One of the goals of this blog is to help me in my journey fighting depression. I’ve been putting off posting about this recently because I’ve been wanting to project a healthy and positive image. But I’ve come to realise that this will only be useful to me if I am truthful about how things are – and in the mental health department, things are not good right now.
I’ve been taking antidepressants for nearly a month now, and sleeping tablets for about the same time. My sleep improved to start with, which helped my mood quite a lot. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been feeling increasingly overwhelmed, which has seen me miss a lot of my clinical placement. That in turn is a downward spiral – I don’t go in, I feel bad. I feel bad, I don’t go in.
The culmination of these bad feelings came on Wednesday night. Something changed… snapped. I took an overdose and ended up in hospital. I had to have some treatment but was allowed to go home the following day. The amount of medication I took was on the borderline of causing lasting damage – but being young and relatively fit, my body was able to deal with it.
Everyone who knows has asked why I did it.
I have a few vague reasons. But I can’t say what changed. I had thought about it many times before and talked myself out of it, but I wasn’t able to this time. I don’t know what was different this time. But I do know that I stopped fighting. Because it’s exhausting. It’s draining feeling so bad all the time, and sometimes you just give up.
I am lucky that I didn’t cause any greater health problems. But the depression isn’t happy. Using the black dog analogy – the dog is growling menacingly. Once you’ve broken the ice and pushed things further than you ever thought you would, it becomes a challenge… to push self-destruction one step further each time. But I need to get back in the game, start fighting again and bring the dog to heel. The real challenge is not how close I can get to death, but how far away from it I can get.