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Posts from September 2008

  • The Story so far

    by Teezy on 28 September 2008

    The passage below in italics, was sent to you (Depression Alliance), edited by you, and printed by you in an earlier issue of a ‘Single Step’ (Spring 2001). At the time I was delighted by the outcome of my counselling, also so pleased that you thought my words were worthy of printing. I’m sure you will agree that this letter is timeless and it reads today as well as it did then. Which leads me to my next idea; a continuation of my story...

    My Millennium

    In the early part of 2000 I found myself being catapulted again into the illness that I knew so well - depression. At that time I felt I could not bother the doctor again as he had already worked hard to help me before. I reckoned I was not struggling hard enough to warrant help; I also felt I was quite knowledgeable on this subject. Not so. It soon became clear to me that I could only see parts of the bigger picture.

    In an effort to get myself better, I ventured one day to a dancing class. My problem has always been social anxiety so the small amount of contact at the beginning of class was all that I could cope with. The class however was fun and I felt really good for trying something again. I had shut myself off from people but I think my multiple sclerosis provided me with an excuse. This neurological illness made it very difficult for me to cope with the stress and anxiety of trying to make social contact. My family had provided me with all the contact and support I needed, but after my children leave home my husband would then have to shoulder the burden of my depression alone.

    I had to do it now; I had to get help. I had heard about Depression Alliance so I went along to one of their self-help groups and felt immediately that it would benefit me. People in the group understood each other and were open to each others’ views and experiences of depression.

    The next step became apparent. I went to my GP and was prescribed medication to help with my sleep disturbances and anxiety. As a result of this treatment, I got a glimpse of ‘ me’ that I liked and had never managed to be on my own. However when I presented my problems I was warned that I might need drugs long-term. I felt I was being taken seriously this time.

    My next idea. Should I have some kind of analysis to try to find out why I keep falling into depression? The Doctor put me forward for counselling, a safe place to explore my thoughts and feelings - something I have always been unable to do with others.

    During the counselling I was able to see faults in my lifestyle. I was also able to uncover an event in my life that had stressed me out more than I had ever imagined. When I was 15 my Mother died in front of me. I had locked away a lot of feelings, especially grief; I was certain I was over it. In fact I had carried it around with me throughout my life. It was a very heavy burden which counselling has helped me to throw off.

    I expect that the gloom and doom that has troubled me will still prevail but at least now I have an idea why. It has been a long journey and I could not have done it on my own. I would like to thank Depression Alliance for their encouragement, and all submit articles sharing their experiences and so helping me to understand this condition.  

    Onwards and Upwards

    Since then I have had many more counselling sessions. With the occasional gaps when it got a little difficult; my mind needed a break from my intensive soul searching. I am a determined person so I held out to the point where I felt I had successfully dealt with my lesson.

    It was suggested that I try writing to myself at 15 Years of age, when my mother died of heart attack. There is a good poem called ‘Final Curtain Call’ - http://mead.theresa.googlepages.com

    Alternatively, it was suggested that I could ‘write’ to my mother. The latter option was the one for me.  After starting to jot a lot, I found myself covering eight A4 pages of what it had been like since she had gone.  Scribbling all this information out of me was cathartic. I also challenged her about some of the things I could never understand. It seemed to me like I was now at the same level as my mother. Of course, it hurt to grieve after so many years but it also felt good, like allowing the pus in my life to seep out.

    Next challenge in my life experience was Reiki (Japanese Laying on of Hands). A sample session (15 minutes) let me see how someone else could improve the confusion in my mind. It was so relaxing, so obviously I went ahead and booked many more sessions, each lasting 60 minutes.

    All of this allowed me to find my inner Self and permitted my Spirit room to grow; the ceiling went up, the walls went out. ‘Mid-life crisis’ ‘born again religion’ call it what you will. It was very profound. It was nice to feel that we were being guided.

    Time marched on, then my ideas began to develop; I began to think about re-incarnation. The next step for me was to learn a little about Buddhism. I see things differently now, because this is my third look at organised religion. To be honest I do not support any religion at the moment but Buddhists appear to think like me, and unlike me they smile a lot.

    I would ’write’ to my mum whenever I wanted to ’get in touch’ which was a nice thing to do; particularly after a stay in psychiatric hospital, I ’wrote’ to mum as if she were a guest in my house. I made her a cup of tea too, so we were on our way to repairing our relationship.

