Tuesday, 3 August 2010
I have always been an emotional little soul, I get that from my mother who can cry at the most ridiculous things (love you mum). I remember the first time we watched Beaches together and we were both crying uncontrollably on the sofa. What a pair of idiots. But I am not talking about the feeling of sadness you get when you watch a sad movie or you see an adorable puppy. I am talking about the cold hard grip of reality when life just doesn’t seem worth it anymore.
I believe that most people suffer from some sort of depression or anxiety in their lives. This can come from grief, stress, break down of relationships or any “normal” life experiences we go through. Depression linked to long term illness is somewhat different. When you contemplate a life you didn’t really want or expect to live, it can have devastating consequences on your (here’s that awful word again) mental health. It doesn’t grab you overnight, in my experience, but can be a long downward spiral of a road that eventually takes over you.
I think of the days where I couldn’t get out of bed, feeling like a complete failure and insisting that it was never going to get better and I hate myself for that. Its very difficult to be positive all the time and to be fair not everyone likes miss smiley smiley! I sought help in the end when it got to the point where I couldn’t see the point. It’s a horrible thing when you have to admit to people that you are feeling depressed but the endless panic attacks, sobbing and generally feeling your lying under 10 ton of crap just couldn’t continue if I was ever going to get better.
I received help in the form of counselling and yes, more, medication. I normally would not advise anyone to go down the route of medication for mental health problems but I stuck it out as long as possible and decided it was the only way forward in my situation. Don’t get me wrong, my RA had a massive part to play in my “sad” days but other issues that came as a result of that (loss of job, moving back home, financial crap etc) all add up to a very vicious circle. The fact is your mental health has a massive impact on your physical health and whilst you are feeling down your physical health will not improve. It was only after seeking help to soothe the mind that physically I was on the way up too.
No-one likes to talk about their “feelings” in this day and age, unless its to someone you pay £100 an hour to while you lie on their couch, but my point is that its vital to discuss the effects RA and other long term illnesses may have on your mind. I am incredibly lucky that I no longer feel the grip of sadness and have a more positive outlook on life (not quite miss smiley smiley). Do not feel ashamed or alone in this, it is perfectly normal and with the right help you will soon feel like there is a point to all this again. Ooh I’m getting all emotional now, damn it mother….