It’s not weak to ask for helpPosted: June 10, 2013
First posted by the Mental Health Foundation
There was a time – not long ago – when I felt it would be easier if I didn’t exist.
I was never suicidal, but I did wish the world would stop turning and let me get off, because I wasn’t enjoying the ride. I was worn out – a grey, washed-out, spent force before I’d reached my mid-thirties.
For a while, I wasn’t really living. I was a zombie, drifting about on some kind of invisible treadmill with a brain full of anger, worry, frustration, hopelessness and self-loathing.
Everything had become too much for me and I couldn’t cope any more. Life had become too serious. As a father of two young children, juggling multiple responsibilities, I wasn’t getting the rest that I now know I needed, and there seemed to be no end to the stress and pressure.
On hindsight, the first warning sign of trouble ahead – before the dizziness, headaches and dark moods – was that I wasn’t looking forward to anything any more. Instead, I was dreading everything. All the things I could have been enjoying were another source of anxiety.
It’s hard to admit that you can’t cope, and I soldiered on for a few months before I eventually realised that I had to do something, and went to see my GP. He went through a checklist of pretty much everything I was feeling at the time, and told me I had depression.
We take a lot of pride in being ‘strong’, but when it comes to protecting your mental health, the strongest thing you can do is admit you need help and to go and get it. Professional support and advice will help you to get better. ‘Manning up’ will get you nowhere.