Reader’s letter – Let me introduce you to my oldest ‘friend’: Depression

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Dear sir;- I’d like to talk to you about my oldest friend. A friend I have known for over 50 years. Looking back at my early teens this potential new friend had been popping in and out of my life for a few years before I really noticed their presence.

The name of my friend is Depression. Depression’s mission statement includes the line “to destabilise and potentially destroy life”.

I often wonder what I would be if I’d never met my friend. Would my glass have been half full instead of there been no glass at all?

There are times where I was described as highly functioning. Imagine if my friend had never chosen me, I would have been sailing through the stratosphere.

I’ve been asked why have I worked as a toilet cleaner? Having discussed this with my friend, I think one of the reasons could be because I did not have to think to complete the task. Seems a simple explanation, it’s not the real reason. The real reason is hidden deep down inside my psyche, my faulty failing psyche. The reason is multi-faceted anger, shame, embarrassment, unloved and invisible.

All the straws piled on the camel’s back. There were, and still are times when my my camel could carry all my straws and still move forward. Sometimes though one more straw broke my camel’s back. Depending where the break occurs on my camel’s back results in the severity of my incapacity.

Am I struggling with parts of my life? Or, am I completely comatosed?

People throw around the words depression and depressed like comments about the weather. Are these people simply choosing not to put any effort into their lives ?
People who are truly depressed really have no choice in how they live. They’re bio-mechanical with no emotional needs.

All the old cliches ‘pull yourself together’ and ‘pull your socks up’ are ineffective. Drugs and therapy sometimes work, but sometimes they don’t.

The only constant in my life is: My Friend.

If you or anyone you know suffers with depression there is help available.
MIND is a charity offering help.

Check out their website here.

It includes information about depression, its symptoms and possible causes. It also tells you how you can access treatment and support.

  • A West Leeds resident

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