Sunday, 7 December 2014

LAUREN: I KNEW I HAD TO ASK FOR HELP...

Reader Lauren describes how depression cut her off from the world in this honest account of hitting rock bottom…

Lauren says:
I'm fifteen years old and I was diagnosed with depression three weeks ago. Depression is a state of low mood which can affect thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Two years ago my mum died, and the doctor thinks this has triggered my depression. To begin with, I managed OK… but these last few months have been a huge struggle for me. I remember feeling so down and worthless one evening that I got very moody and snappy with my family; the negativity and bad feelings followed me to school.

I lost all interest in my friends; no matter what they said or did, I just couldn't connect to it. I was struggling to concentrate in class. which was affecting my grades. It was like I was slowly isolating myself from the world. I stopped going to all my after school classes and clubs; I didn't even go outside, I just sat in my room all day. I went from someone who was lively, friendly and nature loving to someone who just couldn't be bothered with anything anymore.

I think my family and friends started to notice it too; my friends either distanced themselves from me or tried to talk about it, but I pushed them away, telling them everything was fine. I think that's one of the hardest things of all; you really want the help but you are scared that you might hurt the people you love and care about in the process. There was one night when things got really bad and I began to feel like I just didn't want to be around anymore. I knew I had to ask for help because if I didn't I might not be able to stop myself from doing something I shouldn't.

That night, I told my dad everything and explained that I needed help. Within a week, I had an appointment with my local doctor. Telling people is one of the hardest parts of the illness but I am so glad I had the courage to tell my dad and the specialists, because without them I am not sure I'd still be here. Two weeks ago I started anti-depressants. The medication can take a while to take effect, but already I have something I didn't have before; hope. I have a good chance of beating my depression and being the girl I once was again.

If you ever feel low and want help to deal with it, please speak out. You may feel alone, but once you speak out will see just how much support you can get. Depression is an illness and should be taken seriously, but you don't have to fight it alone. I am going to work on raising awareness and if I can help even one other person going through this, it will make me that little bit happier.

Pictures posed by model Rebekah: photography by Karen. Many thanks.

Cathy says:
Lauren's honesty is very moving; that sense of stepping back from the world, of feeling lost and isolated, is a big part of depression. Have YOU ever struggled with feelings like this? COMMENT BELOW to share your experiences or reach out to Lauren.

4 comments:

  1. She's so brave. I wish I could tell my Mum how I feel but she's got enough to deal with without another suicidal child on her plate and I don't want to give her more reasons to worry, especially at Christmas. I was going to tell my psychologist but I missed my appointment and I probably won't get another one until January. So I just have to hold on for now. I guess I could tell my brother. He's feeling the same so he could support me as I've supported him. It's just so difficult though. I'm torn between wanting to tell someone who can keep an eye on me and make sure I don't do anything stupid and keeping it to myself because it's my last resort and I feel I need that option. Lauren was so brave to tell her dad. I wish I could believe her when she says I'll get support if I speak out. Yes, my friends are supportive enough but the people who matter - the doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists I've seen over the years - don't really seem to care. I guess that's partially my fault but I've been telling my current psychologist that I think I'm depressed for weeks and she hasn't taken any notice which has really knocked my confidence as it took me everything I had to give her even the slightest hint that I need help. I'm just wondering when and how this is all going to end. I can't imagine ever being happy. The person I was before hasn't existed since I was 6. Is it possible or desirable to be her again? I don't know. I don't think anyone wants to help me or if they even can. I'm pleased Lauren is getting help though. That's good. And it's admirable that she's raising awareness for depression. I'm all wrapped up in my own little world. As is evident by my self indulgent whinging.

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    1. Hi, I'm Lauren, and i just want to let you know, if you ever want to talk about it, as i know how it feels, feel free <3 x

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    2. Anon, please do try to speak out. Your mum would want to know, I promise you… if she doesn't know she cannot help. Can you write this down and show it to your therapist? Ask for a sooner appointment? The person you once were is still there, locked inside of you… do it for her. Please? You are also welcome to email me on the link on www,cathycassidy.com if you want to 'talk'. People will listen, and the do care… promise. I don't think you are being self-indulgent, I think you are feeling very low and very lost and it takes courage to come from that place and speak out, but please, please, try to do so. And meanwhile - hold on. (((xxx)))

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  2. Stay strong xxx Hamdi:)xxx

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