Publish Date: 15/04/2013
Josh, 23, Manchester;
“I suffered a bad spout of depression three years ago that was triggered by a few events that happened in my life. I knew after a couple of months it wasn’t me just ‘feeling down’ because I’d always bounced back before. This was different. I was feeling upset and on edge all the time, I didn’t want to leave the house, I would turn my phone off and not talk to any of my friends, I just couldn’t see a way out of what I was feeling and didn’t see the point in anything anymore. Even thinking of it now makes me choke up.
"After building up the courage to tell my Mum how I was feeling , I went to the Doctors, talked it over with her and I was prescribed medication and also referred for counselling. The medication took a couple of weeks to work their way into my system and I know this sounds cheesy but I started to feel like me again and the light at the end of the tunnel. I know not everyone is comfortable with taking anti-depressants but they worked for me,and with the counselling I received at the LGF I came out of the dark place of depression eventually. I’m still taking the medication now and continualy use the techniques I was taught in counselling to keep moving forward. It also helps that I have positive people around me now.
"Since then I’ve become interested in how mental illness and especially depression is perceived in society. I remember when I told a former friend that I was depressed - I was met with abuse and was told that I was just doing it for attention. Needless to say that person isn’t in my life anymore. It’s statements like that, that make people scared to speak up if they think they are depressed and made to feel weak for doing so. I saw a quote once that sums it up “Depression isn’t a sign of weakness...it’s a sign you’ve been strong for too long ...”. I know that not everyone who feels down is depressed because everyone feels down once in a while about one thing or another and the word ‘depressed’ is bashed around freely by some people when they’re having a bad day, but you know you’re really feeling depressed when you feel that way for weeks on end.
"I spoke to a good friend of mine who has worked in mental health and asked him if people can be cured of depression. He said treatment doesn’t work for everybody, therapy doesn’t work for everyone, some people can work through depression by themselves and that it all depends on the individual but some people with a chemical inbalance need medication. He also said that people who harder to stay happier are more than likely to stay on track and have a better chance of not returning to the darkness of depression but in saying that he did say that future situations that can occur in life could put someone back to square one even though they’ve worked hard to stay on track.
"I would say to anyone reading this and feel they are depressed or suffering with any other mental health illness to go and speak to your doctor and not to suffer in silence any longer.”
For support, information and advice on our range of support services, including counselling, visit lgbt.foundation/wellbeing