Depression, a view from the inside.

Poor Robin Williams. A long-term solution for a short-term problem. That’s what they say, isn’t it? ‘They’ being people who’ve probably never had to live with depression.

I’ll come straight out with it. I’ve struggled with depression all my adult life. And anxiety. And life. For people with a brain chemistry like mine, the whole bloody business of just being alive is dangerous and difficult.

I’ll tell you even more. I’m currently in the middle of the worst depression I’ve ever had. It’s been rumbling on for the last couple of years and it’s become almost unbearable. This bout has been triggered by a series of events so bizarre and extraordinary, you probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you. Which I’m not going to do, as everything I say these days ends up in the Daily Mail and this stuff is far too important to me to be treated like just another piece of crap Z-list celebrity gossip.  Let’s just say I’ve hit several brick walls at once, and I’ve tried everything, and nothing works.

Today, my twitter and facebook timelines are full of lovely caring people saying things like ‘reach out if you’re down’ and ‘what a loss’. Wonderful sentiments, I’d say the same sort of things if I thought they would help.

Let me explain, as best I can through my foggy brain, what having depression feels like. For me, anyway.

I wake up very early every morning with a split second of OKness, followed immediately by a sledge hammer blow of despair to the solar plexus. If my anxiety is up, I feel what I call The Eagle of Fear flapping at the end of my bed, saying “I’m coming to get you” over and over again. I’m terrified. Sometimes I’m already crying. I don’t feel like I’ve been to sleep at all. My body feels like it’s made of lead.

The horror of having to do a whole day again comes crashing in and I turn over and try to go back to sleep. It never works, because my mind is shouting at me. “There’s no point! You’re useless! There’s nothing out there for you! Give up, shut up, you were never of any value! You can’t do anything right!” Or sometimes it just whispers, a non-stop round of shaming statements “nobody cares, nobody really loves you, you’re unlovable, who gives a fuck, shut up, you’re crap, you’ll never manage, you’re pointless, nobody cares, nobody ever will, nobody is bothered, shut up, nobody cares” etc. All day.

Trying to actually achieve anything becomes harder and harder. I’ve given up trying to raise the funds for college in October, as I can’t get a job that will help me repay the loan. This is the second year in a row, and I really want to retrain as a therapist. I did a week’s TV work recently because I desperately needed the money. I managed to ‘act’ my way through, I was quite convincing, but I couldn’t leave the house for four days afterwards. I can do some things, like drive, as long as the Sat Nav tells me where to go as I can’t seem to remember any routes. I spend my days either walking around outside, looking at people living their lives, wondering how they do it; or inside, on facebook then twitter then facebook, obsessively, wondering if I’ll ever have a life again. I can’t imagine how anyone gets anything together like a holiday or a fancy dress outfit or even a family lunch. It’s like I’m looking at the world from behind a window, but I don’t want to knock on it in case everyone turns round and looks at me.

I’m already finding writing this really hard work, and am tempted to stop and delete. But I won’t. I can’t. I mustn’t give up. I’m trying not to think about what you’ll think of me; but actually, to be honest, I’m beyond caring.

My depression is such that I want to die, but I don’t want to kill myself. There’s a difference. The feelings are so overwhelming and painful and huge that I know it would be so much easier to put myself out, then I don’t have to feel them any more.

But I have two children, who I love, very much, who need me to be here. Even in this state. I’ve seen the pain caused by those poor tortured souls who can’t take any more and leave for ever, and I’m not prepared to do that to my children or my family or my friends. For me, and I’m only speaking for myself, that would be a very selfish thing to do. So I just have to go through the pain, not round it or under it, just through it and I will come out the other side eventually. It’s better that just one person is suffering, rather than more. And anyway, when I’m good, I’m great. If I have to feel like the walking dead for the time being, then so be it.

I know I’ll get better because I’ve done it before, although this one feels like the worst ever but it probably isn’t, and because everybody tells me it won’t last for ever. It feels like it will though. That’s what depression is, an illness that makes you think its lies are the truth. An illness that wants to get you on your own. An illness that hates you. And it’s living inside your head, it feels like there’s no escape. An illness of feelings.

