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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Depression Gone

It was a long road, I think in all I was suffering from depression for about eight to ten years, five of those I was just trying to get myself better, something I feel I have only just achieved.  In brief, I did it by following the following steps:

  1. Identifying the problem.  For so long I didn't realise I had a problem.  Once it had been identified and diagnosed the depression felt more tangible and solvable.
  2. Get help.  In the fine words of Bono, "Sometimes you can't make it on your own." That is so true for people suffering depression.  It's OK to ask for help.  Everyone needs help at some point in their lives.
  3. Anti-depressants.  They are not the answer but they do help and assist you in getting to the next step.
  4. Validate your feelings.  It's OK to feel the way you feel.  Once you have acknowledged this and validated it you can move on to dealing with it.
  5. Rectify past mistakes.  For me certain things I did, or more accurately did not do, were hanging over me like the sword of Damocles.  I was never going to finally conquer my depression until I had sorted them out.
I guess the question is "Am I cured?"  That is an extremely difficult question that can't be answered with a simple yes or no.  Depression is not a switch with an on off button.  It is measured on multiple scales, which makes it extremely hard to evaluate.  So, am I cured?  I am a great deal better than what I was, and if you were after a medical term I think that they would say I was in remission.

Which leads to another question.  Could I relapse?  The answer to this one is much more simple. Yes, absolutely, and it worries me.  Looking back it is somewhere I don't ever want to be again.  But it could happen.  It is not like one day I will just take a wrong turn, I would just simply be there and again I would have this horrendous mountain to climb.  

So what can I do about it?  Well luckily there is a point six.  Tools for identifying a relapse and rectifying it early.  But that is the post for next time.  Until then, stay well:)

If you think you may be suffering from depression, go and see your GP.  They will be able to assess you and point you in the right direction to get help.  If you don't feel ready to see someone yet, type "depression help" into google and that will give you a list of resources you can use for help.  In Australia, Beyond Blue is a great place to start.  There website is:-

www.beyondblue.org.au

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