Madhu Kalyan By Madhu Kalyan, 10th Dec 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>General Fiction

Depression isn't waking up one day and feeling like your world is going to end. It’s waking up most days and feeling the world collapse in. Slowly suffocating you in your own sadness until you can do little more than lie in your bed and wallow in your own self-pity.


Depression isn’t waking up one day and feeling like your world is going to end. It’s waking up most days and feeling the world collapse in. Slowly suffocating you in your own sadness until you can do little more than lie in your bed and wallow in your own self-pity.
Some people don’t get as far as the wallowing, and some people stay there forever. I’m trying to break free but it’s not as easy as it seems.

When you’re down, everyone says to you “Have you seen a doctor?” “Have you tried anti-depressants?”
I wonder if those people ever tried working their way through the system. Being passed from person to person like a mess nobody wants to deal with. That’s how I feel. I‘ve seen 6 people, so far who claim that they can help me, and the people increase every week.
They claim that the medication will work, that I should have counseling, that I should try to “See the light at the end of the tunnel”. If you’ve ever been down, it’s the last thing you want to hear. Did anyone ever tell a mother grieving for her lost child that it would be okay? Or tell a 75 year old widow that she needed to be patient to feel better?

I’ll start from the beginning and try to make myself comprehendible. I was born in 1985, to my parents who lived in the English countryside. I guess our house was okay, and in 1987 I got a baby sister. Unfortunately my father decided he would much rather run off with my mother’s good friend than stay with his kids. So around 1990 they divorced, my dad got remarried and we moved to a new village, away from everything I ever knew and straight into the wilderness that is starting a new school.
Starting a new school is one of the most terrifying things for a young child, because it changes everything you thought was normal. You were safe with your friends and you knew your teacher but then it changes. You have a teacher who seems so different, its wrong and the kids around you think you’re “weird” because you’re “the new kid”.

In time my mother got remarried, but that never worked out, and over the course of their 9 year marriage I lost 2 grandparents, my stepfather mother and my mother’s baby (the baby died before it was born). As you can imagine things like this have a negative effect on the way you view the world.

By the age of 13 I was having regular thoughts of suicide, my school marks were dropping and I became distant. Nobody noticed enough to help me, or maybe they just didn’t know how or couldn’t be bothered. I’ll never know.

By the time I left high school I had managed to boost my grades to something reasonable but maybe I could have done better. I had also learned how to hide my feelings, so no-one knew what I was feeling, that I thought my world was collapsing around me.

That summer I left high school, out of the insanity. My passion for suicide faded but I felt just as bad inside. I still hid my feelings, kept them secret so no-one would think I was crazy. No-one ever told me it was normal to be sad. I never saw my parents cry, maybe that affected it, some say it was weird, but that was my life. I never saw them cry, I never saw them sad. Even when they lost loved ones and marriages broke up.

Two and a half years later I feel the same inside. The sadness remains but my passion for suicide never returned as a serious thought, just a fantasy of what it may be like, maybe that’s normal, maybe it’s not, I was never sure.

Around 6 months ago I visited my doctor. I couldn't bring myself to admit how I’d been feeling, I’d only just learned to accept it myself, so I wrote him a note explaining what was wrong. He asked me a few questions and sent me to a counselor.

I was already on a low dose anti-depressant by this time as I also suffer with panic attacks, and anti-depressants are known to help.
The first set of pills I was given turned me into a zombie. Citalopram. I swear to God I’ll never take those again. I slept all the time and even awake I felt tired. My headaches got worse (I suffer with stress headaches, so I’m told).

I was still taking Citalopram when I first visited the counselor. She was an older lady, late 40s maybe with old lady hair and plain clothes. I visited her twice.
She asked a lot of questions, tried to get me to discuss things, coming to the conclusion that the way I saw the world was holding me back. She tried to tell me how to live my life, how to make things better. I just felt criticized. After an argument with her about the benefits of counseling I left the room.
I never saw her again.

I returned to visit another doctor who recommended I see a psychologist. That really didn’t boost my ego. But I agreed, hoping it would help me.
Sometime around here I also changed to new tablets, Venlafaxine, hoping they would help some more. They didn’t, headaches, stomach aches, you name it I had the side effects. They also didn't help me feel less down, or help my panic attacks.
I spoke to my doctor who told me I probably had a class effect with anti-depressants and that they would all give me these problems. Nevertheless he recommend I try a different pill, Cipramil, starting on a low dose and progressing up when and if I needed to. I agreed.

A month later, I still haven’t heard from this psychologist and the pills aren’t working. At all.
I go back to my doctor, up goes my medication, and he gives me a letter from the psychologist, sent to the wrong address. Does anyone is this country know how to do anything right? The NHS can’t write a letter, how are they supposed to help ME??

Anyway, I rang the phsycologist and I’m given an appointment for a month and a half later, for a psychotherapy assessment. Well that sounds really fun…

The next month or so went like crazy. I visited the hospital 4 times over the time and visited my doctor a further 2 times. I’m starting to get bored of this.
The first time I ended up at the hospital was when I was having a panic attack I couldn't control and I was a total loss as to what to do because that week my mother was away for work, I was home alone. I took myself down to Accident and Emergency on the bus. The hospital gave me 2mg of diazepam to calm me down and 3 hours after I arrived sent me on my way.

After this I went back to my doctor, because it was pretty obvious my pills weren't working. So I sit down with him and he says he’d like to increase the dosage of my pills to 20mg and asks me if I want to see a psychiatrist as it might help get me into the mental health help system. So he writes me this note and off I go to Accident and Emergency. Again. I waited 2 hours to see the emergency psychiatrist, who agreed my pills should be increased, and has forwarded me onto some other people. Hooray, I’m being passed around again, which is still not doing much for my mental health.

Although she recommended a higher dosage of pills she still didn’t give me a new prescription and it’s only when I go to take my pills the next morning I realize I only have one 10mg pill left. Great. And this happens on Good Friday. The doctors aren’t open, so I take another trip to the hospital were I’m told I need to see the psychiatric doctor again. So I wait for 2 hours, only to be told I don’t need to see the doctor, and they hand me a prescription. For the wrong medication.
I have to explain the problem to a puzzled looking nurse who leaves, and then returns telling me that I had given him a trade name for the pills I’ve been prescribed. I explain to him again. He fixes the prescription. Hooray, even if the help route is going nowhere at least the pills might work??

It’s now about a week till my psychotherapy assessment and I've just returned from a trip to London. Were I had yet another panic attack. On my birthday. I went to the hospital, were I saw yet another doctor who sent me home because after waiting so much time to see the doctor I’d calmed down.
This panic attack had been worse though. I felt really down, I couldn't understand why. All I could think about was screaming and crying and scratching my arms.

I don’t think I've got any better, just because I lost my passion to commit suicide doesn't mean I don’t think about it. Is there really a difference?
A man who thinks about beating his wife a lot, compared to a man who wants to. Is there that much difference. It’s the same feeling.
I have the same feelings. Pain, not physical pain, although it sometimes manifests that way, the pain I’m talking about is inside. The constant worry and panic that any second someone could flick a switch and change my life. I’m okay now, but what about tomorrow. It could be a different story.

And I still don’t stop thinking. When I see a metal fence I think about how easy it would be to throw yourself off a nearby building onto it. When I take an aspirin, I think how easily I could take the whole bottle and drift away…

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author avatar Juvia
11th Dec 2014 (#)

Great Story

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author avatar Raj
11th Dec 2014 (#)


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