Can I Overcome Depression?

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About Andrew Lawes

Having dealt with depression since childhood, Andrew Lawes writes passionately and honestly on the subject of mental health issues in the hopes that he can make a difference in the lives of others with similar struggles. Hailing from Northern England, he is currently a support worker for adults with learning difficulties. In addition to his social work, Andrew is pursuing a degree in English with the Open University of England. Find him on Facebook, Twitter @laweslaweslawes, and Andrew-Lawes.com. Or email him at [email protected].

Comments

  1. Andrew,
    I realize every case is different, but do keep swimming. There is hope! My wife has been off her meds successfully for over a year now and it was worth the struggle through. To see what worked for her, check out my discussion at http://ratedgromance.com/2011/10/23/at-depressions-end/ . I hope to hear about your own cocktail of success in the future.
    Hang in there!
    Gregory

  2. I don’t even care that this is an article on a “men’s” website, this description of living with depression is absolutely bang on in my books.

  3. Andrew,
    This is the second time I’ve read your writing on depression and felt like someone actually understands. I love that you used the ocean/swimming imagery. I have long said that trying to get people to understand my symptoms feels to me like being out in the water while they are on shore and they think I’m waving so they wave back and this goes on and on and for some reason I can’t get anyone to understand that I’m not waving, I’m drowning.

    The apathy gets me too, especially this time of year. Funnily I just yesterday wrote a post about a medication change that made that problem so much worse (http://www.redheadbedhead.com/the-time-celexa-ate-my-brain/) Thank you for letting me know that there is at least one person out there who gets why I have never “gotten over” this, why it still ebbs and flows and why honoring that isn’t being pessimistic or “giving in” any more than a diabetic is by taking their insulin.

  4. Your descriptions of depression are spot-on, and familiar. I suffer from bipolar 2 disorder, and always live in fear of depressive recurrences, even though my medication controls things for the most part. I’m so sorry that you haven’t found a medication combination that works reliably and consistently for you.

  5. Thanks for explaining this….it elucidates a lot of puzzling behavior around me…

  6. Andrew , my heart goes out to you. I also suffered from severe depression and anxiety since childhood. It took many years of therapy to get to the point where I can say “I’m not depressed today” even though I still have a lot of issues that I’m still working on. It is possible to get beat depression but it’s not easy. Really deep therapy is what worked for me. Good luck in your journey

  7. I have suffered from depression and its buddy, anxiety since I was kid. I often wonder if I will ever be cured. It has been like a shadow stalking me for a long. It has been a roller coaster for me. It keeps me from relationships and probably has cost me friendships.

    Since I started blogging about my journey, I do not feel so alone.

  8. Andrew,
    Your articles are so on point I wouldn’t even change a word. It truly is absolutely spot on. Thanks for helping me realise that I’m not alone.

  9. Yeh…that old chestnut. Depression is life threatening…but not just in the typical way people think. Prior to diagnosis several years ago (bipolar) I was seventeen and had had a ridiculously good summer….too good. It all changed within 2 weeks. Paranoia set in..I began to feel physically and mentally slow. Then the point of no return. Walked into the kitchen saw a steak knife on the counter and in a terrified moment wondered who it was that I had killed and where I had hidden their chopped up remains. Psychosis…or rather psychotic depression. Psychosis is the last pit stop before the total hell/brink of death of catatonia, it can happen both ends of the spectrum..mania and depression. Manic psychosis is without doubt the nicer option-proclaiming your jesus performing 150% on zero sleep..but also the more dangerous as you are not physically impaired and are able to act on these psychotic delusions. Psychotic depression as is my experience, both before and after a month long bout of catatonia actually less painful because I only remember being conscious for maybe 15min the whole month in intensive care…anyway I digress. Depression+insanity (and I am talking believing I’m a mass genocide instigator and the cliche evil voices in your head talking to you 24/7 amongst other things…) =something that rips something out of your heart forever. Depression makes you understand the invaluable role perspective (or sanity) plays in a life. I’m almost 22 now..and yes I have had several other depressive episodes although thankfully not with psychosis…there is no doubt in my mind that there will be more..despite every medical avenue being explored and applied. My experience is incredibly rare and extreme even within the scope the ‘average’ person with bipolar. I guess maybe you realise when an illness like that hits from nowhere…and you look back and none of your friends came to the hospital (even though you missed a year of school) because they…well you tell me. I guess psych wards are scary but never more so than when you’re a patient in one. Stigma, I am an expert liar in certain areas of my life because of my genetically inherited chronic illness, to keep my job/uni/social standing society demands it of me. And despite the fact that I go through hell and back at least once most years what bothers me most is not the perverse level of suffering. Its this indisputable reality: I know that were I to end in hospital again, as before with a tube down my stomach, my brain short circuiting and an extremely high likely hood that if none of the drugs, ECT work, I will die…and I will die alone. My family would be there, but I doubt a single friend no matter how genuine would dare set foot in the hospital when told the nature of the illness. If I had to go that way and I could I would choose cancer…because then even the most remote acquaintances would flock to my bedside. I would find solace in the acceptance and compassion of humanity…rather than perish at the hands of its medieval judgement. Most importantly I would not die lonely, as an outcast, or be remembered as that ‘crazy girl’…that ‘yeh she had issues’ girl..that ‘so whys she in hospital? she probably tried to top herself or something’ or worst of all be labelled as ‘troubled’.
    Great article Andrew-I look forward to reading more about your views/analysis on mental health as you are a writer with real understanding and experience, rare.
    Very refreshing, thank you.

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