Which is why, dear caring lovely people, it’s impossible for those of us with depression to reach out to you, we’re stuck in our prison. We can’t ask for help. We don’t think we’re worth it, we can’t bear the thought of more rejection, we don’t want to rely on anyone because that’s just too painful. It feels like we’re stuck down a well and your ropes and ladders just aren’t going to be long enough. And if you ask us, we’re going to deny being depressed because we don’t want the attention, we just want to be left alone.

So, how can you tell if someone has depression? By looking very carefully. (It’s a bit like elderly neighbours in the winter, you have to look out for them, they don’t come knocking on your door asking for a blanket.) Our eyes are a dead giveaway. Literally. We are dead behind the eyes. We’re probably not in great physical shape, dirty hair, stained clothes, too thin or too fat. Or we’re ‘busier’ than usual, we’re on the run, we know what’s coming and we’re trying to get away from it. If we don’t balance our negative statements with as many positive ones, then there’s probably something up. We’re not good at returning phone calls, opening letters, dealing with emails and admin etc. We say ‘no’ more than we say ‘yes’. Actually, we hardly ever say ‘yes’.

I believe the days of “pull yourself together” are over, thankfully, and most people know that depression is a mental illness and not just a case of someone being a bit fed up. But it must be very difficult for you to watch your loved ones drowning slowly in what looks like a sea of self-pity, so what can you do to help us?

Of course, there are the well-known solutions to managing depression. Anti-depressants are brilliant, they provide a patch of blue sky in an otherwise clouded world, but it may take a while to find the right one. Therapy is great, as long as we’re ready. Eating is fantastic, but not always easy. Exercise is really good for us, but it’s hard to get the oompf together to get out of the house. Sleep is vital, but good luck with that. Here are some other things that might help:

Firstly, don’t try and cheer us up. We can’t be jollied out of this, it feels terminal and as Robin Williams has shown us today, it can be.

And please don’t expect us to tell you all about it. We can’t. It’s too big.

Your solutions aren’t helpful. Ask us what we want to do about it instead; it’s our illness, we know how it feels and we might not be ready to move yet. Hopefully we will one day, when we’re ready, but not right now.

Be consistent and reliable. If you say you’re going to call, then call. Don’t change the plan at the last minute. Please don’t let us down, even in a tiny way.  Even if we don’t show it, we are grateful for your ability to be a constant in an ever-changing world.

Keep reassuring us that this won’t last for ever. We think it will. But we hear you.

Accept us as we are today. We’re not lazy, we’re unwell. It’s like a broken leg of the mind, it takes a while to heal. Don’t try to hurry us up.

Don’t be upset if we refuse your help. Keep offering it. One day we’ll say yes.

Walking’s good. Dogs are good. Walking dogs is great. But a day out at the zoo is too much.

Text us every morning, just to say hello. We won’t reply, but we’ll know you’re there.

Hold our hand. Give us a hug and don’t break away until we do. You may not be able to reach our minds but our bodies will register your care.

Don’t ask anything of us. We have nothing to give. You’ll be the first to know when we have. We can’t deal with stress, or pressure, or any of their more insidious relations like time-keeping and good manners. We are too busy trying to stay alive.

I agree, Robin Williams’ death is a great loss. But it was a bigger loss to him. He lost his self, his soul and his future. Why would he want to carry on?

If you’re depressed right now, then let’s remember that we only have to do today, that’s all. Nothing more. We can do just a day, can’t we? And don’t forget, we haven’t always been like this. The good days will come back. We’ve just go to do as much as we can, when we can.

When I’m better, I’ll write again and let you know what helped.
See you on the other side.  Shazbat.

xxx

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74 Comments on “Depression, a view from the inside.”

  1. I’m in a reasonably good place but know that could change any minute. In my own case its circumstances mostly not of my own making. Its health issues, its income issues, its being mainly alone now, those who meant something to me no longer around. Yes, accepting getting older too which we all know the path is leading to.

