ANGUS MOWAT – BOWER YFC-CAITHNESS DISTRICT
Every day you wake up to news around the world of incidents or political issues making the headlines. You hear of people’s family members becoming ill with cancer, dementia or others. There are so many different illnesses. They are just part of everyday life. Diabetes is another, sometimes being a hereditary disease skipping generations but has no cause. As they say it’s the luck of the draw. Another illness that’s like that is depression. It can take the happiest healthiest man or women and cause a life changing experience. I am very much a happy go lucky kind of guy. I love my job, being outside around the cows and sheep, going out about with my friends having a laugh and bouncing off each another all for good fun.
Last year my personality changed. I would wake up in the morning and the first thing I would want to do is fall back to sleep. I felt so tired and didn’t have much ‘go’ and to be honest, I couldn’t be bothered with anything. I still went to my work but after being like this for a while my boss, family members and a few friends noticed that I was far from myself. I would go to work, after which I would disappear and not go home. I would take off and walk along the local beach or rocks because for some reason everything felt better at that point in the day when I was there. This went on for a few months until I got to the point I was feeling low the whole time. I would even burst into tears at work for no reason. I felt that everyone and everything was totally against me. It got so bad that even on some night's friends and family went out looking for me as they were worried.
After months of arguments I was finally convinced to get medical help. Calling the doctor to make an appointment was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I was absolutely terrified about going to the doctor and asking for help because of the fear I would be branded a ‘nutter’ or ‘crazy’.
On the day of my appointment I was so terrified of the outcome. When my doctor called me in an asked what she could do I froze for what felt like five minutes. I cried. I exlained how I was feeling so low and how I felt everything was against me. We chatted about it and I filled in this simple questionnaire. She asked me a few more questions and we talked about a few things. She asked me if I had heard of depression before. My understanding of it was a stark contrast of how the doctor described it. She asked me if there was a history of the illness in my family, and what my view was on antidepressants. Initially I was against the idea due to the possible side effects. The doctor explained how antidepressants were given a bad name in the 1990’s and how they have been developed and improved since then. I was reassured that they would be safe with the watchful eye of the doctor. She warned that for a few weeks to my body may feel exhausted.
Going to a councillor for an hour a week was also explained as an option. It was described that the antidepressants generally start working after a few weeks whereas counselling has mixed levels of effectiveness for variable lengths of time. The fear of taking the tablets was a big thing for me as I’m against all form of drugs but I needed to get out of the dark hole I was stuck in. I decided to give the medication a chance.
For the first while I was still quite worried of the side-affects so I made regular appointments with the doctor. To this day I still take my medication and it has got me back to my old happy self again. I still have the odd bad day but hey ho, don’t we all?