Managing grief and depression - Eddie's story

I didn't do much about the grief of my father. And that’s I believe where a lot of my mental illness problems began.

Dad was - he was a tough old fella, he was a hard farmer.

Not long after I turned 18 that Dad passed away and suddenly there was me and mum to run the farm and get on with that part of life.

[Background chatter]

Nobody said, you know, “How are you feeling with Dad passing” and that sort of thing.
and I don't think I started really grieving until I started to get really, really ill with my depression.

And I started to make excuses of not going to footy training anymore. Very often after lunch I’d go back up the paddock and just go to sleep in the ute or something somewhere and not tell anybody what's going on.

And it was becoming very apparent that the farm wasn't going well.

And I had been seeing our local doctor but I wasn't presenting well, I wasn't telling him the whole story and he just said, “Look, it's just stress.You’re probably best off getting off the farm.”

And I promised Dad I would stay and look after mum on the farm and all that sort of thing
and didn't do that. And in my mind that was a failure. And I started to really hate myself
for doing that.

When we moved over here to Queensland to get away from the problems and leave them behind in WA, which they did for a little while and came back.

I'd been in hospital in 2008 in Toowoomba in an acute mental health unit there.
Nearly 12 months to the day I was back in that hospital again.

I didn't care where they put me and what they did with me.
I was at the lowest ever - I'd ever been.
I just had pretty much given up on myself and life.

The next day a psychiatrist come in and he said, I think the best thing we can do is give you ECT which is Electroconvulsive therapy. And that afternoon when I woke up, I felt slightly brighter about life.

I do believe it was a real turning point in my life, like a wake up call of these things I'd been thinking all of my life. I've failed as a man, I haven't kept promises, I’ve sold the farm. I’ve failed. And I thought maybe I haven’t.

Maybe this thing that I've got is something that we can change because these people have done something physical to something that I thought wasjust something wrong with my character, something wrong with my mind but I feel better today.

Grief is something that we all experience in life, but we just need to be taught the skills
to to get through that. Because if we don't do something about it, like I say, it could come back and bite you 10 years, 15 years back down the track.

I still grieve now. You know, it's been nearly 40 years since Dad passed away and the pain is still there, but definitely not like it was.

Life’s worth living.

And I'm seeing things in my life that probably wouldn't have been in this last decade if I had of done what I was planning to do.