Well, what can I say! I’m a stay at home mum and wife with a passion for photography.
I have suffered with severe depression for several years and this has led me to develop an anxiety disorder too. I so wish there was a magic pill that would just make it go away! Imagine feeling so sad and worthless that you can hardly drag yourself out of bed and see yourself as worthless with nothing to offer, even to your immediate family, no energy, unable to concentrate and don’t see the point in doing anything as it won’t be good enough anyway. I still have days like this but it’s no longer everyday.. I also don’t suffer with major panic attacks just because I have to leave the safety of my home, I still have attacks but I can now identify when they start and either employ techniques to cope or remove myself from the situation that is causing me to panic. Although the worst thing is the guilt that I feel about how my illness is affecting my family so I worked hard and continue to work at getting better, mainly for myself but also for my family.
My illness makes it difficult for me to do everything that I would like too but I try, every day I try even if I just want to hide under the duvet. Over the past few years I’ve received Counselling and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which along with my medication, has made it easier for me to leave my home and do things that probably come easily to others such as doing the school run or going food shopping. But the biggest aid to getting me more like my old self is my photography, it keeps me occupied, going outside and when I feel panicky it can also act as a shield, from the world. Very few people will bother someone who is viewing the world through a camera!
As I slowly regained some confidence and self-worth, I re-found my interest in photography around the end of 2011, it was something I hadn’t done for over a decade and when I had done it, it was with 35mm Ilford film & an old 1980’s SLR! So my husband helped with the cost of buying a basic DSLR kit and I love it (but not as much as my hubby & son). And it started from there….
And lastly, if you know someone who is suffering from depression, don’t dismiss them or their illness, you can’t just “snap out of it” or “cheer up”, listen to them, reassure them and show some empathy. It’s a long difficult road to recovery and a sympathetic friend does help…