Stigma Fighters : SharonAnn O’Reilly

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Stigma Fighters : SharonAnn O’Reilly

Take My Hand
I have decided to write about some of my own experience regarding depression. I’ve had it from about the age of 11, but not diagnosed officially until well into my 20’s and had children of my own.

I can’t remember a time when depression wasn’t there. People who have never had it can’t really understand it. I guess they can try, and they can be understanding about it but until you actually experience it, I don’t think you can truly understand. It’s not about sitting around all day crying. Though some people do. In fact some people go from being extremely happy to being extremely sad within minutes. Sometimes when you wake up in the morning you’re disappointed to still be alive. Even though you know deep down that life is precious. Sometimes you get anxious about the minutia of every day life, sometimes you couldn’t care less. In my darkest moments I’ve both thought about and tried to end my pain. Luckily my children give me a reason to live. I’m lucky cause I’ve got someone to love me, but it took a lot of time and effort to allow them to love me. I built up walls to protect myself but they also kept the good people out. You feel you’re not worthy of love, and you also don’t love yourself so how can anyone else?
I’ve had people saying the usual stuff. Give yourself a shake, get yourself out of it, cop on, you’re so lucky and so on. When you’re in the throes of a low you’re incapable of seeing the bright side. You feel like a burden to the people around you and that they wouldn’t miss you if you go. That they would be better off if you weren’t around, and that your pain would be gone if you were. So when people say that suicide is a cowardly way out, they couldn’t be more wrong. In your head it’s the most self less thing to do. In your head it’s best for everyone. So many people say they had no idea I felt that way, but that’s the key. The mask you put on to hide your true feelings. And nobody knows it’s a mask until it’s too late. Can you imagine being in so much pain that you just want it to end?

Another myth…having money etc stops you being depressed. It doesn’t.

Depression doesn’t care if you live in a mansion or on the streets. I know people who look on the outside like they have everything a person could want yet they’re still depressed. I also know people who have nothing and are ecstatic.

When I’m down I withdraw from everything and everyone. The walls come back up and I go very quiet. I know the signs now and can deal with it a bit better. I would describe it as being in my own soundproof bubble, watching everyone around me yet not being a part of it. I have people who care enough to break through and take my hand and help me get back on the up again
I really wish for more openness and understanding from society regarding mental health. If a person has a gaping wound or a broken bone they get recognition and sympathy. What about the broken people? What about the invisible scars? What about the wounds you can’t see? Everyone should be educated in the signs and symptoms of depression, especially parents. It can happen at any age. Please don’t be too quick to judge if a person can’t cope. Try to be understanding and hold out a helping hand to them. Let them know they’re not alone. It’s human nature to want to feel loved and needed.

Sometimes you have to shut your eyes in order to see.

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I am a teacher with my own business, three wonderful grown up children, and work in the community sector. I have had depression since around the age of 11, but wasn’t officially diagnosed until my 20s. Even then I was mis diagnosed. I try to help others with depression, by lending an ear, a shoulder, a helping hand.

SharonAnn can be found on Twitter

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One Comment

  1. Old School/New School Mom March 5, 2015 at 11:29 am - Reply

    This quote: “Depression doesn’t care if you live in a mansion or on the streets. ” I love it.

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