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Forums / Depression / Today I let it be known.

Topic: Today I let it be known.

6 posts, 0 answered
  1. a long time lost
    a long time lost avatar
    12 posts
    29 May 2013

    Today I came out and revealed to my mother that I have severe depression/anxiety. I tried to broach this subject with her a couple of weeks ago because she couldn't understand why I never want to do anything. I told her at that time I was depressed and her reply was "what in the world do you have to be depressed about?" You see I have become a very fine actress over many years, I can put on the brightest smile, have an intelligent conversation , be funny and present the most perfect manners, so in fact NO ONE has any idea who I really am. Let me tell you it is such hard work, it is like being two different people in one!

    So back to my mum... she asked me to a girls lucheon and I declined as usual, she tells me "you know they all think you are making excuses why you don't want to come." Well today I could not take it anymore.. I told her to tell them all I am depressed, on medication and seeing a psychiatrist... she was speechless! Honestly she didn't know what to say but she has finally heard my words.

    Could any of you please tell me once you let the truth be known, do you suddenly feel like you are seen in a different light? The people that do know about my health issues seem to have changed toward me. It is not an imagined change, it is a truly noticeable one. I feel as though I have a contagious disease, why???? I may cry a little more than others, be more sensitive but I still love, care and have all the same feelings that I always did. What happened????

  2. The Real David Charles
    The Real David Charles avatar
    1014 posts
    30 May 2013

    Dear Lost,

    "What in the world do you have to be depressed about?"  is called minimalising and we do it all the time with domestic things.  We play down a need or make fun of it.   A good reply might be "The fact that you put me down instead of taking my depression seriously and think I make excuses about my social life when I'm actually trapped in a dark storm mind most of the day and feel like killing myself now and again.   I would say that's something to be depressed about, don't you think ?".   


    Might be a good thing that you mum is speechless - you don't have to listen to any more ignorant comments.  'Cos the next thing will be "But we gave you a good childhood - we're not bad parents, etc".  or "Why do you do this to us ?".  Er,  you're not the victim here.   I am.  It's not about you.

    Personally I don't think it makes a difference if family know or not.  I've had over 30 psychiatric admissions and 26 yrs of bipolar and my own father and others still  think I'm making it up.      I had a relative get reconstructive ankle work recently  and everyman and their dog visited and supported.   When I count back to my admissions I figure it's just my wife visiting.   Suddenly, people are too busy and don't want to come to a psychiatric hospital because "everyone is crazy and I might catch something" [like schizophrenia !].

    It's the same with nearly all psych patients.  No, actually it's worse for most as not many have their own families and I least I have that much.    Maybe you  could mix things up a bit and take her to your psychiatrist for your next appt.  Somehow, and I know this sounds bizarre, but somehow when parents meet a specialist doctor like  a Hospital Duty Manager or private Psychiatrist they turn a switch on in their brain and start taking it all a bit more seriously.   It's almost as though sitting in a chair opposite a psychiatrist make it OK to be depressed.  LIke sitting on Santa's knee makes us all believe in Christmas.

    Adios, David.

    PS   I had that same relative with the ankle surgery tell me "I'm gonna come over with a big cake for your 50th birthday today and we'll have some fun".   I had to pass this offer.   I think I said something like "Actually, I'd rather have had a visit by you at the hospital all those times I was manic or depressed.   And especially on any of my 3 suicide attempts.  That would have been more appreciated by me".  Cos, the way I see it with mental health (and the possibility of suicide) every day needs a cake.  Not just a stupid birthday.  And why would anyone long term bipolar have anything to celebrate about anyway ?    It's a totally shit life.   We float in and out of existence more times that Dr Who with his Tardis.

     

  3. Damien
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Damien avatar
    134 posts
    30 May 2013 in reply to a long time lost

    Hello ltl,

    "Came Out" is a great phrase and whilst it is used by the GLBTI community, of which I am not a part, (because I am hetero, not because I'm a hater, I'm not a hater), it seems to be the right phrase.

    I "came out" on 1st May this year when I spoke to a local community group about mental health and shared much of my own story with them as examples of what I was speaking about.  My parents knew I was "sick", and "how sick" before I went global, but they'd not known at the time when I was suicidal that I was just that.

    I have to admit I've been worse since then.  Not so much that I'm living in a goldfish bowl now that "everyone knows that Damien is mental", but perhaps actually saying it has brought out into the open for me things I'd thought I'd dealt with.  I have also "talked about it" a lot since I am one of the guys on the Anxiety you tube thing (I am the tightening of your chest) and will soon be seen in a similar clip for the beyondblue Men's Campaign.  I was also interviewed by the newspaper and was on 7:30 Report and news on SBS and TEN soon after the beyondblue Anxiety launch.  Strangers in the shops commend me on my bravery, which is both encouraging (of course) and deeply unsettling as I HAVE AN ANXIETY DISORDER and don't like the attention!!!!!  :)

    I've yet to have anyone noticeably avoid me, but yes I am aware that I am different and believe myself to be seen differently now.  It is sad when people back away and think they might "catch crazy" from us; what I am actually hoping for is that my siblings and friends who knew I was "mental" now understand just how bad I was, (and hence how good I have been so not be "so bad as that"), and in a way to see how normal (or at least "not weird") it is for people like me (whatever I am like) to have struggles in thoughts and emotions.

    I am pleased you are out, I hope it will get better for you and that you can be more honest and less of an actress, but yes you are very vulnerable right now and I pray you'll be looked after.

    Bless.

  4. Damien
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Damien avatar
    134 posts
    30 May 2013 in reply to a long time lost

    :)  

    Hello Lee-Ann.  

    I just saw your response to another post of yours I commented on.

    It's nice to know your name.  (Told you we're nice here.)

    :)



  5. The Real David Charles
    The Real David Charles avatar
    1014 posts
    30 May 2013 in reply to Damien

    Dear Damien,

    Maybe there's more stigma to being a Christian than being mentally ill ?  I did respond on your other Christian based post but it's slipped down the column now.

    I like to joke about being mental.  So, if I'm at the baker and I say "You know I'm completely crazy" they will shoot back with "Don't worry, we all are".   In a strange way it is these small community acceptances that help me through the day.  And their pork rolls.

    Adios, David.

     

     

  6. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    15556 posts
    31 May 2013 in reply to a long time lost

    dear Lee-Ann, seen in a different light, ABSOLUTELY, no question about it.

    There are too many great comments made by David Charles and Damien to actually point them out, but how true they are.

    My best man, and don't ask me why I didn't have my twin, I shouldn't, but that's not the point, however we would socialise with him, his wife and kids on a regular basis and one day I called him and said that I wanted to talk to him, which we did, and I told him that I tried to kill myself, and have had depression for a long time, well that's the last time I ever saw him or had any communication.

    I had leprosy, he and many others didn't want to know me, they were all jumping out the windows to get away from me.

    All the previous great times we had together dinner, bbq's, drinks, outings, all of these meant absolutely nothing.

    I remember going to see my mum who was in a nursing home, and she wasn't very good, it was night time, and I said to her that I had depression and tried to commit suicide, then all of a sudden she opened her eyes she said 'are you alright darling', this was something that I haven't seen her do for a long time.

    I know Damien would love to come into this, but I am still not religious, and haven't been for 40 odd years. L Geoff. x

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