Friday, 21 December 2012

Happy 2nd birthday, old friend 'd'.

This January will mark two years since I was formally diagnosed with depression. It really doesn't seem that long ago, I guess time flies at Uni! I thought I'd give you a little update on how things are going health-wise with me, I suppose I owe you all an explanation to why I haven't blogged nearly as much as I'd hoped this year!

I'm sick and tired of referencing depression with it's full name, so for the sake of efficiency, it's now called 'd'.

Well, I might as well start at the beginning of this year, where I returned to my university halls after spending a few weeks recharging my batteries at home over Christmas. After saying goodbye to 2011, I was determined to have a better year. Cue exams! January exams never go as well as May exams for me, I really don't know why but oh well! I passed, which was a great relief, but it left me with a lot of stress. Starting my second semester and new modules was interesting, but I was getting a taste of just how hard my course was going to get. Again, I passed my second set of exams (this time with mitigating circumstances, which I took out regarding little d and it's effect on my concentration levels and general intelligence), but by the end of first year I just wanted to get home!

Earlier in the year, I'd stopped going to counselling, which was definitely a bad decision to make. I needed the safety net there, and of course was too stubborn to realise it. So, that won't have helped me at all, looking back. I think a lot of people suffering with d think they can get out of it alone, and 99% of the time it just isn't the case. It's so important to have a group of people close to you, to support you.

Summer was spent relaxing as much as possible, and preparing for my second year at Uni. I was so excited to move into a new house, with new people, but sadly the house I'm currently living in is in a bad area, has mould and damp in nearly every room, and is absolutely freezing.  To add to this, 2012 has brought a lot more social anxiety for myself which I'm struggling with. I find public transport, approaching strangers and walking through city centres very difficult. It sounds so strange to say, because I used to be one of the most social people around, so it's pretty frustrating.

I made the decision after coming back to uni for my second year, that I wanted to change degree programmes. I approached the geography department, and luckily they let me swap - they were extremely accommodating. I now study BSc Geography, as opposed to Oceans, Climate and Physical Geography. I'm pretty excited about starting next semester, but very anxious about the new people and places I'm going to have to come across. Fingers crossed 2013 brings me happiness in some form, I think I'm in need of it after another stressful year.

As a conclusion to this mahoosive ramble, I just want to offer anyone who is struggling with depression, anxiety, or stress some little pointers that might help you. It's important we all help each other eh?

  • Most importantly, to anyone who think they may have depression, go and see your doctor if you have been feeling low for more than a fortnight. Getting a diagnosis is the most important thing.
  • Organisation is the key to stress: if you have a large workload, separate it up into categories and tackle the hardest/largest part first, as it'll feel much better when you get that bit out of the way first!
  • If you are feeling anxious, relax. Make a cup of tea, put on a nice film and take time out. Don't fight it, it's perfectly human to feel anxious from time to time.
  • Remember that you won't feel this way forever, I know it will feel like that at the time, but it will all pass, be it in days or weeks. 
I hope people found this post helpful in some way. I really want to start blogging regularly again next year, but we'll see if I'm up to it eh. So, for now, I hope you all have a lovely, relaxing Christmas and New Year! <3