Northamptonshire NHS

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How have you shown determination in your life?

 
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I didn't know what depression was, so I had no idea I was depressed.

Spending the day crying, feeling worthless, and shutting out my family and closest friends, hiding away. These were some of the things that became my normality.

By the time I sought help it was almost too late - if only I had sought help earlier my recovery may not have been so difficult to achieve. If I had a broken bone I would have known it was broken and got immediate help, but my brain was malfunctioning and I didn't know.

The help and support I received from my GP practice varied from +10 to -10. Most of the time it was superb but there were times when I really needed help that simply was not there. Unfortunately it appears that some GPs are not equipped to deal with depression.

As an example, I sought an emergency appointment because I was at a real low and could not get the thought of suicide out of my head. I had started to plan my suicide in detail. I was not very lucid but described to the doctor as well as I could that I was desperate for help (I had already had some counselling and was awaiting an appointment with the wellbeing team). The GP I saw on that day advised me to "lose some weight and get a hobby". That innocent statement confirmed my belief that I was worthless and a timewaster. My response to this was to return home and carry out my plan to end my life.

I calmly wrote my goodbye letters and spent the afternoon cleaning the house and preparing for the end.

My preparations were disturbed by a phone call from a Wellbeing worker calling to arrange an appointment with him. That phone call literally saved my life and that became the day my recovery began.

It has not been an easy journey, I have had to discuss thoughts and feelings that previously I would have buried. I used to believe that if I didn't talk about a problem it was only in my head and was not real, if I spoke about it then it really did exist.

During my sessions with my worker I found myself confronting the issues that were causing me problems and very gradually thanks to his feedback I was able to focus more and more on positive things that were happening. The negative things were still there but were becoming less of an issue and eventually became insignificant, whereas the positive things became my focus.

Today as I write this I feel that I am reaching the summit and will soon have a great view of life.

One of my concerns was that as my treatment comes to an end I would be cast adrift and may not have the tools to recognise or help myself should depression return. this fear has been allayed by the knowledge that I will have peer support to help me in the future.

Finally I have to say that the Wellbeing Team have been more help than I could ever describe, they have changed my life, without them I have no doubt that I would not be here now sharing these thoughts.