Surviving my first two months, struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts has come as a great cost for me both personally and socially. That I have had to cope with this alone and with practically no help from my employer and the health services made it even more difficult.
Being a married male, in my late thirties and living by myself for reasons of employment, I was very much in an isolated position at the onset of my depression.
Work-related problems started to accumulate, and the stress began to gradually take its toll on me. Eventually a major event triggered and set off the episode of depression for me.
Always being a smiling, happy, outgoing, successful individual who was doing reasonably well at work and socially the start of my episode of depression came as a shock.
Beginning with a sudden change in my mood, I began to undergo physical ailments including chest pains, shivering, incontinence, shivering, headaches, and body ache… Scary!
I couldn’t concentrate, think straight, read, write, eat–anything and everything was an effort and I couldn’t cope. Suddenly I began to have desperate feelings of hopelessness and despair.
Then I began to get thoughts of taking my own life to finish the useless life that I had and I knew I had to seek help. I spoke to my G.P who was reasonably helpful and referred me to a mental health assessment and support service.
When things came to a crisis for me I sought out support from the Samaritans since I could not speak to my family and tell them I wanted to take my life. They helped, I spoke to them and they kept in touch speaking to me when I wanted their help. Every time I felt so low I knew if I did not speak to someone to cry my heart out I would take my life I called and they were there.
The mental health services around me managed my case poorly; they took a total of 10 weeks before I got to see someone. It’s incredible to think about how badly things work when you really need help.
I also at this time took on board the Samaritans advice and spoke to my employer for help–a lot of good it did me there too.
I took things into my own hands and luckily I was still capable of doing this and made sure I spent all day out of the house, this was after having spent nearly two weeks locked in my home with the lights off and no one to speak to.
This was difficult since I couldn’t escape seeing people who possibly had started out where I was and had ended up much worse off. The people who looked like tramps and the homeless, maybe they too had a background and failing to cope with their problems they ended up where they were.
Needless to say my moods come and go and when I am low I struggle with coping with anything. I have good days and bad days but knowing there are people I can speak to has helped.
Please reach out to anyone you can see or know who may be struggling. My condition is not physically apparent so people can pass me in the streets without knowing what goes on in my mind but I did realize even the people who know me failed to notice my state an possibly consciously ignored me since they did not know what to do. All I can say is if someone had even come and taken me out for a cup of coffee I would not have reached the depths of desperation I had faced.
Maybe there is someone you know or may be aware of who may need that kind of help and support? Please reach out; I can assure you the smallest gesture will help.