My Story With Depression

mental-health-day

This is not something I necessarily wanted to share publicly, and I feel quite vulnerable talking about it. But given it is World Mental Health Day and even the Royals are trying to help fight the stigma of mental illness, I thought it was time to share my story.

There have been numerous ‘signs’ recently that made me think it was time share. I also feel I can no longer present an authentic version of myself if I don’t share where I am coming from.

In order to tell me story I filmed a video explaining what happened. It was incredibly difficult and upsetting to make so I hope you can watch and read this with kindness.

If you are going through any kind of mental illness right now please know that you are not alone, that you do not need to be ashamed and that it is legitimate an illness as any physical illness.

***

Useful links and resources

  • MIND – mental health charity
  • Time To Change – working to end the stigma of mental illness
  • SANE – mental health charity
  • Rethink – help and advice for people with mental illness
  • Young Minds – information and advice for concerns about a child or young person
  • Together – charity helping people with mental illnesses live independent lives
  • Citizens Advice – confidential advice to help people with legal, money or consumer problems
  • Childline – free helpline for children in trouble or danger
  • Nightline – helpline for students by students
  • Relate – relationship counselling for couples and families
  • Counselling Directory – listings for trained therapists
  • Carers UK – advice and support for carers

 

 

Get the 'Word of the Year' Worksheet

Word_of_the_year

Get the FREE downloadable worksheet 'How To Choose A Word of the Year', designed to help you focus on the values that matter most in your life.

Powered by ConvertKit
29 Comments
  • Diane

    Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I watched the whole thing. Wish I could give you a big hug! So glad you’re feeling better than you were.

    I don’t consider myself clinically depressed (though I found myself on the lighter end of the scale about 3 years ago), but I have been surrounded by it at times and I will definitely be sharing this video with those close to me who need it right now. We need so much more awareness on mental health and this is definitely a step in the right direction.

    I’ve been reading your blog for years and I look forward to the new direction you’re taking it in. Keep on sharing ☺ x

    • Elizabeth

      Thank you for the virtual hug 🙂 and the kind words Diane. Your support of my blog has always been amazing.x.

  • Honestmum

    Reply

    Sending you so much love, you are so incredibly brave to have made and shared this (to share vulneranity always is but it’s that honesty which will help so many others darling. I think you are amazing and I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through. I am here for you. The beauty- and overall purpose of blogs and vlogs are helping others feel less alone. You are an inspiration. We love you x

    • Elizabeth

      Thank you for the kind words Vicki, it means a lot to me.x.

  • Anca

    Reply

    I’m so sorry you are going through this. I understand how difficult is for you. I saw the whole video and you were so brave to talk openly about something that is so important and personal. Hugs xx

    • Elizabeth

      Thank you for taking the time to watch the whole video Anca. It was quite a long one! :-S And thank you for the virtual hugs.x.

  • Amber

    Reply

    Oh, Elizabeth, I just wanted to each through the screen and hug you while I was watching this: what an amazing video! You’re so incredibly brave for sharing this – I can see how hard it was for you, but I think it’s wonderful that you’ve done it: it’s so important that people be able to speak openly about mental illness, and I really hope it’s helped you, as I know it will have helped other people going through the same thing to you. Big, virtual hugs to you – wish it could be a real one! Xxx

    • Elizabeth

      Thank you for the virtual hugs Amber, that means a lot to me. It was hard, but now knowing it’s helping others as well makes it all worth it.x.

  • Lisa

    Reply

    Oh love. Sending virtual hugs and mugs of tea. I know how difficult that must have been. I too think we all need to be open about this and share our stories more. Very proud of you dude Xxx

    • Elizabeth

      Thank you Lisa, you’re so kind. That means a lot to me.x.

  • Sarah

    Reply

    Sending you a massive hug. Been through this and like you am slowly trying to come to terms with the fact that depression is as much a part of me as my green eyes or my witches cackle laugh. I really really recommend Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig it’s kind, thoughtful and really resonated with me. Also Marian Keyes’ newsletters from a couple of years ago – should be available on her website were game changers for me, they finally enabled me to articulate some of what I was experiencing. You are so brave for sharing this and despite crying along with you for most of it I am really grateful for your honesty and courage x

    • Elizabeth

      Thank you Sarah. And I am so sorry to hear you have been going through this as well. I will look up the Matt Haig book now, thank you for recommending. And I wish you all the strength to get through your own illness.x.