    I can relate to so much in your post. Having witnessed it in others and bouts in the past myself. As you say caused by reasons not excuses but like you…”You get on with it” People out there might see the signs but more often than not would not. I have had people tell me what a sunny disposition I have and I probably look fine, you may even go to some event(on a good day)but you still have to come back home, turn the key and enter an empty house.

    None of us know what troubles those we mix with in our daily lives are going through, have experienced or will in the future.

    Sometimes it can be that there is too much time to think about things too deeply. But if you are sensitive that’s your nature and yet in many ways I am strong and surprise myself.

    I also know the line many throw out who have never experienced depression that you should pull yourself together, that you have so much to be thankful for. It doesn’t work that way. I also can understand the wanting to sleep, if you can, you avoid the feelings you experience when awake. It is true when you wake all seems well for a few seconds but then it returns. I also understand the pacing yourself where you do something then perhaps go for days and stay isolated.

    And that sometimes it a chemical imbalance.

    Thank you for such an honest post. Take Care, Hope you find the good days again and soon…xx

  2. beautiful and eloquent annabel – i too am am a long term sufferer of depression in the form of dysthymia and GAD; i have been a friend of yours on twitter for many years; please dm me, i’ll be happy to try and support you – best regards, phil x

  3. @philipjcooper78 says:

    Ive suffered periods of depression since I was 13. I understand how you’re feeling. It seems unfair on you and those around you. I don’t always feel down, but I struggle to motivate myself. One part of my brain wants to get going, but another part is stopping it and I frustrate myself. My mind gets cluttered and I dont concentrate as well as I would like! I have friends and family who I just cant pick up the phone to! They probably think I avoid them on purpose!
    I seek approval from people all the time due to low self esteem!

    I’m sorry to hear of your struggles, Annabel! I dont know you personally but you are an extremely attractive lady! I’m sure you really are a great person too, but you don’t realise it! If I can ever be of assistance please let me know!

    Best Wishes
    Philip

  4. Never forget – depression lies

  5. Maggie says:

    Thinking of you hope tomorrow is a better day x

  6. Cathy says:

    Yes to everything you’ve said. Good luck for all of us who live with this x

  7. Rob says:

    Wow, a very thought provoking posting, you project such confidence in front of the camera. Bravo to you for such a candid and open piece. I applaud you in your daily struggles and hope that each day may get a little better. So much to live for. X

  8. Yep. All of that. Right down to the sledgehammer to the solar plexus.

    It will pass. Keep stomping down those brain weasels. They won’t win.

  9. emma p says:

    Your words and day to day life remind me so much of myself annàbel. My family could never understand my depression amd still cant ive heard comments of shes ok in small doses, good with children and dont want her moving near us in europe her and her problems will be right on our door. I hide my condition well but now thankfully hve found medication tht keeps me on an even keel. I find if I am comedic and outgoing once I leave the house especially at work or with family help. However I am lonely and becoming a recluse because I find life difficult with this illness. Hopefully mental health will now be at the forefront of the media and it will no longer be a stigma. Ànnabel I wish you well I worked in entertainment at the top as publicist, etc it was a way of getting away from depression becoming a persona I so wanted to be reàlly. You can get grants and help for retraining talk to mind charity they may put you in the right direction. I tried to take the easy way out yrs ago but it didnt work each time. As you say think of your children. Good luck from a fellow sufferer.

