A little more personal | Mental Illness


Usually on here I generally just chit chat about beauty stuff but today I wanted to write about an issue close to my heart. Ive gone over this post so many times in my head so hopefully I can formulate a few words that make sense.

Today is world mental health day and despite appearances and the positiveness I try to bring to this little online space, I suffer with a mental health condition. Its taken me a long time to finally accept that but now I'm in a place where I can comfortably talk about my experience and how I'm dealing with it.

I've suffered from depression for a long time. In my early teenage years, I struggled a lot with low self esteem, shyness and anxiety. I would withdraw from situations and spent a lot of time 'hiding away' in my bedroom rather than going out with my friends. When I left school, I started to come out of my shell a little more but I struggled with low confidence and just before I took my A levels, I started having panic attacks - I still don't know how I managed to get through my exams, never mind actually passing them. At this point, I was prescribed anxiety medication from my doctor and I started to feel a little better. After a year or two I started to feel unwell again and eventually had to leave my job. I guess this was sort of a turning point as my overall mental health seemed to go downhill from here. I felt really down, empty, teary - I'm not sure I can fully describe how it feels to suffer from a mental illness other than its something you have no control over.  I finally plucked up the courage to go to my doctor and was diagnosed with depression. In some ways I felt relieved to have a diagnosis as I just wanted to feel better. 
I was given a mild dosage of anti-depressants and after a few weeks, I felt a little more upbeat. I carried on with the medication but a year later, my moods became overwhelming and I would sit in my bedroom sobbing in the dark. The thoughts in my head were spiralling and after a trip to the doctors, my dosage of anti-depressant was gradually increased.

Since then, I've been slowly feeling better apart from a few panic attacks (which is another story but for me depression and anxiety go hand in hand). Suffering from a mental illness is a daily battle. I sometimes feel that I'm having to fight a war going on in my head and at times its hard to shake off the feeling of being a hollow shell of yourself. Some things are still completely overwhelming to me, heck some days even washing my hair is too much but I've learnt that its OK to feel that way. I've felt ashamed and angry at myself for being unwell. I've lost most of my twenties to battling a mental issue but depression is not a choice.
I'm lucky to have a very supportive and loving family but I've had to push through and try to help myself too. I've made a few lifestyle changes and have other methods of coping with both depression and anxiety (theres a future blog post in there somewhere).

My main reason for writing this post is due to the stigma surrounding mental illness. 1 in 4 adults suffers from a mental health condition yet there is a real lack of support from the NHS. Suffering from a mental illness does not make you any less of a person, it isn't something to be ashamed of and its OK to talk about it.

I want you to know that you're not alone. Things do get better - even if it doesn't seem like it will right now, I promise you it will. If you're struggling please talk to someone - my inbox is always open and mind is always a great place to look if you're in need of support.
So there it is, me putting myself out there to bevy of strangers on the internet and you know what, it feels kinda liberating because there is nothing wrong with mental illness or talking about it. 

“You say you're 'depressed' - all i see is resilience. You are allowed to feel messed up and inside out. It doesn't mean you're defective - it just means you're human.” 
― David MitchellCloud Atlas

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45 comments

  1. Really lovely post, thank you for sharing because it does take courage.
    Emily xxx
    www.emilykatedale.co.uk

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  2. Lovely, personal post! Lovely point about not being alone too! Think that's an important one! Abi :)
    MyW0rldMyView

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  3. It's very brave of you to be so open about this! I agree that it's just weird that there's still such a stigma about mental illnesses, even though I feel more and more (young) people suffer from depression, anxiety etc.

    I also suffered from a light depression a few years ago and recognize some symptoms, so I always recommend people talking to specialized doctors or psychiatrists, since they are here for a reason and it's ok to need some help sometimes. Sometimes it all just gets a bit to much and at these moments it's nice that there are specialized people out there to help you out! So why be weird around this subject?

    Just remember that the hardest battles are given to the toughest soldiers :)

    X

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    1. I love that quote Rianne x

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  4. I love this post and i know how it feels i suffer from bad anxiety and dealt with bad depression due to things that happened. I find it hard to talk about it but its nice to read other people go through it too x
    Emma | Emmys Blog

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  5. Hi Zoe,
    I suffer from depression too, and I think it's so brave that you posted this. The stigma is so strong even though everyone claims it's not! I've chosen not to be on medication but went through therapy.
    Thanks for posting.
    www.natillie.com

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  6. Thank you for having the courage to write this. Your story sounds so much like my own. At one point in my life I attempted suicide, ended up in the hospital and then a mental ward. I was laughed/mocked because of it. Which didn't help the situation. I completely understand that void, the darkness you feel yourself trying to stumble through. My own motto is, take one minute at a time. Sometimes, thinking of "a day at a time" is too overwhelming. It's tough, but I do know one truth, my life and your life is so much more than the depression we suffer from.

    xo,
    Jenny
    www.mishmoshmakeup.com

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    1. thanks Jenny, no one should mock a mental illness x

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  7. This is such a lovely post, it actually made me tear up! I agree with you, mental illness has such a stigma around it and people tend to brush it off as someone wanting attention, when it has absolutely nothing to do with that. I feel like physical illnesses are taken so much more serious that mental ones and I think people need to realise that both are as serious as each other. Hopefully, one day, people who suffer with mental illness won't be treated by society the way they are.
    Jodie xo // La Lune Song

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    1. I hope so too, thanks jodie x

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  8. Thank you so much for writing this-- it took courage and humility! Several family members have struggled with anxiety and depression and it's a tough journey. Thanks for sharing.

