Why I Find Myself Waiting Until 'Rock Bottom' Before Asking for Help for My Depression
I find it odd that despite living with depression for over 10 years, I still fail to see it creep up on me. I have a bad day and put it down to workload. I feel numb and put it down to tiredness. I’m so tired but I don’t sleep for days. I’m so sleep deprived that I’m dizzy and disconnected. I’m so disconnected I break. I break so hard and feel such pain that I fear I will never be put back together again.
Only then do I admit to myself that I need help.
It’s ridiculous really. I’m on my fourth serious bout of depression, yet I still refused to seek out help at the first signs. I ignored the warning bells, reducing myself to rock bottom before admitting I needed help and medication. Why?
It’s because of the implications. Admitting means taking the antidepressants. It means telling my Mum I’ve slipped again. It’s telling my boyfriend I’m going to need support. It’s the weight gain, the isolation and the sleepless nights. It’s me feeling like a failure.
I know depression is a mental illness but when I’m in this state, I can’t see the wood for the trees. One plus one very rarely equals two and my mind torments me. Throw my anxiety disorder in the mix and it’s a mental Molotov cocktail.
But I have asked for help. I might have recognized the need for it late, but this is certainly better than never. Of course I’ll swear to be more vigilant in the future but no matter how much you know about depression, it does not mean you welcome an episode with open arms. Instead of chastising myself for letting myself dip for so long, I’m going to take joy in picking myself up in the end. It takes a lot of courage to realize you need external help to control the demons in your head. I’m going to congratulate myself for doing this and I hope that you do too. We aren’t weak, we are just a bit weathered. We aren’t going anywhere.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.
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Getty Images photo via Dmitri Kotin