  10. Reblogged this on Britain: On the Slippery Slope and commented:
    Will the next moron who thinks sadness and depression are the same please read this

  11. Sharon says:

    I have just read this and you have me in tears, I can relate to this so much as can millions of others. Also fighting the battles of depression and GAD and lost a parent to suicide, the pain never leaves.
    Thank you for sharing your story. Xxx

  12. Jo says:

    I share your experience and the daily battle. Much love & please feel my hand in yours xxx

  13. nigelridpath says:

    I don’t have depression. And, as so many people with depression point out to me, I can’t empathise. But I can sympathise. And your post has REALLY helped me understand. Thank you and best wishes. x

  14. Kathy says:

    Every word you typed resonates with me. I know it doesn’t matter, because you may feel (as I often do) that there’s you, and then there’s the rest of the world, but there are others out there like you. We can’t make it better and won’t try. But we know how it feels. xoxooxox

  15. Holly says:

    Thank you for writing this. It’s a credit it to your underlying strength that you were able to and that strength will get you through this. It takes real grit to get through this black, many people are lucky enough not to know what a warrior you are. You have stared into the great black and the great black stared back. But you do not just fight for yourself when you battle those bleak mornings. You fight for all those who would suffer as you do if you didn’t fight. Fear is the mind killer, but it can not consume all of you, even though it feels as if it might. And when it’s gone, only you will remain. You will feel tired and drained, numb. But you fight oblivion. Keep battling and remember that you are not alone in this fight.

  16. David says:

    Thank you for sharing your valued thoughts. I have shared so many of the feelings you talk about, periodically, throughout my life. I am for the moment in the sun. It has come back each time when I truly stopped believing it would. During my last period of despair the one thing that helped me was to make a promise to myself to give it a year to see if I would feel better. I had nothing to lose by it. I felt I owed that to myself and to others. It gave me the space and permission to feel low and the time to just wait, see and hope. It helped take away some of the anxiety that consumed me that I could do harm to myself. It took longer than a year to feel better but I am now so grateful for the gift of a year I gave myself. My best wishes for you.

  17. Ian J Pyke says:

    Thought provoking, inspiring and sad at the same time. Very brave of you to write this. Keep on fighting.

  18. Wendy says:

    Hello Annabel x

  19. Miranda Rowlands says:

    Dear Annabel

    Thank you for sharing such an open, personal account. I found it very moving to read.

    We met once, at a charity gala dinner for Ronald McDonald House Charities. I was giving a speech about how the charity helped my family when our baby daughter was critically ill in hospital.

    Since that time I have also suffered from periods of depression. I’ve just emerged from a particularly bleak spell. I totally agree, there have been many times when I’ve wanted to die, but not wanted to kill myself. I’ve often longed to go to sleep and not wake up again. It’s a hideous condition that too many people simply cannot understand, so it’s great when people are able to express how it feels so articulately.

    Recently I’ve found meditation quite helpful. We’re all different, and maybe it’s not for everyone, but if you wanted to give it a try, I’d recommend looking up Headspace online. It’s very down to earth and accessible.

    I will be thinking of you and hoping that life will become more bearable soon.

    Best wishes, M xx

  20. mudjokivis says:

    Thanks for this Annabel, it will be useful to show people that want to know more about the way I sometimes feel. I’m bipolar and doing well at the moment. I can never express myself properly though because when I’m up, I can’t remember what it’s like to feel down, and vice versa. This will help a great deal. Have you seen this article? It’s also a useful part of my armoury http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/200381-the-so-called-psychotically-depressed-person-who-tries-to-kill-herself.

    All the best and I hope you find a better place very soon. xx

  21. Alexander Darley . says:

    I read your post not knowing who you are and your words openness and honesty touched me to such a degree I googled your name and seen your images and recognised you….my word what a brave wonderful human being you are … I feel just that kittle lass alone right at this very moment than I have felt for the whole of my life .. thank you so much XX

  22. Sean says:

    Hi Annabel,

    Like you I am in a really bad place at the moment.

    Sounds awful, but I take some comfort in the fact that I’m not the only person going through this hell at the moment.

    Your openness has allowed me to express some of my own insecurities.

    So much more to say but can’t find the words at the moment.

    Wish you all the best and hope you beat this horrible illness.

    Sean xxx

  23. Allison says:

    Thank you for putting into words how I feel.

