Dealing With Depression…

  I have given this a lot of consideration and thought before I decided to post this. Last year I was diagnosed with chronic depression. I had no idea nor did not see it coming it just happened. It was my family that saw my change in attitude my unwillingness to do the most mundane of tasks, lack of interest, mood swings, tiredness all the time and a total loss of self-worth I really did not think anything had changed. In discussion my family discreetly advised that at the very least I should go to the doctors to get checked out. At first I refused to go, too embarrassed that someone like me could ever fall victim to depression after all, years gone by I would always be the first to show little or no sympathy towards those suffering from depression “just get over it” I would always say nothing is ever that bad. After some time again without realising, I was self-medicating using alcohol to fill the empty gaps. I started to become paranoid about my health and used google to diagnose my problems (never do this) which in turn created anxiety.  I did not want to leave the house and felt so constrained in large groups (four or more people) that I avoided these situations. One day for no reason I visited the doctors. It was a hard realisation to sit with your doctor filling out a mental health form and also realising that your answers are more yes than no and even harder when you are diagnosed with a mental illness. The question regarding wether I have ever considered suicide almost broke my heart. I felt like crying and did.  

Whilst walking today I stumbled upon a rope hanging from a tree. At first it did not bare much thought. As I continued I could not help but think how loaded such a trivial item could be. On one hand we have joy, happiness, love, life, strength, fondness and nostalgia and the other, pain, sorrow, desperation, depression, death and loss. I guess you live by what type of rope you swing from…

  
Thing is this sounds like all doom and gloom. I was prescribed Sertraline and for a while they took the edge off things maybe too much if the truth be told and so after some time decided to come off them. I had to deal with the issues I had for me to understand myself and why I was feeling this way. I won’t lie it took some time and I still need to remind myself from time to time. I went for a full check up at the doctors the blood test came back all clear it was a weight off my mind. I went and had a full asthma check again all was fine another weight off my mind small steps small steps… so it was not my body that was ill it was my mind and the only way I have overcome this illness is to realise I have to let the past stay in the past breakdown underlying issues and try understand them. You can’t be liked by all, exercise, eat well, drink less!! Embrace everyday as if it was your last, laugh a little take in those deep breaths open your eyes and actually see don’t just look! Stay in contact with your family and friends and when it all gets too much (and it does from time to time) remember above all you’re not alone there are others going through exactly the same looking for that light and if I’m still here then you can be too.

Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed about it is an illness just like any other.

  

Irony

You just have believe in yourself first for others believe in you.

Never be afraid to dream or aim too high. Impossible dreams do come true.

IMG_4284
Photography gives me a way to express myself via the only means I feel comfortable with.  It is also the devils advocate where there is an ongoing battle between self doubt and an ongoing questioning whether you are going down the right path. However, if you never challenge yourself you will never know…

  

Have I achieved what I set out to do??

Much love 

M

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9 thoughts on “Dealing With Depression…”

  1. Mark thank you for your honesty as a fellow photographer and someone who has close hand family experience of depression the more we talk about it the quicker we will get help and a cure for it. God bless Janine

      1. I’ve found getting stuff out onto paper dilutes the “poison” inside although painful at the time it really does help plus sharing experiences etc. I look forwards to seeing more of your work and blog in the near future. Mark I will pray for your depression to go and for you to continue working through it with your creative photography. What 4 x 5 are you using a Wista? I use a Wista 45 Field camera beautiful piece of kit. God Bless Janine

  2. well, this is quite a touching story. Consider yourself lucky that a – short – bout of medication and support got you out of it. I came in contact with a photographer who couldn’t set a foot into his darkroom for 5 years and still can’t… Looking forward to see more of you imagery… (and sligfhtöy envious of your fine 4×5, by the way!) R.

    1. Thank you. Analogue photography especially 5×4 is my passion. I love the process from start to finish. Ahh my Shen is a stunner although she did cost me my Hasselblad to fund her! Now I’m looking forward to purchasing a Berlebach tripod!

      Kind regards

      Mark

  3. Thank you so much… I needed to read this and I’m glad you’ve fought hard with depression and anxiety… I also refused to recognise my own depression and took toll to drugs which in turn gave me anxiety. I think I’m going to fight hard everyday like you, you inspire me.

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