    I urge you P. to use this letter as you see fit. I hope you find it uplifting. Thank you very much for giving it your attention. Others might like to share it too.

    Yours sincerely

    Teezy

  • Introducing Teezy

    by Teezy on 19 September 2008

    Good evening friends.

    Teezy is my user name (a shortened form of Teezy Weezy). Nothing at all to do with the word tease. I am a married woman, who is 49 years young. My children are young adults now, a girl of 24 years and a boy of 21 years.

    I would like to make an impact here and now, by sharing a poem I once did (when the Muse was upon me).

    DARK DAZE

    No concentration

    No energy

    No motivation

    No appetite

    No self-esteem

    No mood stability

    No libido

     

    No confidence

    No direction

    No curiosity

    No enthusiasm

    No effort

    No creativity

    No strength

    No stamina

    No exercise

    No awakening

     

    No spark

    No light

    No colour

    No passion

    No peace

    No joy

    No hope

    No spirit

        Teezy.

    Bye Folks 

  • Autumn angst

    by helenlp on 15 September 2008

    I don't know about anyone else but early Autumn is always a difficult time for me.  The summer is almost over, my daughter is back at school and I have to deal with long grey days at home alone.  Of course, this year there has been no summer to speak of anyway, which  hasn't helped, but a couple of glorious days over the past weekend has changed all that.  What a difference a little bit of sun and blue sky makes!  The other thing that has made a huge difference to my life this Autumn has been our recently adopted rescued dog Mr.B.  Adding a dog to the family has not been without its stresses, particularly when the dog is an avid hunter who sees the neighbours' cats and all other dogs as fair game for a fight.  But he has transformed my lifestyle from a sedentary one to a very active one in a matter of weeks.  I have to walk him, and walk him a lot, every day if he is to give me any peace at home.  I find it hard to go out alone, have done for years, but with Mr.B around I have no choice.  So I'm going out every day regardless of the weather, walking miles, and meeting all kinds of other dog walkers while i am out with him.  And, as I've discovered, dog walkers are a friendly bunch, even when my dog isn't being very friendly to theirs.   A year ago, even six months ago, I could go several days without leaving the house and without speaking to anyone outside my immediate family.  Now I'm out every day and I meet lots of people to say hello too.  Might not sound like much but for me it is.  I feel like I've rejoined the human race a little bit.  So roll on Autumn and Winter - my wellies are ready and Mr.B is scratching at the door demanding to be walked!

  • Introducing me

    by helenlp on 04 September 2008

    Hi all

    I'm here because I'm interested in the idea of the blog, particularly as a forum for making contact with other depression sufferers and airing some of the issues around depression that concern - and interest - me.  I suspect it will be rather different to the other NHS blogs, if only because I think there is more stigma attached to suffering from depression than from the other illnesses (e.g. I'm an asthmatic too but have never felt any stigma from that illness, unlike my depression).

     I'm a 43 year old married mum of a fabulous ten (nearly eleven year old) daughter.  We added a rescued dog to our family last month - partly because my daughter has been begging for one for years but also because he will hopefully help me to get out of the house more.

    I've had severe treatment-resistant depression for nearly ten years now.  It has cost me career, but the up side of that is that I've been able to enjoy far more time with my daughter than I would have if I had been working full-time.

    I do some work locally as a service user consultant, working with MIND, my local NHS Trust and others to improve mental health services.  This can be a double-edged sword (but on the whole more positives than negatives), but I'm sure I'll get plenty of opportunities to blog about that later.

    That's probably enough for an introduction.

  • This is the first time that I have attemped to write a blog so I hope that you all can stick with me.

    I am a 29 year old married mum of 2 children, little girl aged 5 and little boy aged 3 and I have depression.

    Phew that was the hard part putting it down on paper (or blog page!) I have depression.  3 little words that have a huge impact on my life.

    I was first diagnosed with depression when I was 18 but I had it before then and it was always put down to 'Stress', stress from exams, stress from mum and dad divorcing, stress from stress!  I knew that it wasn't stress but something deeper but as a teenager you don't really have much hope or confidence challenging the doctors and also with this illness (and yes it is an illness) it takes your self esteem, confidence, personality and many other attributes and squashes them so you end up thinking am I really ill or just going mad.

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