Hi. I’m Sarah – a singer/songwriter, tea enthusiast and a first-time blogger. I am finally sharing my journey of living with depression and anxiety. Welcome to my headspace.
I have set up this blog for my family, friends and work colleagues’ knowledge and understanding of mental health and how they can support me and others through these issues. It has always been such a taboo subject, one that desperately needs more awareness, as 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health issue every year.
I am just one of those people, and here’s my story…
I am 22 years old, living in the UK and suffering ongoing depression and anxiety. Every day I really struggle to find the motivation to get out of bed, and normally results in me getting pushed/pulled out of bed by my boyfriend or mum. I then rush to get ready and try to make it to work on time. Some people question why I look so tired and exhausted in the morning. If they only knew that I feel like I fight a losing battle before 9am every day, then they might understand why.
Other symptoms of depression I suffer are: feelings of worthlessness; hopelessness; low mood; negative thoughts; feeling angry/irritable; lack of concentration and self-esteem; excessive crying and emotion; fatigue; lack of interest in things I used to like; changes in sleep patterns; the list goes on and on.
I first suffered depression at the age of 17 when I struggled with school work at college. At the time, it felt like the lowest point of my life and I was too young and too busy to even begin to understand what was happening inside my head. I was a changed human being when 6 months later I took some time away and was finally relieved of my depressive symptoms.
I never knew it would come back though. In the autumn of 2014 I got a new job that I had wanted for ages and was so happy for the weeks leading up to it. I started my job, I loved it and everything was dandy. As time passed, I felt myself reflect more and more on life and focus on all the things I hadn’t achieved yet. I felt my low mood grow and negative thoughts set in. By winter of 2014 I was yet again googling ‘depression’ and wondering what I had done wrong to deserve this.
A year on, I have come to terms with my mental health and it is incredible how acceptance of something can change your perspective. I have researched into my symptoms a lot more and understand that I am not alone in my experiences. Having seen my doctor to discuss medication and enrolled on a therapy course, I am partway to controlling my condition.
However, depression is only part of it. Coupled with anxiety, I feel like an absolute train-wreck. For as long as I can remember I’ve hated doing things independently, and never liked being alone when I was a child, teen and even young adult. For a while this seemed normal but as I got older I realised that I had to do more independent things like go in a shop and pay for something, or fill up my car with petrol. These things fill me with dread and I often put them off for as long as possible. Speaking to a shop assistant will make me sweat; shake; and my legs will turn to jelly. I overthink everything and fear that I will say something wrong or do something stupid in front of someone. Socially, I’m a nightmare if I’m in a room full of complete strangers. For these reasons I very rarely go out on my own.
This is only an introduction into how I feel, and I am going to be blogging more in-depth about different areas of my condition.
One last thing: watch this video. These 4 minutes can instantly give you an insight into how tough depression is.
Thanks for reading.
“[Depression] operates within you. You do not operate within it. It may be a dark cloud passing across the sky but – if that is the metaphor – then you are the sky. You were there before it. And the cloud can’t exist without the sky, but the sky can exist without the cloud.”
Matt Haig, author. (Read his brilliant book ‘Reasons To Stay Alive’.)