because I said so

telling it like I think it is: sunili’s blog

a blue day post

with 3 comments

October is beyondblue Anxiety and Depression Awareness Month, and today, 10 October, is Blue Day and World Mental Health Day (more info – PDF).

The PTUB crew are having a Blue Day gathering but I can’t make it, so consider this my contribution to raising awareness of anxiety and depression… a very worthy pursuit indeed.

One of the most horrible (of many) things about depression is the silence surrounding it — people with it don’t want to admit they have it, as much as they feel the urge to talk about it, and friends of sufferers, as much as they want to help, often don’t know how to talk about even if they knew.

I’ve been wanting to write here about mental health and depression and stuff, and there’s never going to be a “right” time to write about it, and today is as good as it could ever get.

It’s quite the personal issue for me.  I grew up having a particular interest for politics and law stuff, and, both of those areas have particular issues with mental health (I’ve mentioned politics and depression here before, and The Pinstriped Prison also referred to the issue).

Then in the first part of last year, things went a little pear-shaped.  To say the least.

I was in my final year of university, doing Honours in Law, the editor of the student magazine, I had a great part-time job and I was in a wonderful long-term relationship.

What more could I even imagine asking for?

But morning after morning, I couldn’t drag myself out of bed. Randomly, and mostly over the dumbest thing, I would burst into inconsolable tears. I didn’t want to see anyone, not my friends, not my boyfriend.  I skipped classes and slept well into the afternoon. I couldn’t concentrate on anything — from study to even books and TV. I was freaking out about my life, even though everything was going so well.

Yup. Many of the classic symptoms of depression.

I was eventually diagnosed with depression, and started medication and counselling.  But not before it nearly cost me my relationship, my studies, and my friends.  It was also very difficult dealing with my family since I realised that a lot of my feelings stem from my younger days.

While I recently started reducing the dosage on my medication, I am by no means recovered.  In any event people question whether you ever can recover from depression — I’ve been told that I’ll probably go through some spells throughout the course of my life — but I am still definitely still on the road leading out of the darkness.

I tried writing about it, but was too self-conscious to use this blog, which is so obviously labelled as being from me and linked to my real life. So I started another blog, anonymously.  I suppose that by keeping it a secret, I was just perpetuating the vicious cycle of silence about depression as well hiding my true experiences and my true feelings of who I was.

Earlier this week, a wonderful person I follow on Tumblr bravely posted about her experiences with depression (and particularly, anti-depressants) and inspired by that, and the whole point of this week and this day, I have decided to share my other blog to anyone who cares to read it.

I thought about importing the posts into this blog but I have decided against it. I may change my mind later on, but I did promise I wasn’t going to turn this into a LiveJournal type thing!

So I’ll just link to it, and, in a way, connect that part of me to the rest you find here.  So here are my (sporadic) stories about my journey Out of the Bell jar.

Happy Blue Day, everyone. Please talk to your friends about depression — if you feel like there’s never the right time, it really is right now.

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Written by Sunili

10 October 2008 at 7:14 am

Posted in issews, me stuff

Tagged with ,

3 Responses

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  1. sorry to hear about your troubles. I shall put aside my snarky persona for a while, since this is something I have experience with.

    please don’t think that this issue is not visible – there is lots of support out there

    I suffered some mild depression a couple of years ago, mostly caused by external triggers. I went to see the doc, expecting to get meds or CBT, but he was reluctant to go straight to his script pad. He just told me to increase my level of exercise, and if that did not work then come back in a month.

    I got back into running, worked up to a half marathon and last month did my first marathon and raised a bit of money for the Black Dog Institute. I know that if my exercise drops off, then I start to feel blue.

    The correlation between depression and running is well documented. I have attached a few links, but you can no doubt find more yourself. I recommend you download the ‘up and running’ report by the MHF.

    last year a friend confessed he had been diagnosed with depression, that the meds weren’t working, and that the doc had told him it was just something he would have to learn to live with.

    I recommended running to him, and sent him the same stuff I am sending you. I kept sending him more stuff. “enough with all this running shit” he told me, but then admitted that he had started running. he is now off the meds, his depression is lifting and he’s not such a miserable bastard.

    everyone can run: all you need is a pair of shoes and an open road. you are on your own, nobody is racing. unless you are very overweight (I suspect you are not), or have orthopedic problems, you can get from zero to 10km in a couple of months.

    there are those that also believe that running is a form of meditation: I have attached a link to the thoughts of Sri Chinmoy.

    I hope this helps

    http://www.mhf.org.uk/campaigns/exercise-and-depression/

    http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/index.cfm

    http://www.srichinmoylibrary.com/books/0645

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7240545.stm

    http://www.mcmanweb.com/exercise.html

    http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2008/01/26/27-marathons/

    http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2008/04/20/96-new-balance-shoes/

    skink

    10 October 2008 at 8:53 am

  2. You’re really brave putting this in a public forum- not because it would change my (or anyone else’s) opinion of you, please- but just because this is clearly something you’ve struggled with and I think putting it out there- associating it with yourself is a great way to, for lack of a better term, own your depression. As opposed to it owning you.

    Ok, so my sentences suck and are garbled as hell. Basically, well done. And you know where I live if you need me.

    Ray-Ray

    10 October 2008 at 11:32 am

  3. Yes indeed, although I’m not personally afflicted, someone very dear to me is and I feel that pain.

    Well done for being so brave.

    Cookster

    10 October 2008 at 5:56 pm


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