What it's like living with depression
Our guest blogger talks about her own experience of depression and self-harm
I still remember the evening I told my mum I was feeling low, and thinking about suicide.
She looked totally stunned - I was a normal teenager with a bunch of great friends, stable family, and I was doing well academically. She took me to the GP, where I was referred to CAMHS. After the first meeting that I went to, I was told I didn’t have depression.
My parents were happy, but I wasn’t. I knew my mental health wasn’t right, and that I did need help. The week after the CAMHS appointment we went on holiday. I felt very low that week. I had no motivation, I didn’t want to get out of bed, I didn’t want to eat, I couldn’t stop thinking about suicide, and I was self-harming.
We returned with my parents promising to get me checked out again, as they could see I wasn’t well. I felt better for a few days.
Suddenly, the stress of upcoming exams and my lack of revision got to me, and I couldn’t face going back to school. On Friday evening, I tried to kill myself. Then I panicked and admitted this to my mum, who took me straight to A&E.
One blood test later, several talks with a couple of doctors, and they were told that although I didn’t have any long-term effects, I needed to stay in hospital for two nights as I was marked ‘actively suicidal’, before I could see a CAMHS consultant Monday morning.
Staying in hospital was horrible. I missed home and my family, even though they spent most of the two days with me. I wasn’t used to being watched all day, and I found it hard not to snap at the nurses. I was frustrated, fed up and annoyed.
On Monday morning, my parents and I met with a CAMHS consultant. After talking to her for a little over an hour, she told me that she was going to refer me to CAMHS. She also mentioned admitting me to a psychiatric ward, which really scared me, but she said that wasn’t going to happen. She officially diagnosed me with moderate to severe depression.
After two family sessions with CAMHS, which even my brother attended one of, I started CBT therapy.
Having depression is still a daily battle. I still struggle with self-harm, and I still have low days frequently. I feel like I didn’t do as well in my GCSE exams as I could have, which is frustrating, but I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that my health has to come first.