  • Anna International

    Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing this. It must have been so hard to do, and I really hope that you feel doing so has helped you in some way, it has certainly helped me (and I am sure lots of others) to know we aren’t alone. I don’t have depression but I have been suffering with anxiety, and until I did, I honestly had no clue what a huge impact it could have on your life. I absolutely second Sarah’s recommendation of the Matt Haig book. A quick read, but with a profound effect (on me anyway). Sending you a big hug. xxx

    • Elizabeth

      Thank you for your kind words Anna and I’m glad it helped. I will deffo check out the book after all these recommendations.x

  • Elinor Hill aka beachhutcook

    Reply

    How brave of you and thank you for sharing so that people can see there is no need to hide how you feel. Proud of you and you should be proud of yourself too. Much love xx

    • Elizabeth

      Thank you Elinor.x.

  • Jennifer

    Reply

    I have been following your blog for a long time but I don’t think I have ever commented before. I just wanted to say how much I appreciate your sharing this video. It was honest and courageous. I don’t suffer from depression but someone I care about does. It is an insidious disease and so misunderstood. I admire deeply the courage and strength you display even if you do not feel you display those qualities. I appreciate the comparison you use to diabetes. It puts depression in perspective for so many people.

    • Elizabeth

      Thank you for commenting Jennifer, that really does mean a lot to me. I’m sorry to hear somebody you know is going through it.

  • Kelly Glen

    Reply

    Thank you so much for making this video, it was incredibly brave of you to be so open with your life. I have suffered from depression and other mental health illnesses for over 20 years so I know just how debilitating it can be. I am sure this video will help many others who might be going through the same thing.
    Take care and all the best.

    • Elizabeth

      I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been a lifelong sufferer too. I hope that sharing with one another helps. And I hope you get the support you need too.x.

  • emma

    Reply

    Wow. This is such an honest video and well done for making it and getting thorough it – I am not sure I could have been so open. I am so sorry that this illness has been in your life for so long but I am so glad that you had Raj there with you when you needde him the most. Depression hit our lives hard last year with two friends taking their lives suddenly so I am so happy to hear that you are making time for yourself to get to a good place, because that is the only way to stay healthy. I don’t have any wise words for you I’m afraid but speaking about this can only help educate people to help others. xx

    • Elizabeth

      Thank you Emma. I’m so sorry to hear about your friends. That’s is truly awful.x

  • Trona

    Reply

    oh Elizabeth I wish I could give you the biggest cuddle. I suffer anxiety and depression on and of as a result of chronic pain but in my early 20s, after a serious car crash and major ops, I started having really bad panic attacks. It was so bad at one point I was having several a day, when I woke up, when I went to sleep. All the time. My depression was horrendous too. The panic attacks then turned into severe agoraphobia which took about 10 long, hard, exhausting, painful, shameful years to beat. We shouldn’t feel ashamed because our brain chemistry is buggered. Thank you so much for sharing this, I think you’re absolutely amazing <3

    • Elizabeth

      I am so sorry to hear that you have been suffering long-term as well. And thank you for sharing your story too. I hope life is getting a little light for you.x.

  • Rob and Bridget

    Reply

    Elizabeth, If ever there was a time I wanted to hug someone it is now. I’m not going to use words like brave, courageous or inspirational, not because they’re not relevant but because they don’t truly reflect the gravity of what you have just put yourself through to help other people.

    Instead, I want to congratulate you for having the conviction to make this video and I want to thank you on behalf of the people who’ll benefit from your openness but may not be ready to say so.

    The only way to break the stigma around mental health is to talk about it. Nobody bats an eyelid when somebody has a physical illness, yet poor mental health in whatever form it takes is seen as a taboo when in fact it is an illness like any other.

