My Mental Health...

No one should be facing mental health alone...

I suffer with Depression and Social Anxiety. I would like to share my story to you lovely people in hope that if you are suffering alone, you need to go and get that support you need.

For 6 years I have suffered with depression. I have no reason why I am depressed, I just constantly feel down all the time and I can't control how I feel. At first I felt ashamed. For 5 years I suffered in silence, dealing with mood swings, my mood swings even now could still be my hormones, but at 15 years old I suddenly started feeling down, I started to hate the way I looked, the way I dressed. I would compare myself to the stick thin models in magazines wishing I was more like them. My anger then lead to self harming and I was too scared to tell someone because I felt like my friends would judge me, and I don't think I was very open to my family at that age. I would laugh and joke with them but I'm not that type of person who would talk about emotions.

Looking back at the years of suffering with depression, I noticed how bad things got over the last two years. So at 18 years old I got a job working in a store collecting customers online shopping. We had trolleys to push full of items which mine got a bit heavy, quickly turned the corner and felt the base of my back go. I carried on as normal and started to get a lot of back pain. I went to the doctor who signed me off work for a week with a sprained ligament. The week went by and I was still in pain, but back to work I went, and I kept on going to work even though I wanted to cry with every step I took, the pain was so so bad to the point in the very end one of my managers drove me home and told me to return when I was ready.

Being on a temporary contract and taking too much time off sick, they sadly had to let me go, and I changed departments working in a petrol station which I currently still am doing now. I'm now 20 years old and still in a lot of pain most of the time with it. Doctors say there's nothing more they can do for me. Between the age of 18 and now I had physio therapy and a MRI scan, and my back is still painful to touch. I lost friends because I could no longer stand on my feet for more than 20 minutes without wanting to cry in the amount of pain I was in, I had to balance the standing with the sitting, I couldn't and still can't lift heavy items. Even carrying a light handbag kills me sometimes. I was then spending all my time indoors sat in a armchair not being able to walk properly with the pain I was in. That's where I think my social anxiety developed.

I have days where I struggle to get up in the mornings, and the thought of going outside on my own makes me feel sick to the stomach that I want to cry. Going to work is okay. I walk to work but in my mind it's have to go attitude whereas if I was to go out to go shopping or hop on the bus for fun, that's where I struggle.

Last year I applied for college thinking it would be the best thing to do, with my depression, make friends as I had none at all, it'll make everything better. Going to college made me meet amazing people who are now my friends, but I struggled most of the time to get out of bed. Some days I couldn't go near the door to go outside as it made me feel sick, my attendance went down quick.

With my anxiety I tend to get anxiety attacks where I feel like my heart is going to beat right out my chest, I start sweating a lot, I feel dizzy and I can't breathe. Everyone has their ways of coping, mine is either hum to myself, I find this a great distraction or chew gum. Before I leave the house I always chew a piece of gum so I have something else to focus on. Either that or I call somebody. calling someone makes me feel calm and that I am not alone, as if I have company with me.

My depression, I have days where I feel worthless, I feel lonely, even though I'm not. I'll wake up and immediately want the day to be over already. I can't be bothered with people, I hate looking at myself in the mirror because I get angry with the way I look. My moods are everywhere, one minute I'm happy then the next I'm really emotional, don't talk to me attitude. Everyday is a struggle. I literally can not control the way I feel with my depression, I wish I could because it really gets frustrating waking up automatically feeling upset and lonely.

I used to be ashamed with the way I am and how I feel because people will say...what have you got to be depressed about? or...Has something happened to make you feel this way? I hate it when people say, oh you'll be fine. I understand people who doesn't suffer with depression or anxiety won't understand the feeling of what other people who do suffer with it go through, but they are not the right things to say.

I finally opened up to my Mum about everything, the self harming, suicidal thoughts, and I'm really happy she made me go to the doctors. Back then I wasn't, now I am grateful as I am now currently on the waiting list to have counselling.

Having a lot of you time might help. I know that everyone is different but with me, I find that going up to my bedroom spending time to myself helps, a little pamper to look after yourself and the way you look. It makes me feel better about myself and makes me feel good.

If you are suffering in silence and need help don't be afraid too. There's all sorts of help out there for everyone. I no longer feel ashamed for who I am, and if no one likes the way I am...f them! Who needs them in your life to bring you down. You're amazing and beautiful, stay strong x

Click this link here to direct you to phone numbers for the support you may need. Sorry I only have numbers for the UK.

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