How I Came to Admit I Had Depression

Like many others, I am independent, stubborn and strong-willed. Despite being a very candid individual, I’m also fiercely private. Those things combined can make opening up and saying “I need help” very hard.

To contextualize that, 2.5 years ago — prior to my depression diagnosis — I ended up in hospital as I’d ignored a growing problem. The change had so been subtle over a prolonged period of time that I convinced myself it was OK. It wasn’t.

Similar story last year. I’d been having a tough time at work, a few personal challenges and I knew I wasn’t in great shape. However, I was working through it and trying to take care of myself — or so I thought.

The challenges stacked up, got bigger and then a real family crisis hit. I thought I had myself in check. I didn’t and instead, I capitulated further into despair.

It wasn’t until the third bout of vomiting, diarrhea and full body aching and a conversation with my wife that I admitted self-help wasn’t working.

That was a really hard conversation. Frankly, it sucked. I cried a lot and it hurt. It may sound cliché, but admitting I needed help lifted a weight. This kickstarted several months of assessments, doctors appointments and starting therapy.

Each of these conversations hurt. They filled me with dread, real physical and emotional pain. I’d feel terrible before and during, I’d be exhausted after, but each time a little more weight was jettisoned.

I cried a lot during this time. I almost felt like I was sinking further, but actually, all I was doing was admitting what I’d been denying for months. It sucked, but it was important. It put me on course to start addressing what I realized was a lifelong issue with anxiety and depression.

At this stage, I told a few friends, colleagues and family members and every time it was the same — it sucked. But it made a difference, it helped me make peace with myself and created a network of knowing and supportive people.

And the more I have done it, the easier it has become. Sure, it takes a lot of strength and bravery and it is emotionally draining, but it really helps and I know I’m not alone.

I hate that I’m reliant on doctors, medication and the support of some wonderful people, but I’m proud of myself for allowing it and grateful to all of them. I still have a lot more soul searching and growing to do, but I’ve come a long way and talking has been key to that.

So yes, talking about depression sucks, but it’s important — really important. So, stay safe and speak up.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via KatarzynaBialasiewicz

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Depression

Face, hair and background are on separate layers. Each hair strand is individual object. Easily change colors or make multi-colored.

I Brushed My Hair Today

The moment is finally here. I pick up my flat, dull pink brush off the cluttered counter and take a deep breath. I glance up and know I cannot put it off another day. I try to separate my hair in half, then I gently start brushing. The tug and pull are almost enough to [...]
15 Things Only People With 'Smiling Depression' Understand

15 Things Only People With 'Smiling Depression' Understand

When many people think of depression, they often think of sadness — and not much else. This generalization can be harmful to people who experience depression, but may not “look” depressed. For some, depression may look like sadness or exhaustion. For others, depression might look like a smiling face, or a person who “has it [...]

A Good Day Vs. a Bad Day With Depression

What it’s like to have both good and bad days living with depression. if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_7EqtngLa_F962XJnx_div').setup( {"playlist":"https:\/\/\/feeds\/7EqtngLa.json","ph":2} ); Read the full transcript: A Good Day Vs. a Bad Day With Depression On a good day, when I stay in bed, it’s because I want to lay there for a few extra minutes, just to stretch my [...]
sad woman hugging pillow and crying muted color

When a Low Mood Makes You Frightened Depression Is Returning

I am well into recovery from a severe episode of depression. I’m thankful I’m able to write that. I’m doing well in terms of medication, getting more exercise and looking after myself better. However, there’s always the fear every time a mental slump occurs that depression is rearing its ugly head once more. There are [...]