    There is no shame in having an illness, battling an all-consuming disease is a strength not a weakness and there is no reason to feel guilt for something you have no control over. Although our situation is different there are many similarities and I for one would be devastated if Bridget felt the need to apologise to me or felt guilty for having an illness and I’m confident Raj feels the same.

    The road to recovery with any long term illness is long, it has many detours and crossroads, and recovery doesn’t mean cure it means acceptance. Accepting your illness is the road to liberation. Yes, there will be setbacks and roadblocks, but just know that with your obvious strength, determination and willingness to share, sooner or later society will catch you up and recognise mental health issues for what they are – an illness like any other.

    I think I should go now for fear of overstaying my welcome, but I want you to know that this video is probably the most important video you have ever published, it will help more people than you will ever know and it’s precious people like you that make this world a better place.

    Much Love
    Rob and Bridget
    XXX

  • lonestarsky

    Reply

    Wow. I don’t know what to say that hasn’t already been said by the other commenters. Such a brave thing to talk about, and you were clearly struggling at times. Well done for doing this – I do hope that sharing has helped you, but I don’t have any doubt that it will help others who are going through the same/similar.

    It’s so important to be honest about depression and other mental health issues – they’re illnesses, just like any other (many of them chronic), yet there’s still this stigma. Anything that you can do to help break that stigma is a step in the right direction, and you’ve definitely done that here.

    I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through this, sending you much love and virtual hugs. xxx

  • Catherine

    Reply

    Elizabeth I watched your vlog a little while ago and have been wondering how best to put my thoughts into words… All I can say is that as someone whom I’ve met a few times, you are “doing a very good job” (not really the right expression, hopefully you get what I mean) of putting on a brave face to the world, as it were. I’ve always considered you an extremely warm, friendly and wonderful person to be around, being one of those people I’m really happy to find out you’ll be at an event that I’m attending. It goes to show that no matter how much someone seems happy on the outside, they can be fighting demons on the inside.

    Thank you for making such a raw and honest vlog – you had me bawling throughout the whole thing…! Having known two people whose wives took their own lives because of severe depression and several relatives who suffered from it after losing babies or children it’s something that I’m very aware of (as I’m sure many other people are), but it’s a very, very difficult thing to understand when you haven’t experienced depression yourself. So thank you for speaking out, I hope it will help others (no, I’m sure it will).

    I am just SO glad that you have Raj in your life and that you’re still here to share your story – the world would be a much less lovely place without you in it and I can only wish you all the love and luck in the world to be able to cope and hopefully kick depression’s ass every time it rears its ugly head…!!

    Catherine x

  • Jennifer Tulip

    Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story. It’s super-brave of you plus it will help others suffering in silence or feeling like they are ‘not normal’. Depression is so common yet little talked about. I really think you have done the right thing about talking about it on your blog because, hopefully, you will feel a weight lifted from your shoulders now you have shared your story with your followers.

    Jenni Tulip x
    The Thrifty Magpies Nest

  • Dolores Marconi

    Reply

    You are an over achiever and that makes you wonderful, helpful, and successful. The other side of that is exhaustion. Your good nature may cause you to be “too much in demand” in the real world. I’m MUCH older than you but can relate as went through a breakdown when I was 28 and my family turned on me, or so I thought. Well, they did. It was also a divorce that I thought was a good thing; he was cheating so I got one more person out of my life and that was a relief. I was at the last month of getting BA while dating a professor who wanted marriage and I did not… I was publishing photos and stories for local press, it was poverty, it was everything. I believe I only survived because I learned to see the humor in my behavior that had to be curbed. You do not want to go into a mental hospital. Ever. It’s good to have a goal in life (smiling).
    I read your Christmas list and loved it! You must realize that the higher and more success you have the easier it is to crash. You draw too much energy which may not allow you to spend enough time alone. I’m not sure. But the fact that you were able to convince medical people to let you go is phenomenal. Good for you! They know very little and experiment far too often. Crying is okay. Sharing is great. Thank you for all your work and this blog I just found this morning while I’ve been obsessed with killing some gnats in my apartment; feeling guilty!

Leave a Comment