I have had a first hand experience of mental illness, in other words depression. I have been the ‘melancholic’ kinds ever since childhood. I was asked to ‘lighten up’ and ‘stop being moody’. The ‘sad’ days would happen in response to an event or because of an unfulfilled expectation. Then, for the next few years, I would feel unhappy at regular intervals. Every few days, I would go off food and feel lethargic and tired.
I don’t think anybody understood what this was all about. Nor did I. I remember a depressive episode from when I was 11 or so. I thought it was in my genes- to feel sad. After a major (by my standards) episode a couple of years ago, I had to take charge. To handle this condition or be consumed myself. With God’s grace, I recovered and have educated myself extensively to manage a relapse. . .
There is a lot of social stigma attached to mental illness. An understanding friend and I share our problems and ‘sadness’ and analyse our situation. Beyond that we do not talk about it openly. We would probably be ostracized if we did.
I may be met with disapproval for saying that it is important to learn to take charge. I know it is near to impossible to be in control but when you are better and in between episodes, try to understand yourself. Each case is unique and it helps if you know yours better. The mental health expert would find it useful.
Try to know your triggers, the duration and the regularity of depressive incidents. Know when an episode is looming. Conduct research on what makes you feel better. Take good care of yourself.
Read more of writenlive’s story. Visit Blogging for Mental Health « Read Write Live.