Well where do I start? I've just watched last nights episode of Australian Story.
To be honest, I'm feeling rather anxious and somewhat frustrated as I too can relate to Garry McDonald. The onset of my Major Depression and anxiety from memory, began in February, 2013. My bedroom was a place where it was dark and where I felt less anxious. I would not sleep, eat and would work until all emails and tasks for that day were complete. I could in no way settle had I not carried out my responsibilities. I just couldn't. I would think that if I hadn't, I was not doing my job. Not doing my job at all. I remember being totally exhausted. Eventually, I just couldn't do it anymore. That's when I had my nervous breakdown. It was around August 2013. I saw a GP and was prescribed benzo's. This helped me return to work as I was somewhat rejuvenated at night and ready to face my work once again. But I was unwell. Very unwell. In the past I dreaded holidays but in September 2013, I was relieved. Perhaps this was one of my early warning signs. It was like I'd fallen off the earth and with no return.
I've been hospitalised 12 times since my illness was diagnosed. I have literally been to hell and back on many occasions. I've had Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with a psychologist and weekly Outpatient Day Program; Low Mood and Depression. I have fortnightly visits with my treating psychiatrist. I've had and will be having another course of TMS (Transcrannial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy) later this month. I am managed and maintained with two types of anti depressants and mood stabilisers. So much so, I am unfit to return to my previous employment. I cannot hold and quite often don't hear directions or conversations directed at me. It's like my brain at times, is to put it bluntly, fried. But, I have come such a long way from where I was 2 years ago. Like Garry, I too have to look out for the 'warning signs' and desperately try very hard not to focus on the negatives and train my brain to warn off horrible thoughts. My illness has been incredibly hard on my fiancé, my daughter and one of my brothers.
For someone who was so confident, vibrant and even like Garry, funny to become the epitome of inescapable darkness only a fellow sufferer can understand.
Without my fiancé, my daughter and one of my siblings and I must boast; the hard work I myself have put in too, I would not be writing this post today.