I have thought for a while now about writing this entry as it deals with something very personal about myself and also feels deeply scary to write but I think it is important to tackle the issue as it is one of the last big stigmas.
I suffer from depression. To be more accurate, I have a medical condition which causes me to experience bouts of extreme depression and panic attacks. Effectively, my brain chemistry is out of kilter and without daily medication I am at the mercy of said dodgy chemistry.
I am fortunate that my condition is organic so responds well to medication.
Depression and related conditions are prevalent in our society –
But depression is still surrounded by myth and stigma. A panic attack sounds almost trivial, but it is not. Odd that The Onion gives the best description of what it feels like.
Depression is a name given to a symptom which can have a range of causes. Sometimes it is like mine and organic in nature. Sometimes it is triggered by an external event such as loss or a public holiday where the pressure to have fun becomes too much and loneliness and despair kick in.
This time of year is particularly bad with a lack of light, a number of public holidays and often a lack of normal support networks all acting as potential triggers.
The key thing for anyone who experiences depression is to seek professional help immediately.
The BBC site has a good guide on the options.
If you are in the UK then check out NHSDirect.
My condition is with me for life but with medication and support I can live a normal life. I do not let my disability define me, nor should you.
This was a hard post to write but if it helps someone to find professional help then it will have been worth it.