Counting down the hours to bed. That summarises my depression. In hindsight I have had symptoms of depression for probably a decade, I just didn’t realise it had a name through school. I knew something wasn’t right, I just could not put my finger on it. I had not experienced a traumatic life event and I was only a teenager, so I couldn’t be depressed. The only knowledge I had of depression was a family member, but they were expected to be depressed, they had fought in a war (it would now be diagnosed as PTSD). Of course, now I realise that is not what depression is. But at the time I was going through puberty, hormones were flying around and everyone had low times.

When I was at school, I usually just felt numb. I was starting to experience morbid thoughts and imagining terrible things happening to others. I realise now that it was because if these events were true, it would be a reason for how I was feeling. It would be accepted. But then I did not know it was a sign of mental illness, I just thought it was weird. Who imagines these things? I certainly did not want them to happen in reality. I think I began experiencing suicidal thoughts too, again I did not realise this and they were not detailed, I assume it was just a way too stop these confusing times. Depression was paired with self-harm and the two were a vicious circle.

It was only as I was in College that the idea of depression and anxiety occurred. On reflection, I was probably exhibiting signs of BPD.

Nowadays, depression manifests itself in various ways. I am just low, I accept that and take medication to try and adjust the chemical imbalance. I experience suicidal thoughts and have to work out if it is just the situation I am trying to get away from, not life. I have low self-esteem and confidence and these can manifest by my high defensiveness. I get extremely tired, potentially just because functioning is hard work. Depression can impact on my eating and sleeping habits. Currently I am eating well, but sometimes I just don’t feel like it. My sleeping is managed by medication, otherwise I will not sleep and this leads to a vicious circle. My self-harm is potentially linked, but I feel that this is a stand alone issue.

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