Home » Deep Stuff, Journey to Health » Journey to Health II: Depression

Journey to Health II: Depression

 

Thanks friends for all the amazing feedback on my post about fuelling running on a vegan diet! I loved reading your comments and thoughts on it! And just an advance warning: this post is a serious one! So if you want the usual light-hearted daily shenanigans, I won’t mind if you skip this post!

 

Anyway, two weeks ago I posted my first Journey To Health post (about my weight gain and loss) and got so many awesome responses! I was nervous about posting it, but the feedback definitely confirmed that I am doing the right thing by talking about this stuff.

 

Now this post is even harder, because this is something I struggled with alone (excluding help from doctors, etc.), and I have never spoken to anyone I know about this before. However I have wanted to post about this for a long time, and have been battling over whether to do it or not, but I feel now is the right time, because I am passionate that this should not be the almost ‘taboo’ topic that it is today!

depression

 

*Disclaimer*: This is a post detailing my own experiences with depression. I am not qualified to give advice about this.

 

There are SO many misconceptions surrounding depression. It is a REAL illness with real symptoms (it’s to do with hormonal changes in the brain I think…), and it’s not something you can just “snap out of”. When people talk about depression or about feeling depressed, it can mean any number of things, but there is a huge difference between occasionally feeling ‘down’ to having clinical depression. It also can affect anyone of any age, from children to the elderly.

 

So how, why, and when? About two years ago, I became clinically depressed. Honestly, I don’t remember exactly what happened- a lot of my memories from that time are very hazy, which apparently is common with periods of depression. As far as I can remember, there wasn’t an exact  ‘trigger’, simply a build up of things, including low self-esteem, struggling with eating issues, difficulty with family relationships, and the death of a loved one.

These three features definitely were features in my depression. The doctor asked me to write down some stuff in a journal about my feelings, and below are some quotes from it, and the depression symptoms that go with it. (Please note that I was only 15…apparently I couldn’t write in full sentences then! Smile with tongue out)

 

  • Feeling unlovable: “Why would anyone love fat, ugly me? Not even God, who supposedly loves everyone, could love someone like me. I am ugly inside and out.”
  • Feeling worthless: “I am a failure. Academically, musically, and all round.”
  • Relationships: “Momma thinks I’m fat. She said so, and laughed when someone called me slim. She’s right.”
  • Feelings: {This one isn’t really appropriate to share, but basically I felt that life was no longer worth living.}
  • Physical symptoms: “I have no energy. I am so tired and I want to sleep, but I just can’t if that makes any sense…and I am hungry all the time and bingeing.”

 

So why most people didn’t notice I had depression? Well for the most part I tried to keep acting as normal as possible, but a lot of people did realise there was SOMETHING up. I was a lot less outgoing, talked less to everyone, and generally became more introverted, which is the opposite to my personality normally. Every day I would come home from school, lock myself in the bathroom, and sob, simply because I was struggling just to get through the day. I struggled with suicidal thoughts, and I even resorted to self-injury as a coping mechanism.

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This was a photo of me taken during that time. I always wore long sleeves to cover the scars. And that’s not quite being my normal self is it? Winking smile 

 

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I didn’t feel like myself at all. I didn’t FEEL. It felt like the ‘me’ part of me had vanished, and all that remained was emptiness.

 

It was without a doubt the worst time of my life, and although recovering from it was a very slow process, with help I overcame the depression, and I will talk more about that next week!

 

Comments? Thoughts? I love reading your responses! Smile

 

Love you all! <3

 

P.S. I am ALWAYS here if anyone needs to talk or ask anything! You can email me at sweet_tooth_runner@hotmail.co.uk or Formspring me anytime.

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36 Responses to Journey to Health II: Depression

  1. You are a brave and amazing person for sharing this! Your ability to help others through sharing what you went through and ultimately OVERCAME is so powerful! I love reading honest and inspiring posts like this! Go girl ;)
    Cara @ EAT.PRAY.RUN. recently posted..Chicago Marathon Play By Play – The Photo Album

  2. Hi, I’m a new reader :)

    First off, I’m sorry that you had to go through all of that, but I’m glad that you are better now and worked through it. I’m looking forward to your posts about how you overcame it.

    I’ve currently been dealing with depression myself, and it’s definitely a hard thing to go through alone. Thanks so much for sharing your story, definitely made me feel less alone.

  3. I’m a pretty new reader to your blog and I just want to tell you how incredibly strong and brave you are! I went through some difficult times in the past too and I think it’s so great that you are able to open up about that. You are most definitely beautiful inside AND out!! Thanks for such an inspirational post :)
    Danica @ GirlsThatRun recently posted..Increasing Mileage and Getting Over THE WALL

  4. I think you are really strong for posting this. Thank you. *hugs*

  5. thank you for sharing sweet friend. I know God is definitely using that trial time to show other love and compassion. It is a hard subject to talk about but something so vital these days. Love you!
    lindsay recently posted..This is me: WIAW

  6. Emma you are so courageous. I am so sorry you had to go through such a difficult time like this. You are an amazing person and I thank you so much for sharing this with us. I know it must have been hard.
    Kaila @healthyhelperblog recently posted..Stone Cold (WIAW)

  7. I’m sorry you had to go through this. It’s definitely not easy, and definitely something that’s real, and I wish there was less stigma attached to it!

