Depression is something that can affect anyone, as presenter, Emily Hartridge knows. Here she talks about having suffered from it in the past, and the things that helped carry her through …
I found out I had depression when … I started to ignore everything and everyone around me. I could barely even send an email. I didn’t care about anything and I was a basically like a walking zombie. I also had huge problems sleeping which didn’t help either.
My symptoms were … Lack of concentration, very short attention span, restlessness, couldn’t sleep, loss of interest in anything around me. It felt like I was in a dream all the time
The impact on my daily life was … Very difficult. I couldn’t hold down a job because I couldn’t concentrate for longer than about 10 minutes. I also started to ignore my family which was the hardest thing to deal with because I love them very much. Even when one of my sisters text me I just couldn’t reply. At the time I really didn’t know what was going on or why I was being like that, I just wanted to ignore the world.
The biggest obstacles were … Working! I had to work to pay my rent but I knew I wasn’t doing my job properly. I also couldn’t really tell anyone because I didn’t even understand what was happening to me.
The best thing I have learned through having depression is … It’s really important to not cope with it alone. Speak to family and friends, speak to your doctor, speak to anyone in your life that you can trust. Another thing that helped me was speaking to those who had been through a similar experience because for me it was just knowing that I wasn’t the only one who felt like this.
Other people can help by … Just listening. I couldn’t deal with what I was going through alone and I liked to talk about how I was feeling.
The best advice anyone has given me is … I often go to my older sister and ask her to give me some ‘tough love’ if I am having a bad day because sometimes tough love is needed with me. She wouldn’t give me specific advice, it was more along the lines of ‘Do you know how lucky you are and how pathetic you are being, grow up!’ Okay it wasn’t those exact words but sometimes I don’t want things sugar coated and someone being brutally honest with me works.
My advice to anyone who has just been diagnosed is … Don’t expect changes over night. Depression, unfortunately, is something that takes time to deal with. It took me months to feel better. However you should also know that things WILL get better. I know it’s a total cliché but time is the best healer, it definitely was for me.
The thing that makes me feel on top of the world is … Working! As mental as it sounds I love to be busy all the time, when I am not busy I am thinking and this isn’t good for anyone! Also hanging out with my family makes me happy, my sisters will laugh when they read this but it’s true sisters, I do indeed love you.