, I went back to the doctors and was put on Citalopram. Now I don’t want anyone reading this to think that antidepressants are magic fairy dust that make everything better, the first few months were awful; the side effects were sometimes worse than the Depression itself. However, I kept at it, I used the counselling service at uni which was honestly amazing – I often tell people that I would have probably dropped out of uni if it hadn’t have been for my counsellor.
So 2 years later, I’m off my antidepressants, but again, this wasn’t an easy feat, but don’t think that I’m cured. I still have depressive episodes, I still have panic attacks and have anxiety, but I now know how to manage it better than I did before. Some days are still grey, there’s just no rain.
I now write my own blog about mental health because I’m a massive advocate of people sharing their stories. It should be just as normal to talk about your mental health as it is your physical. If you would like to read any more of my posts, find me at – https://alicesanxieties.blogspot.com/