    One step at a time…

  24. Stuart McGuinness says:

    Good insight, though I think I knew this. Most don’t or don’t want to. My empathy comes from the documentary The Bridge. All I can offer the people I encounter on their black days is understanding and intervention as wanted. I do not condemn or stigmatise the exit choice. Extraordinary bad shit has come my way but I know from my responses that I am wounded, not depressed. You should simply accept the illness and treat it and its symptoms accordingly, This means chemical help, nursing, concern of friends and family. If that is not of help or not sustained, feel no guilt. Sentience alone allows that you may act, fight or not.

  25. artbycoleen says:

    I’m trying to find the right words to say. We all wear masks at times afraid to reveal ourself; think it’s part of our makeup of keeping ourself save. It’s hard to wear a fake smile when you feel like your dying inside. Life is as hard as you make it and for some unbeknown reasons it can be difficult. Life is about working your way up a ladder taking easy step as you can.
    People can help us stay afloat try and use people as steps stones to help you take steps to moving on x

  26. […] depression-a-view-from-the-inside […]

  27. Alex says:

    A true inspiration – spoken from the heart. You describe depression like I’ve never heard it described before. My love and thoughts go out to you xXx

  28. Spot on! Thanks for sharing.

  29. Mark Powlett says:

    It’s very courageous of you to write like this when you know that it will most likely be picked up by a tabloid and quoted out of context. As a clinical hypnotherapist I know that I can only help someone when they are read and when the time is right for them. This is something that perhaps even therapists do not always get right. You know that when you are ready to ask for help and when it feel right for you then you will. Those who support you will continue to do so and I hope that being able to put down some of your thoughts and feelings helps you a little. Even if that split second of feeling better in the morning last for even a split second more as you read the support then it is a start. Take care. Mark

  30. C_D_Parker says:

    Dear Annabel,
    As an ex-fellow sufferer empathy comes easy. As someone damaged by expert advice and medication, I am reluctant to proffer it – especially as a lay person. All I can do is inform about what helped me – and I have been symptom-free for over 8 years – in the hope it will also transform your life. I take a dietary supplement containing, among other things, vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid. These are the prerequisites for the synthesis of the main supplement 5-HTP. I further take an Omega 3-6-9 supplement to round things off. If you decide to take 5-HTP, please gradually build up the dose from an initial 50 mg. Do not take it together with antidepressants. Do not suddenly stop taking any antidepressants. A patient must be gradually weaned off them. Also, do not take it if you wish to have children since there are not enough studies into teratogenicity to safely exclude damage. I hope the above is of some use in spite of the caveats. Wishing you well, Clive

  31. Kate Rushton says:

    This is the part that jumped out at me:-

    Which is why, dear caring lovely people, it’s impossible for those of us with depression to reach out to you, we’re stuck in our prison. We can’t ask for help. We don’t think we’re worth it, we can’t bear the thought of more rejection, we don’t want to rely on anyone because that’s just too painful. It feels like we’re stuck down a well and your ropes and ladders just aren’t going to be long enough. And if you ask us, we’re going to deny being depressed because we don’t want the attention, we just want to be left alone.

    So true.

  32. Jan Davies says:

    ((((Hug))))

  33. David Fraser says:

    Hello. I hope writing this piece was therapeutic. One day at a time. Be kind to yourself.

  34. You have summed up so much of how I feel. Thank you.

  35. alirose39 says:

    Thank you for being so honest. I can relate to everything you said having been there myself and you know what, it does and it will get better. I believe that unless you have experienced it you can never know or understand depression in the same way you never know what it means to be a parent until you are one. That’s why your post is so important. Its honest and its so many peoples experience though I know to well it always feels like you are the only one who can’t ‘get it together ‘. You’re not, that’s another lie. Thank you for being brave enough to share this.

  36. Tony says:

    Thank you annabel, everything you wrote meant something but one particular passage struck a chord with me, the bit about waking up feeling ok then the hammer blow, I wake up and I don’t want to get up but don’t want to stay there. So I put on my mask and face the day. But all the time I just want to disappear it’s soul destroying experience. My good days are good but to far apart don’t like drugs and how they make me feel. So I just keep breathing and moving that’s all I can do. That’s all any of us can do I think.