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  9. I'm glad to hear you're feeling a little better. This must have been a hard-going post to write but I really respect you for it. Mental health should be more recognized and a lot of ignorance surrounds it but posts like these will help get gather more of an understanding for people who have never been affected! xxx

    http://leahpaige9xo.blogspot.co.uk/

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  10. Great post - very brave of you to write. xx

    http://www.teapartywithalice.com

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  11. Thank you for posting this very honest account of what it is like to have and live with a mental health illness. It is very brave to write this post. I to have suffered with depression and other mental health problems and I know just how hard it is to live with on a day to day basis. More knowledge and understanding of mental health problems needs to be done so there is not a stigma anymore regarding this situation.
    I hope you are ok at the moment.
    All the best.

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  12. Lovely to see a post like this on here babe and well done to opening up! Some of my closest friends and family suffer from depression and no-one seems to really get it. I think the main misconception is that people assume that people with depression are unhappy or miserable, but really it's a feeling of emptiness that no-one can imagine. I know people who have had amazing help and some who are still suffering because they are too ashamed to seek help! I myself sometimes suffer from anxiety in mild form so I can only imagine what its like!

    You seem to have dealt with it the right way and I really admire you for that!

    thechinadolldiaries.blogspot.co.uk

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  13. I also suffer anxiety etc, i went to cbt for the first time last week and it was rubbish! Didn't really help me at all but I am going to go again and see if it will help x

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    1. I hope it gets better for you x

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  14. Very good post, much love xxx

    Freya Blendell

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  15. You are so brave for sharing your story and no doubt will help alot of people. xoxox

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  16. Great post, I've suffered from depression and can really relate to this! For me antidepressants were a godsend as they turned me from teary, anxious and isolated back into my "normal" self.

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  17. I admire your courage :) big hug <3

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  18. Amazing post. It is so important for people to realise that this is a real issue that SO many people deal with and it is wonderful to see someone feeling comfortable enough to discuss it with her followers :) I also deal with mild anxiety and depression and have so far managed to stay of medication but it's the hardest feeling to explain to people that even though everything may actually be okay, there is just something there dampening your mood. It truly is a chemical that just blocks you from seeing the light sometimes but when you do come out of it, even if its just for a day, its the best feeling in the world and it gives you hope and encourages you to keep fighting because those days are worth it! Thank you again and I hope you continue to feel confident and positive xo

    candidlycatrin.blogspot.com.au

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  19. A very brave post. I to suffer with anxiety and depression along with a chronic physical condition. I'm going through a really bad patch at the moment and most days I don't get out of bed. Not so great as I have a 6 year old son and a 17 year old daughter. I feel guilty all the time and then frustrated & angry at wasting my life away. It's so hard and despite having a very supportive partner, he doesn't actually understand. I to lost my job (due to my physical illness) & became more depressed as a result. I have now retrained as a MUA as this gives me the flexibility of not having to work if I am having a bad patch + writing my blog helps as I hope it does for you to. A little connection to the outside world if you are not feeling up to actually facing it. I hope that you continue to get stronger & likewise if you ever need someone who understands from the perspective of going through the same experience you can always "talk" to me. My email is thompson-a21@sky.com - xxx

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    1. thank you Andrea, that means a lot x

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  20. Any form of mental illness is a cruel thing to have. It sucks the life out of you,everyday tasks are made so difficult and it is all so much of a struggle. I have had depression for over 20 years so I know just how hard it is to live with this illness. More needs to be done to help people with a mental illness.
    All the best.

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  21. I wouldn't wish depression or anxiety on my worse enemy. It is without a doubt one of the hardest things to talk about. Thank you for writing this, this awful illness needs more awareness. I find it very difficult to open up about my depression hopefully one day more people will understand.

    xx

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  22. I'm actually studying Psychology so I hope to be able to help people with mental health issues. I think it really helps to talk about personal issues, it reminds people that they're not alone. Great post, I'm glad you're doing better these days :)

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  23. You're full of courage & boldness to have shared this post. Remember, you're not alone. In fact, no one is ever alone because God is always near us (omnipresent). At all times (both good & bad), we should always look to him for answers & peace will be with us.

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  24. Great post and it has come at a great time- thank you.

    Lizzy at Nomad Notebook

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  25. Thank you so much for this. I think it's so important to speak out on these issues. You're not alone and you're so strong, always remember that :)

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