So, my journey with my mental health has been a struggle that has been going on for 20 years. I was officially diagnosed with depression for the first time in 2006. Eleven years ago. However, looking back, I know I was suffering from depression when I was sixteen and in my last year in school. I didn’t want to be there, my attendance was dire, and I used to have panic attacks and stand on the front doorstep and sob that I didn’t want to go, until my mum let me back in the house.
Slightly mortifying to think about, but that’s just the way it was. I’ve had a patchy employment history in my late teens and early twenties because depression. I didn’t work at all from 2007 until 2014 because of depression. About six or seven years ago, I was diagnosed with chronic depression, in that nothing causes it, it just happens. My brain chemistry doesn’t work. Four years ago, I went to the doctor because my depression was coming back and it was really, really bad. Every time I had a period of depression I was really bad, and every time I was ill, it felt worse and took me longer to recover and I just felt like I wanted off this endless cycle of ups and downs.
So the doctor suggested putting me back on sertaline, an anti-depressant that I had been on before, and suggested just leaving me on it. Which was fine. I’d been on it before and it worked really well with me, but the doctor only wanted me to be on it for a short amount of time. So, the doctor (a different doctor) said that he had no problem leaving me on sertraline long term.
I was on it for four years, and in April of this year, I felt like, even with the anti-depressants my depression was coming back. So, it ended up that I was signed off work for 5 and a half months and that my sertaline dose was increased twice, and that left me feeling the worst I’ve ever felt, and so we came to the conclusion that my anti-depressant had stopped working/was causing major problems so I was slowly, over a period of six weeks, taken off my anti depressant all together. About three weeks into it, when the dose was really low and it was mostly out of my system, I felt really good. After I’d been off my anti depressants totally for about 2 weeks, I went and saw my doctor. I felt amazing, like I hadn’t felt in years. I felt happier, bubblier, no longer had dark thoughts, the whole ten yards, and totally ready and willing to go back to work, no problems.
That was 15 weeks ago tomorrow.
And for the past two to three weeks, I’ve slowly been feeling those old oh so familiar creeping back. I have a stressful job. I work with adults with complex needs and challenging behaviours. So a normal shift can be stressful. And I’m starting to feel like I can’t cope doing my job because its making me super anxious to the point where it makes me physically ill. I need a new job, but I have to give four weeks notice. I also don’t want to leave my job without having another job, I have bills to pay. But at the same time I don’t feel like I can keep going to that job. But if I get signed off by my doctor again, having only been back to work nine weeks……….. that’s going to be a whole shit show that ends up with me getting into major trouble at work. I just…… don’t know what to do. I’m super stressed out and anxious to the point I just want to run away from my life altogether. I am freaking out and totally lost as what is the best thing to do in this situation. The way I feel is that there is no one right answer and I’m going to have to just figure this out, somehow. I don’t know what to do. fuck.