    I went through depression BEFORE my eating issues, in early high school. I think high school is just such a hard time when everything is changing and it’s difficult to deal with. I had it for a couple of years then and just found it SO hard to care about anything because I was so wrapped up in how I was a horrible, ugly, fat, stupid person and nobody liked me.
    :)
    To lighten the mood though, it’s so great that you’re doing better now and your real bubbly happy personality can come back out!! :)

    Just think… you went through some difficult periods but you got through it, which is a testament to your strength as a person.
    amy @ Turtle-speed runner recently posted..WIAW, WIWW, WIWW

  8. I am so sorry you had to go through such a suffering! Deprresion are a terrible thing to experience, I know what I am talking about… Those feelings of low-self-esteem and worthlessness often stick to us too tightly to easily let them go. I can´t wait to read about your recovery, because I see how happy and positive you are now, so hopefully all the bad is far far behind you :)
    Lenna recently posted..Shocking Tuesday!

  9. Wow Emma, thank you SO much for sharing this. Looking at you always so happy, it’s hard to imagine you went through a time where life didn’t seem worth living. I think it’s important for everyone to really work through it though. I’m really happy you shared this, because so many people see depression as taboo, and are even ashamed of it. The more people who are ACTUALLY educated about it the better.
    Katie @Nutrition In A Peanut Shell recently posted..WIAW number nine! + Pumpin’ out the muffins

  10. Thank you for sharing this Emma. You are SUCH a strong girl and I am so sorry you went through this. I know some people who had similar problems and I am so glad you’ve gotten through this. You are AMAZING! You are always so positive now and shine such a bright light :)
    Brittany recently posted..What I Ate Wednesday

  11. It takes so much courage to post something like this, but I’m so glad you did. Its always amazing to see how much amazing progress you have made with yourself!
    Rachel @ Eat, Learn, Discover! recently posted..Blog Lovin’

  12. Love that you’re posting about this.. A lot of people wouldn’t be so brave, even though SO MANY suffer. Also, LOVE that you overcame it and are stronger as a person from it. I seriously can’t imagine you depressed at all (I associate your blog with peanut butter, chocolate, smiles, and rainbows of happiness btw); which shows how far you’ve come, eh? Can’t wait for next weeks post!
    Chelsea @ The Nut Butter Runner recently posted..(Learning to) Do What You Love

  13. i want to give you a huge hug for posting this. i can definitely relate. i have been diagnosed with clinical depression since 15 and have dealt with chemical imbalance and mood disorders. i talk a lot about it on my blog and it is so refreshing to find others doing the same. you are inspirational my dear!

    xoxo <3
    Kelsey @ Snacking Squirrel recently posted..Urdhva Dhanurasana

  14. thank you so much for sharing. it takes a lot of strength to share such a life-changing story. my story of depression is very similar to yours so i am happy there is somebody else that i can look up to as finding a happy place :)
    Haley @ Health Freak College Girl recently posted..redemption

  15. I really appreciate this post. I struggled with severe clinic depression for four years. Although I’ve been recovered for nearly five years, it’s still something that I have trouble discussing. I think that if more people talked openly and honestly about depression, it would go a long way in breaking down the associated stigma. I applaud you for taking such a brave step. It actually inspired me to be more honest about my experiences with depression in the future.

  16. I really appreciate you posting this. I believe a lot of women suffer from depression – and there are only a few of us who admit it. You are right, it isn’t something that goes away. You can’t just change something in your life and have it be fixed and done with.

    I have a similar circumstance to yours – and was about to post on my blog a similar related post. Will let you know when its up.

    Thank you for writing such a great post, to show the beautiful people who read your blog, that if they are suffering, they are NOT alone and they can seek help for their struggles.
    Jenn @ Lotus and Pie recently posted..Lil & Legs Day

  17. I think it must be really hard for you to share this. I have a question- how would you have liked people around you to help? I have had a couple of close friends suffer from depression and it is really hard to know how to help them, as the traditional cheering up things don’t work, and they get upset by things that other people would think trivial and could laugh off. So how were you supported/ what would help?
    Glad you are all recovered now.
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted..WIAW- cake decorating!!

  18. I’ve never experienced depression to this level but I’m glad you posted this. The word depression definitely has a few stigmas attached to it, which is a shame. I think it’s a condition which people tend to take for granted i.e. “oh he’s just depressed, he’ll get over it”. Like you said, it’s a real condition and deserves proper treatment and care. Your recovery is amazing, Emma- you sound like a whole new person.

  19. Emma, yet again you write another amazing post with such maturity beyond your years. So sorry to hear that you suffered from depression like this, but thank you so much for sharing your experiences – your right that depression shouldn’t be the taboo that it is. I had mild depression but two of my close friends have both had clinical depression with added anxiety disorder too. So glad that you managed to beat it and become the happy girl you are today!
    Laura@keepinghealthygettingstylish recently posted..WIAW–Cold weather clothing

  20. Hi love! You are truly beautiful! Thank you for sharing yet another rough patch in your life.

    My sister struggled with sever depression when she was 16, it was a very bad time, to have to see her go through that, she even got sent away for it, but she overcame it too, and I am so happy!

