I experienced a deep seated moderate bout of depression bought on by an acute mechanical back injury in 2009. It was literally the straw that broke the camels back (in this case mine)! Also combined with generalised anxiety disorder that is chronic, had probably always been there and remains, in some form, to this day. It was simply undiagnosed until deeper depression set in.
An experience of Workcover will drag you there if you don’t already have something going on! I did! In my ignorance, I did not realise that what I had been battling, for many long months, was in fact depression! That too was triggered by events, in extended family.
I was aghast when my GP and chiro suggested that I wasn’t going to overcome this back issue, unless I dealt with the trauma of the event. That eventuated in a consultation with a psychologist, who diagnosed my mental health status as depression. How to get out of this dilemma? That was the first thing I wanted most and would do anything I was told to make sure I didn’t stay there.
This entailed many months, spread over four years, of psychological counselling. Once I started to unravel many more bits surfaced taking me way, way back to the basis of my anxiety, in childhood. Every time I thought I was right, a relapse was just around the corner, but I was determined to beat it so back I would go.
I also firmly believe in helping oneself. I researched madly (and still do from time to time), purchased several books and borrowed crazily from the local library, everything going, reading every book at least twice over, and identifying with the symptoms and stories related there and following or practising, as many strategies as I possibly could. I eventually wrote a book review on most of those books for my GP, who was keen to have an arsenal to share and recommend to other patients.
At a very low point, I asked my GP to give me some medication. I thought I was struggling and needed some greater assistance. She is a firm believer that that was the bridge I needed to cross to get to a turning point in my greater progress and I remain on that medication, as it is suggested for my other chronic medical conditions, of IBS and fibromyalgia.
I have been recovered now, from depression, for about four years and my anxiety is mostly mild, or at least manageable. The greatest tools I have, outside of awareness and knowledge, is CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), ACT (acceptance commitment therapy) and mindfulness, meditation and relaxation along with lifestyle priorities, to keep anxiety at bay.
My GP taught me that anxiety takes a huge toll on the body, so there’s only so much adrenaline pumping action it can take before it can no longer do that. Depression is then the run off from that toll! It when you fall flat and feel like you can no longer keep going (in deep, dark hole).
I’m now able to recognise the triggers that put me into anxiety and arrest the situation before I get to the run off stage. I am so grateful for so much knowledge as it has made all the difference!