Depression or “the black dog” is a very common and misunderstood invisible illness. Sometimes I feel like along with PND it is a slap on label, “happy” pills dished out and not looked into further. That is why I believe depression is a misunderstood illness because people brush it off and roll their eyes and those truly suffering with depression never find a level footing in their possible downward spiral.
I currently am not in my mind depressed and have had many stern words with professionals about my feelings on this. I have low mood which is directly affected by my environment, situations I am in and those around me. To me depression is more long term than feeling low because of an argument etc When I was in my early teens and coming to terms with how sick I really was, frequent hospital admissions, missing school and my friends I definitely felt depressed and I have never felt anything like it since; for me it was unbelievable I felt so betrayed by my own body before I even knew what it was like to live and know me as a person not just “Stephie the patient”.
The post natal depression felt somewhat similar and I instantly went to the GP’s to seek help because having a tiny baby dependent on you and your mental health being downright squiffy is not a good combination. But I felt like I had more help as a new mum then when I did as a teen; this maybe because back in the early 2000’s there was a fair bit of stigma to a child having to see a shrink (or at least in my school there was, let’s face it someone always finds out what you don’t want them to know)
I do feel like people with depression need to be heard so Doctors and other professionals can see that not everyone that suffers low mood is depressed. I have now been given a diagnosis or a preliminary one at least and it certainly wasn’t depression but I had to fight to get my voice heard rather than be caged up with the black dog. Please if you feel depressed or think you maybe have something different seek further help with a professional.
If you missed last weeks instalment on Body Dysmorphia please click on the link.