  37. Well said. Thank you.
    And well done for fighting on despite it all. You can do today, and so can I, and we’ll get through it.

  38. Wow Annabel!!!!!

    It never fails to surprise me when I hear about someone in the public arena who courageously decides to speak out about their fight with depression.
    I can relate with so much that you’ve written. Depression didn’t hit me until 7 years into my police career in my early 30’s. The dreaded Big D eventually cost me my marriage & my career.
    I go through months on end whereby each day is a momentous struggle. I applaud you for deciding to share your illness. I hope it makes you stronger & determined to get to where you want to be.
    You are a gorgeous, funny & intelligent lady & are always such great value when you appear on our tv screens.
    It is weird how the brain works. I lie in bed awake most nights hoping to contract a terminal disease so that I can be put out of my misery. I too have two children & they are the only reason I’m still on this planet. But I often think they’d be better off without me as their mother has re-married & they have a strong family unit. I watched my father die of cancer so why I dream of ending up like that who knows? But my brain thinks, “well at least people couldn’t call you selfish for ending your life”.
    Anyway enough about me. I just wanted to say a massive thank you for taking the time to share some of your story. I’m sure you’ve helped people just by posting this.
    Sending lots of love & hugs your way

    Ray

    P.S I’m still looking after your jungle hat!

  39. Lindy Jane Boyde-Miller says:

    I read your blog about depression and I absolutely identified with most of it. I get the bit about not opening letters, keeping appointments, paying bills. I used to have a support worker, a lovely young woman who did all that for me. What a relief! Sometimes those little, every day things are the ones that crush you. Reaching out and asking people to stay with you, keep on texting – yes, but people only consider being knocked back if you’ve explained. Explaining isn’t possible when you’re deep in the depression. Your blog is amazing, considering you’re in with the black beast, you ARE reaching out. What helps? For me, recognising the signs early. Getting out every day, to go anywhere – it means I have to wash, dress, put on make-up, do my hair. So getting out and facing the sunlight is a must. And when you can’t do that, just go to bed, tuck up, let your body rest because your mind is saying ” you need a break”. The main thing is to make friends with the depressed you – own how you feel and make NO apologies.

  40. Roberto says:

    You’ve touched on something very important here, “don’t let us down” a lot of depression stems from insecurity, maybe through upbringing maybe through being let down a lot as a child. Scott Peck’s book “The Road Less Traveled” was a real eye opener for me, and if you haven’t already, please do read it!

    I wrote a post on our blog on some of things that helped me understand my own illness.. http://viaggiobybike.co.uk/understanding-preventing-depression/ I think it’s a lot more scientific than we think. I wish you all the strength and courage to overcome your illness.

  41. Graham says:

    Annabel, you’re like a star, beautiful and twinkly on the outside from afar but full of upheaval and chaos on the inside. Thanks for taking the time to express how you feel, it reminds others that it’s ‘not just me’. Hope you find a signpost soon!

  42. One Busy Man says:

    Reblogged this on The Life of One Busy Man! and commented:
    This is all very familiar and I think I’m in a similar place right now. Annabel captures it more eloquently than I can at the moment though.

  43. […] getting longer, with poignant disclosures from people named Elizabeth Hawksworth, Ginny McQueen, Annabel Giles, Sarah Bessey, and, at Slate, Molly Pohlig, who articulated the threat of the Williams news very […]

  44. Author says:

    Thanks for this Annabel. It’s great to hear your experience. I think so many of us can empathise with you and pain you are feeling. You sound like a fighter, even when you feel you can’t go on, you do. I know how tiring that can be and I’m rooting for you.

    Nick

  45. Sarah Ireson says:

    Wonderful piece.. If you can write this powerfully with depression then you must be a fireball of talent without it!
    I’m trying MBCT London meditation do courses … Might wanna google it when you’re ready 😊
    Keep up the good fight
    Thanks for writing
    Xx

  46. Well written. In my experience, a highly accurate portrayal. It helps to know you’re not alone.

  47. Louise Darling says:

    Thank you for this – I have tried to explain to my family why I seem to cut myself off when I am at my worst, but struggle to articulate how I feel. I think you have managed what I cannot and I am so grateful.

