My name is Dale English I'm 69 years of age, turning 70 next year, I'm a person who enjoys a good chat and a lot of fun.
It was 16th of March, 2002, when I was diagnosed with acute clinical depression my husband and I fought every day and I cried every day for a year.
We called in to see my brother one Saturday afternoon, and I started to cry and I couldn't stop. And he said “You need some sort of help”. And I said, “Well, there's no help available”. And he then suggested a psychiatrist.
That was a very interesting process, she put me on to an antidepressant she said this will take about six weeks to kick in but in the mean time I’d like to talk to you about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and the CBT has been just wonderful.
The biggest thing I discovered was, that I always thought a feeling came first, and then a thought. So I thought that the feelings were creating the way I was thinking, but it wasn't. It was the distorted thinking that was creating the distorted feelings which created distorted reactions. So that was the best thing that I ever learned, in the first place.
After my first visit I wanted to share with my husband rather than keep it all to myself, and I'm glad I did.
I changed a lot of things I used to do in my life and the way in which I did them.
I moved house from the perfect show home, into a 20-year-old timber house. It wasn't perfect, so I didn't have to strive to keep it perfect.
I gave up golf. I played for 35 years now, I don't play at all now, I don't even belong to a golf club.
But the reason I did was it was a concrete way of saying, “I'm good” because there's the scorecard that says, “You have had a par round”. And that worked for me for so long and the perfectionism did. But it, it wasn't enough really because it didn't really make me happy.
Because I'd given up golf, I needed to get outside and do something, and I kept looking out the window at them playing croquet just across the road from us, I thought, “Now, I should try that”. And so I did. I just love my croquet because I can laugh if I've had a bad shot, I can laugh.
My talking circles of course, is the other thing that's been wonderful. I belong to a group of about 20, who talk about a lot of different topics which we research. It's not an opinion group. It's a talking circle. People think we sit in a circle, but it isn’t, the topic goes around because they're sort of topics that can't be resolved, so that’s been very good for me.
Older people have a lot of difficulty with recognising depression because some of them come from war time and post-war, in which case they needed to be very strong and couldn't show weakness.
But it's not a weakness of character. It is an illness.
I really think the first place to go is to your doctor. If you're not happy with that, beyondblue is there for you and for everybody, and they have a website, they have a toll-free number, they have, it’s all there for you. So do it.
I often reflect with my husband on what life was like before and what life is like now, and for me, there's absolutely no comparison. But how it is now is wonderful.
I have 20 years left and I want them to be the best they possibly can be. And with happiness and contentment and good mental health. I think I’m going to have a great time.
The bunch of friends I have now are better than I've had all my life and some of them do go back 50 years.
I can only impress upon people that what's out there now since the early '80s is so much better than anything anybody ever told you about before that. So look for the help because it is there and it's wonderful.