I have been thinking of writing this post for some time. I’m still not convinced of the wisdom of writing it, but I have been suffering from depression for some time and been taking anti-depressants for the past year. Most of the time I am able to cope, but occasionally I enter periods of what I can only describe as deep darkness. Those who know me or follow my blog will know that that work has been difficult over the past couple of years. The closure of the subject centres, being re-interviewed for my job, and having my hours reduced have taken their toll, but my struggles with depression pre-date these events. I’ve told very few people about my struggles. I think I’m actually quite good at hiding my depression. The medication I am taking is actually for anxiety rather than depression – my doctor even said to me “I don’t think you’re depressed”.
I am fortunate to have a very loving wife and family as I go through this process. I am grateful for my job and enjoy my work. As far as I know I am performing well at work. I have been keeping very busy and am working on some interesting projects. I am fortunate to work with really nice people. I have a strong Christian faith. Working four days a week has enabled me to set up my open access research website and take on some freelance work, which has been very enjoyable. It all sounds very nice and it is, but as anyone who has suffered from depression knows none of these things guarantee good mental health, and many face depression without any help.
There seems to be a lot of talk about depression on the radio and TV at the moment. I’m not sure whether this is due to the recession, heightened awareness of the condition or whether it is just heightened awareness on my own part. I’m not sure what the consequences of ‘coming out’ will be, but I feel that it is time to stop hiding what I am going through.