    Love you!
    katie recently posted..Bangle Jangle

  21. Thanks for opening up and sharing. I was diagnosed with depression at the age of 15 and it was a long road for me to go down. But I survived and came out the other end…your right it’s not something you just snap out of overnight.
    Isabelle recently posted..Breakfast Love

  22. Thank you for bringing these issues back into the light – I have suffered from mental illnesses since I was 11, and had problems with anxiety before that, perhaps since I was a toddler even. I’ve had so much stick over the years, people telling me to pull myself together and snap out of it, numerous diagnoses ranging from being on the autistic spectrum to be clinically depressed to being bipolar. I’ve had the thoughts you did…as you can probably tell from the blog I still have them.

    You’re a star for sharing this. I look forward to the next post.

    xxx
    ~Jessica~ recently posted..WIAW – Pump Up The Volume

  23. This is such another amazing post! It’s so honest and you are very articulate. I’m sorry to hear that you wre depressed. I can’t even imagine how you would cope with that especially being so young. You are definitely one inspirational young lady! x
    Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes recently posted..Budget Busting Meals 4

  24. Thanks for your honesty & courage to share your experience with us!
    Depression definitely is one of the most difficult an complicated topics to deal with. It is so hard to understand for outstanding people and so hard to face for the ones who are suffering from it and actually need their help…
    Kat @ a dash of fairydust recently posted..Give me a face!

  25. You are amazing girly, thank you for sharing your story.
    daisychain recently posted..20/10

  26. Emma, love, you are amazing! Your strength, courage, and wonderful spirit all shine through. Thank you for sharing this, you are so brave and strong, I know it must have been difficult but you did it so well. I wish I could give you a big hug, you are awesome beyond words girl! You are a truly inspirational.

  27. Thank you for sharing something that must be very difficult for you. I am fortunate enough to have never suffered myself, but there are people close to me that do. I just noticed Maria’s question and I would also like to know what you think would have been helpful for you.
    Sarah (everydaysapicnic) recently posted..Coping With Poor Circulation

  28. Emma, my favorit favorit girl<3 Im sending you a BIG hug!!
    You are absolutely amazing for sharing this! Its heartbreaking to read how you once felt! I really cant wait for your post about how you got out of this! Im so happy you did! You are the most wonderful girl out there, you spread so much love and happiness! You are one of my biggest role models and super heros! If only there were more people like you! <3
    Ragnhild recently posted..20.10: How To Make Homemade Raw Chocolate

  29. [...] I just want to thank you all SO MUCH for the responses I got to yesterday’s post! Although I haven’t yet had a chance to respond to all the comments, emails, etc., I have read [...]

  30. Once again, I’m pretty sure we are twins. I suffered from depression for a long time. It stemmed from my anxiety issues, relationship with my brothers (they have autism), and not feeling like I was good enough. I can totally relate to remembering very little from that time. I guess I was just so miserable that nothing was worth remembering? Anywho, I’m glad we both got out of our funks and discovered the best thing ever… running!
    Tara recently posted..WIAW–regarding my BUTT(er)

  31. Thank you for being so honest about your own experiences. I really enjoy the blog world, mainly because it shows me that I am not the only one in the world going through life with the same problems. You inspire your followers and provide them with great knowledge and guidance to help them out. I am glad you are now depression free, and I pray that you will rely on God for help when you do have any negative thoughts. Keep being amazing!
    Debby recently posted..Take One

  32. Awww, I’m so sorry! I’m glad your depression has gone away. It bothers me when people make fun of depression patients because it’s not like they have a choice of whether to be sad or happy, it JUST HAPPENS. Glad you’re so happy now! :)
    Maria @ Beautiful Busy Bee recently posted..Working for very distant rewards

  33. We are all so glad you’ve found happiness and self love. Just look how many smiles you make just by putting up a pic of your infectious smile! Thanks for addressing such a deep topic; I’m sure a lot more people are affected than we realize.
    Tiff recently posted..Giveaway Friday: Part Two

  34. Thank you for opening up about this! I can completely relate as I have battled depression for quite some time now… it’s nice to know I am not alone!
    Tessa @ Amazing Asset recently posted..Guest Post- Overcoming Your Fears

  35. Aw dear–sending love your way! I haven’t talked about my bout with depression either and I don’t know if I ever will. You are very strong for talking about it and I completely admire you. Sometimes I still think that I have a little depression lingering around… I’m not fully convinced that it ever goes away completely. There’s always a reminder for me.

    But just like you–I’m MUCH better. So glad to know that I can talk to someone I “know” about this who won’t pass judgement.
    Karla recently posted..Sunday Funday

  36. People do have many misconceptions about depression as well. Depression has come and gone for me for about 10 years now. I’ve got more tools now to deal with it but I guess this is how my brain is. I’ve tried a million medications and my philosophy now is that they are NOT for me.
    StoriesAndSweetPotatoes recently posted..New Title, Same Sara

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