No, this is not a crass attempt at a fart joke. It is something really serious. Something that I have battled with for many years and approximately one in ten adults suffer from, many without knowing. It is depression. It has many causes, many manifestations, it hides inside us like a thief in the night, and if left unchecked can have fatal consequences.
As with many of my subjects, my experiences with this are way too big to cover in one post, so stay tuned, it will take a while to cover it all. I will start with my history with the disease.
I don't know when I officially started to suffer. It was not like my first kidney stone, which was marked down as the 30th of April 1994 at approximately 11.00am with excruciating pain and a trip to emergency. It was suddenly just there.
I didn't actually know about it until late 2006 when I had an appointment with my neurologist and she informed me that I might be suffering from depression. In hindsight the evidence was astoundingly obvious. But when you are right in the centre of it you can't see past the end of your nose.
I'm sure that I was suffering in May 2006 because during my huge surgery I convinced myself that it was never going to get better and I would spend the rest of my life suffering until I finally died. I did have suicidal thoughts, my thought process was that if I was going to suffer for ever, why not end it now? I'm so glad I didn't.
Truth be known, 2006 was simply my lowest point. I had been sinking for a while, I just didn't know it. I had this zombie like way of just making it through the day until I could finally retire to bed where I would want to stay for ever.
I think that looking back it was all the bad news I kept getting medically that started it. All the bad news took up so much of my energy that I began to neglect all the other areas of my life. Slowly but surely, they then added to the problem. Before I knew it, it was way more than I could handle. I guess that is why it is called a spiral of depression.
Reading back through this post I have to admit it does sound pretty depressing, but this is just the start of my story. It does end well. Next time, I will talk about the symptoms that I experienced with my depression and then I will talk about my treatment regime. 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 for help. There website is:-