For a long time, I had been getting more and more tired.
Even when I woke up in the morning, having slept okay, I
still felt exhausted. My doctor could not find anything
wrong with me physically. Although I wanted to do things,
everything seemed far too much of an effort, everything
made me very tired, and I was falling behind more and more
with the things I had to do at work and at home. I couldn't
understand why I was becoming so absent-minded, and I was
afraid I was becoming prematurely senile. I found it very
difficult to read, as I would have to go back and read the
page again, having forgotten everything I had just read.
After a while, even TV became too difficult to follow, and
I no longer enjoyed what I used to love watching.
doctor told me I had depression, an illness I thought only
affected weak people. The first antidepressant helped me
a little bit, but changing to the second antidepressant
brought me totally back to my normal self within a few weeks.
YOUNG MOTHER: I was a happily married woman, with two
young children. However, I slowly began to lose interest
in everything, starting with the hobbies I used to enjoy
and after a while finding everything in life totally boring
and meaningless. I started arguing a lot with my husband.
I would burst into tears much more easily than usual, and
I kept forgetting things. What was most distressing was
the feeling that I did not want any involvement with anyone,
not my husband, not my friends, and not even my children,
suddenly having no feelings for anyone. Life seemed totally
pointless and meaningless and I used to wonder why other
people found it worth living.
lucky to have my depressive illness diagnosed very quickly,
and it turned out that my mother's death 18 months earlier,
had not only made me grieve at the time, but had slowly
caused a depressive illness as well. I am a lot better now,
but I realise I will have to take medication for another
year or so, to make sure the depression does not come back.
OFFICE WORKER : The guys at work used to ask if I was
okay, as I looked as if I was very worried all the time.
I couldn't explain to them, or even to myself, what was
happening. I gave up phoning friends, gave up golf, and
started to feel as if I had something physically very wrong
with me. I was too embarrassed to tell anyone that I was
crying when I was alone. Nights were the worst, as I would
spend many hours awake, wondering why I should keep on living.
I lost interest in everything, even in sex. I started wondering
about the best way to kill myself, that would not be too
painful or too messy for those that would find me, but after
a while I couldn't even care about them either.
ILLNESS: I had lots of the symptoms of depression, especially
being tired, being slowed up mentally, finding everything
too much of an effort, and having changes in my sleeping
pattern. I lost interest in food, but even so my weight
started to go up. I found I was much colder than the people
around me, and I always wore more clothes than them, and
wanted the heating turned up higher. I was dragging myself
around, and felt really miserable.
although he wondered if I had depression, my doctor also
wondered if my thyroid gland was under-active, and he did
a blood test, which showed it was indeed under-active. After
a couple of months on thyroid tablets, I was back to my
old self, and all the symptoms which might have been diagnosed
as depression, have disappeared.
TEENAGER'S STORY: I had been doing pretty well in school,
but found I couldn't be bothered to study anymore, and my
grades started to fall very badly. I found myself fighting
even more than usual with my parents. Even my friends thought
I had become very moody and very quiet. Because I still
managed to sleep okay and have a good appetite, the first
doctor I saw said I therefore wasn't depressed? He couldn't
have been more wrong. I felt so terrible inside I started
to hurt myself, wondering if that would take away the internal
pain I felt. I really believed I would never get back to
the person I used to be, I wondered if I was schizophrenic,
and I increasingly found myself wishing I was dead. I became
quite convinced that, if anything else went wrong, it would
be best for me to end my life.
insisted I saw a second doctor, who talked to me a lot about
the pressures on me at that time, about how anxious I always
was and what I could do about it, and about depression being
like a computer virus that gives you totally wrong but very
convincing information. I took antidepressants for a short
time, as well as talking to my doctor, and I am a lot better.
My doctor wanted me to continue the antidepressants for
six months, but I think I am okay without them, and I will
see how I go without them.
I never felt depressed or down, I just had lots of different
pains in my body and different symptoms, such as being constipated,
being dizzy, and being tired. My doctor did lots of blood
tests and xrays, but nothing showed up. I was afraid I would
be told there was "nothing wrong". However, my doctor was
able to convince me that there was nothing wrong physically,
but that my symptoms were another manifestation of depressive
illness. There had been lots of changes in my life over
the past few years, and they had finally got to me. Since
I had treatment, I feel much better physically, and my mind
is sharper than ever.
SECRET SUFFERER: The sad thing is not being able to
be understood, because this is something that others can't
see. I am watching a movie of me. Life is not reality, and
I am just acting a part. I see others living in reality;
how I envy them; how unobtainable this seems.
a room full of people, I feel so alone. I want to stop
the merry-go-round, so that I can get off. I plan in detail
my life's end by night, then by day I wake with the fear
of my thoughts. The hurt and anguish that I would cause
those who I cherish keeps me existing in this hell.
just can't wait to grow old so that nature will end all
this torment of me. You see, I also fear death. I am a
irony is that, if you knew me, you would never suspect.
above stories from different patients show that depression
can affect everybody, and can threaten their lives at times.
Furthermore, the vast majority of people who have depression
seem okay on the surface, even if they seem a little bit
quiet. For this reason, depression is described by the World
Health Organization as a hidden but definite epidemic, and
the sufferers of this condition are described as "the walking
wounded", referring to the suffering that goes on under
an apparently normal surface.
information on this site is designed to minimise the suffering
of such people, and minimise the distress of those involved