  48. Emma Archer says:

    Thank you Annabel. Thank you x

  49. Peri says:

    Very insightful. Your wake up is so familiar…are you sure you’re not a fly on my wall. Seriously though I truly hope you find your path soon and recovery follows. Before I found my way I swear I wore a channel into the under cliff between Ovingdean and Saltdean I walked it so often trying to shut down the nagging of my own mind. I feel lucky to be climbing out of my own personal pit of despair now, even if some of the rungs are a bit dodgy. It is a slow journey but I hope the fact that after so long I found a way, that it means it is possible for others too.
    Will keep you in my thoughts. Xx

  50. Charlotte says:

    I mostly feel depressed, like I can’t face the day ahead of me, my mum is a very ill woman and me and my younger sister have been young carers for her most our lives, I’m very worried for my mums health but also for mine, I suffer from high blood pressure I’m also anaemic, I have this thing where I feel alone but I’m surrounded by a pile of people. During this time when I feel alone I will either browse Facebook(mostly) and Twitter for someone to talk to and maybe listen to me if I’m feeling down xx

    Annabel you’re a true inspiration to me! You are a beautiful talented woman!

    Always here if you need to talk! X💋

  51. Ms Fem says:

    Without being condescending that’s such a brave open article to write. I find writing helps for me although our pain is different. Thanks for sharing x

  52. OK Annabel just realised you’re from Pontypool less than 22 miles from me – that’s it I’m a proper signed up fan and friend from now on (actually always been a fan) ; )

    Looking forward to you future tweets and blog – let’s get you out the other side of this as soon as possible lovely lass….

    AndyL

  53. Carol Sayers ( was Palmer) says:

    Hi Annabel, powerful and insightful. I had no idea you suffered so, see what an actress you are. Keep battling on, and I hope you come out the other side, very soon. With love Carol x

  54. Abby McGrory says:

    Thank you so much for this. My mum sent me the link and I wasn’t sure I was going to read it as it seemed quite long (and my concentration is really not what it used to be) but I decided to give it a go. I’ve never read something that summed up my life so well. I suppose, when you have this illness, you feel like no one else will ever understand, even people who have it too. I have depression and anxiety as well. This year, I basically dropped out of life and stayed in the house as much as possible. Dealing with concerned family/friends is really exhausting, and the fact that my mum has read your (incredibly helpful) tips will hopefully help somewhat. Thank you, again, for reminding me that I’m not alone and it doesn’t have to be the end just because it really feels like it is. I hope that it gets a little easier to survive the bad days and that your good days more than make up for them xx

  55. […] And of course, please do go read Annabel’s blog post because it’s much better than mine because I’m honestly not sure what I’m writing; it’s just a rambling mess: Depression, a view from the inside. […]

  56. Joe Hester says:

    If I do not take 200mg of zoloft daily I return to the nightmare. I have been there, done that, and got the Tee-Shirt. The thing I have found most appalling, is that generic Zoloft works the opposite for me as the original Zoloft. I was fighting a losing battle with the insurance companies. They DO NOT recognize the difference between the two medicines. Oh, except for the price. My Doctor finally believed me about the different reaction to the generic. When I was forced to stop work and apply for SS disability, due to severe COPD, & Parkinson’s disease, I was uninsured for forty-eight months. I was blessed with help from the doctor’s office, Receiving free medicine, After getting the original Zoloft for a couple of months, I was cut off of it because there was a generic available I owed the doctors office $75.00 and was refused more charging. I went Three Weeks without the original Zoloft and was in a terrible state of depression. I spilled my sad story on the internet and an old friend had some 50 mg generic zoloft that were the color of the original Zoloft. The blue 50 mg generic zoloft was the answer to my problem. I wanted to share this with others in case their generic zoloft give them the opposite effect. (Joe.)

