I’ve been debating for quite some time on whether or not to even post this on social media, but then I thought ‘Fuck it, maybe it might help and encourage other people to speak up about their experiences, emotions and struggles with depression’.
Furthermore this may encourage others to no longer feel ashamed or embarrassed and reach out for help. Especially with the amount of people suffering in silence because of mental illness.
There is more deaths from suicide than road traffic accidents and yet there are more awareness and safety campaigns for road safety than mental illness.
It is still is a taboo subject unfortunately. If you are suffering with your mental health please don’t be afraid to talk to someone, a friend or a doctor – and that is speaking from experience.
For me personally the best thing I have ever done was speaking out and get the help that I needed. PIPS in Newry do extraordinary work and have helped me greatly. The Mental Health Department in Daisy Hill have been exceptional also.
I’ve tried below as best I can to some up some of the feeling and thoughts that I have experienced in relation to depression and the stigma attached to mental illness in general within our society.
One of the things I’ve learned personally is that it’s okay not be okay. Don’t be afraid to confide in a friend, neighbour or family member or someone who you feel comfortable speaking with. You don’t have to keep your thoughts and feeling to yourself and keep everything building up inside of your mind.
I wrote the following a while ago trying to sum up how I was feeling in relation to dealing with every day life while battling depression – and to give others an insight into the mind of a sufferer of mental illness.
I feel as if I’m disappearing a little more each day. I’m so angry and confused inside that I’m afraid of myself. I feel so alone. I feel as if I’m drowning, fading faster and faster into the night with each passing day. Lately, I’m finding it harder to remember what I’ve done from one day to the next. I feel so afraid and alone.
All my life is crumbling, and I’m vulnerable and so tired. What if I can’t find my way out of all this pain? The pain washes over me in great waves. I want to reach out to someone, but I don’t know how or who, or if I even can. My pride still lingers, though.
I feel as though my soul is dying. My will to live is being tested.
And day after day, the pain won’t go away. I honestly don’t know how much more I can take. I’m not suicidal, but I’m scared, embarrassed, and I’ve isolated myself from the immediate world. I just yearn to escape from my pain. I don’t know how else to do it. I’m frightened to be alone.
I don’t trust myself not to do anything stupid on a daily basis. My normal level of confidence seems so distant that it’s barely memorable. I’m a fighter, but my energy level has almost dried up. I’m getting too weak to fight on my own. I really hate this person that I’ve become. I’m now but a shadow of myself. But what if no one believes me? What happens after everyone has turned their backs on me?
What if I become such a burden that I’m simply swept aside? I’m afraid that I’m losing my mind. God help me, I’ve said and done things that I cannot believe what I’ve said and done. It feels like I’m someone else, like someone is trying to take over my thoughts. I cannot believe what I’ve become.
Depression. It just eats you up from the inside out. It’s like a monster inside your head that takes over. The worst thing is to know that my family and friends were doing all they could yet I still felt so lonely. Anything that was said to me, I managed to turn into a bad thing.
I felt sick with the fear of night time because that’s when the voices got even louder. I would get so frustrated because it seemed impossible to sleep, as if insomnia and depression go hand in hand.
I was literally my own worst enemy. I would come home and feel so exhausted from all of the voices in my head that I would just sleep to block it all out. I didn’t want to wake up because living was a nightmare.
But it’s important to know that it doesn’t always have to be like that – that there is help out there and all you need to do is take it. I did, and I can finally say I am living a life worth living.
I just wish I’d done it sooner.
Words by Nathan O’Caoimh