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hopesunshineblog

Dark days of depression

My last blog post was in January, it was winter and now here we are in April and there are signs of Spring everywhere you look.  During the past few months I have been gripped by the evils of depression, combined with anxiety, paranoia and any other aspects of my personality disorder that decided to rear their ugly head.  Right now it feels like I have ‘woken up’ and slowly I am getting out and doing more. I have a bad coping mechanism of isolating myself when the depression takes an ugly grip.  I recognise this is not healthy, however I seem incapable of stopping the downward spiral. Winston Churchill named his depression ‘the black dog’ and I can relate to that.  It does feel like a black dog has leapt on your shoulder and darkens every thought and action that you have.  I am an honest person but depression turns me into a liar.  I lie to my friends that I am ok when in reality I’m not, I make excuses, and I don’t always admit to the depression.  Why do I do this? Because when I am in the darkest depths of depression I feel inadequate, ashamed and worthless.  I hid away from the end of January up until last week. The only times I left my flat were once a week to the chemist to collect my prescriptions and I attended the odd appointment with the my care co-ordinator and support worker from the mental health charity Rethink.  Sometimes the anxiety, panic and paranoia were too great and I failed to go the chemist when my anti-depressants ran out, having a day or two without them.  I wished for sleep during the day to take me away from the avalanche of thoughts in my mind but it would never come.  At night I lay awake for a while before I settled into sleep, which only came due to the sedative effect of one of the anti-depressants I take.

Thankfully, I don’t feel the black dog’s presence so much at the moment.  I am getting out more, seeing friends and enjoying the delights of Spring.  The photo on this blog is one I took of a beautiful blossom tree near to my home.  I love blossom, it is so pretty.

A daily walk

It has been over a month since my last blog post. I struggle at Christmas and New Year, being alone at these times is difficult to deal with even without my mental illnesses. Added to this, Boxing Day would have been my Dad’s birthday. My Dad died suddenly on 19th January 2008 and therefore I never feel like celebrating the New Year due to the impending anniversary.  The weather this time of year is hard to experience too.  The nights get darker quicker, the days are cold, wet and frosts are common.  All these factors have and continue to challenge me.  Today I had a walk to my local shops, although cold I enjoyed it and I felt better for the exercise.  I took photos on my walk to make it more interesting.  Walking alone, especially in cold weather can be boring.  Taking photos helps me to focus on something else.  One of these photos features on this blog.  It is an abandoned building and seemed very atmospheric.  I am going to try and go for a walk every day, even if it is just for a short distance.  I know this will help my mental well being and physical health. Setting little targets is helping in my recovery.  The only way is up!

My YouTube channel

I have decided to start my own YouTube channel where I can post videos talking about my various mental health issues.  The first one I have done is about my anxiety.  You can find it at:

Feel free to get in touch by leaving comments on my blog posts,YouTube videos or send me an email: hopesunshineblog@gmail.com

 

My anxiety monster

A monster I hear you say?  How can anxiety be a monster?  Well, through counselling I learnt a technique to try and address my anxiety head on.  My counsellor suggested that I try and draw what my anxiety feels like, so that when I get an anxiety attack by visualising it because you cannot see anxiety, then it could help to calm me down. This seemed like quite a challenge.  How could I put down on paper the crippling anxiety that grips me like a vice, makes me unable to think straight and affects my short term memory?  I used colouring pencils to draw the first thing that came to my mind when I thought about how the anxiety takes over me and makes me feel incapable and powerless.  The result was a strange looking monster, the kind a child would draw.  I did try thinking of this when my anxiety took over but then I forgot about it until recently.  So now I am going to try and use it more often to try and help myself.  I have learnt many different techniques to manage my anxiety.  I attended an Anxiety Management course at my local branch of the mental health charity Mind in November 2015.  I found this very useful, not just the actual course but being able to share experiences with a small group of people.  I got on particularly well with Erin, we bonded as friends quite quickly and understand each other.  We share a quirky sense of humour which provides us both with relief from our mental health issues.

Please note the attached picture is not my anxiety monster, just a monster picture sourced from Google Images.

Dipping my toe into the blogging world!

My aim is to blog about my life and how I manage my various mental health issues in the hope that it may help others. Any names that I mention have been changed to protect the person’s identity.

First of all, let me introduce myself. I’m a female in my thirties and I have suffered with diagnosed depression since I was 17. Although I now believe I suffered with anxiety and mild depression as a child. In November 2015 I was diagnosed with ‘Mixed Personality Disorder’ which consists of Emotionally Unstable (also known as Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD), Impulsive and Paranoid, also anxiety, this diagnosis came after a few years of sensing there was more to my condition than just depression.  In 1999 I was diagnosed with Bi Polar 2 and took lithium for 4 years but this later proved to be a mis diagnosis. Apparently, many people get mistakenly diagnosed with Bi Polar when they actually have BPD.

The photo attached is one I took last month and shows the contrasting colours of Autumn. I am discovering and appreciating nature and find that it helps ease my anxiety.

Until next time…………..

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