  57. Emma says:

    Annabel, your writing on depression is very insightful and has really struck a chord with me, so much so that I made my husband read it and will ask my
    Mum and sisters to tomorrow as well.

    I suffer from severe depression and an anxiety disorder and I recognise everything you said about both.

    I am also seeking to retrain into psychotherapy. I hope you don’t give up. You are intelligent and articulate and once you have done the college based part of your training, I really think you would get enough “client hours” to then progress to a job.

    Reaching out often sounds meaningless to us with depression but I’m glad I read your piece as for me it felt like reaching out and finding a hand to grab on to.

    Thank you
    Emma

  58. melroselass says:

    Reblogged this on Mental health on my mind and commented:
    This.

  59. Yup. Been somewhere very similar. It’s shit. It will pass. I know, that doesn’t help much… but it’s true. Keep going.

  60. Ali says:

    This is a wonderfully well written article, which makes a lot of sense. Thank you so much for writing it.

  61. Cat Parsons says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience in such an honest and fresh way. The more we all talk about mental health the less the stigma will become.

  62. sarah says:

    I hear you. I have friends who suffer with depression of different types and it’s crippling for them. I’m understanding it better now after years of finding it baffling. It’s the enemy within. Best wishes. Nanu Nanu.

  63. Tim says:

    Thank you for sharing. Xxxx

  64. AdieAllen says:

    .Creative mind radio is run by the Mind charity in Swindon. We raise awareness about mental health and wellbeing ,play local bands, tell jokes, talk jibberish and have fun…I co-ordinate the project . I also suffer from depression and yours is the best account of living with this bloody condition that I have ever read. Massive thumbs up.

  65. AdieAllen says:

    .Creative mind radio is run by the Mind charity in Swindon. We raise awareness about mental health and wellbeing ,play local bands, tell jokes, talk jibberish and have fun…I co-ordinate the project . I also suffer from depression and yours is the best account of living with this condition that I have ever read. Massive thumbs up.

  66. […] powerfully moving and contemporary account of depression’s impact, I would urge anyone to read this post from the blog of TV presenter Annabel […]

  67. moira says:

    I relate to all this. Foggy brain. Just trying to get myself organised and be on time but still the last mother at school some days. A thank you note weeks after I got their card. Lol Single mum, no encouragement just difficulties. No nice supportive extended family. Nervousness about being sanctioned as I get my appts muddled up.That added pressure and strain. Yes even when written down on calendar I’ve got muddled up thinking we are in a different week, as dark days confuse me. Sleepless nights. Going round and round the mistakes and bad judgments I’ve made. Tortured really but trying to make my kids lives as Happy as I can. They are happy. That fancy dress costume. I couldn’t even imagine a costume let alone make it.

  68. Dominic says:

    Dear Annabel,
    Your blog has touched me and given me a hope that hasn’t existed for some time.
    Thank you for sharing and for being so honest.
    Bless you. X

  69. David Ozanne says:

    Hi Annabel,
    I just read your last entry in the blog. Thanks for putting into such clear and honest words a summary of something which is very difficult to summarise. Especially when you were not feeling so good. Just one thing: you said you would write something when you were feeling better. Are you still not feeling that great, or are you feeling so much better that you have other things to do.
    Just interested.
    David

  70. Harv says:

    Don’t think I commented on this at the time but I think I must have read it about 50 times over the last few months. I’m astonished and slightly awestruck at the honesty with which you write. I’ve experienced pretty much everything you describe here, wanting to die but not wanting to kill myself is an emotion I experience pretty much every day. Thanks for taking the time to write this. I’ve just started my own blog and I hope I can bring this kind of honesty and openness to my writing.

  71. It’s really useful for me.I was quite glad to find this web site on google.I wished to say numerous because of you with regard to this brilliant put up! I certainly liked every little bit of it and I’ve you bookmarked to look into new things you post.

  72. Nikki Bywater says:

    Thank you so much for writing and sharing your feelings. This also helps people who know someone who has depression to have a better understanding how to help.


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