A Downward Spiral

He who makes a beast of himself, gets rid of the pain of being a man.”

Dr. Johnson.

For some awful reason, it can appear from nowhere, brought on by nothing, triggered by nothing. Others may be due to trauma, an hideous or emotional experience causing mental grief but the exact cause of depression is widely unknown by medical professionals, despite some advances in theories.

Everyone is different. Everyone reacts and consumes situations differently from the next, making the diagnosis of depression difficult. Whatever the weather living with depression, coping or looking after someone who is suffering can often be as difficult as the diagnosis itself.

Discovering, striving to understand and coping with an often unavoidable funk, is tough enough, lest the struggles of maintaining a source of income, getting the grades you need at your University or College. A full time life requires a full time frame of mind. Some things are just not that easy.

An estimated 1 in 5 of the population in Scotland will experience depression at one point in their life, some, understandably suffering more severely than others. Treatment and the success of such treatment is high for most forms of depression. This is what your doctor will tell you, reassuring and soothing the trembling feeling in your chest as you force the words out of yourself, unwilling to talk, helpless and completely lost.

Holding the infamous title as one of Britain’s top illnesses, one would assume that it will be fine to cope, no need to worry, it’s so easy to treat, I’m not alone. For anyone that has ever found it this easy I applaud them.

A Grinding Pace:

Convinced and to the word, there has always been something there, something beneath the surface that could never be properly examined, understood, distinguished. The years of melancholy, spliced with deep meaningful bouts of madness, I figured this must be what life is? Like the chicken bred for consumers, it’s existence, the corn-fed cramped lifestyle. That is all it knows, all it ever knows. This is what it is used to.

Downhill Fast:

Sporadic, un-timed, un-wanted, bouts of what can only be described as ultimate sadness from depths of nothing. Unable to control, understand or comprehend. “It’s nothing. I’m growing up, hormones, stress, I don’t know?” Uncontrollable speed of thought, moving to fast to stop and take in. Broken, sore, confused. Crying on buses, trains, shopping centers. Save the embarrassment, only complete be-wilderness, why? Why here, why ever? Am I getting far too carried away with myself? Finding it hard to control myself in these situations I began questioning: “Am I ok?”

Acceptance/Diagnosis:

As far as I am aware, I have never been pregnant. Ruling out post-natal depression, relief washes over me in awesome waves.

I would like to make it clear, that I have been let down by the NHS. Months of waiting for replies, queues, lists. My faith in the system, at an all-time low, becomes more apparent with appointments and talks with my GP. I say “My GP“, what I actually mean is; “…the soonest and most available time and slot I could get my hands on.”

Again, when dealing with one of the most common illnesses in Britain, one would again assume treatment of such a condition would move along with grace and ease, brushing aside any hitch ups or slight baggage associated along the way. This is wrong. For me anyway and I’m sure for many others. Bad vibes.

“Let’s try Propanalol, see if that helps your panic attacks…”

Propanalol is a non-selective beta-blocker most commonly used in the treatment of hypertension…after a few months of “testing” this drug for the NHS, I returned, only this time, slightly belligerent. Next dose of treatment. Fluoxetine, more commonly known as ‘Prozac’ was the next item on the convayor belt. Tried and tested, the drug is approved for the treatment of major depression. I’m feeling hopeful. Over 22.2 million prescriptions for generic formulations of fluoxetine were filled in the United States in 2007, making it the third most prescribed antidepressant in the world. Again, feeling hopeful, because lets face it, America has alot of people to deal with.

Closing in on a further year down the line. I’m on something known as Clomipramine, a trycilic antidepressant. Clomipramine is a frequently prescribed drug for the treatment of OCD which again gives me a little hope. The NHS are slowly but surely catching on to my problems, trying and testing their products. I understand it is their job, but one can’t help but feel like a lab rat, mindlessly indulging in their complex and confusing tablets on offer.

Call me imaptient, naive, narrow-minded; I’m just beat down with the pase, tired of the appointments, upset at the length of time it has taken till now. Treatment, therapy is an ongoing process, it takes time. There is light at the end of the tunnel. A tunnel thus far proving to be long and uncertain.