Please don't read ahead if you feel that something in this post may trigger you, it touches upon depression/anxiety/death/mental health.
This is not the usual kind of post you would find on my blog but its something I would consider to be a major issue in my life right now, and I hope sharing this will help someone else get courage to speak to someone if they feel like they need a little bit of "help". Whilst i'm aware not everyone will have the same problems I do (and I know therapy isn't for everyone) - Its okay to ask for help when you feel like you need it. Whether that be in the form of a therapist or a good friend you can trust.
A few months ago I realised one day I will be dead. I know that probably sounds ridiculous to some people, but when your life has (for the most part) been unaffected by death - its quite easy to forget it happens. I started having what can only be described as panic attacks about once every two-three days when I thought about it. I could deal with it but over the past few weeks I began to feel like I had reached "boiling point" - my mind was stuck on this one horrible thought and although I desperately wanted to think of other things, it just wasn't possible. It went from thinking about it once every couple of days to thinking about it for most of the day. Its kind of silly in a way, because here I was crying about dying in the future and that meant I was missing out on right now.
After spending a large part of a Friday evening crying, I went to see an "emergency" doctor who works outside of normal hours. I have to be honest, at the time it was the last place I wanted to go - but did so because I knew my loved ones were worried. From the second I went inside until I departed, I felt like an inconvenience. I thought the doctor was joking when he asked "is this the first time you have tried to harm yourself?" - he obviously hadn't read my file because this was the opposite of what I wanted to do. He asked me a list of questions which were all of the "how to know if you're depressed" signs and symptoms I had googled earlier, it almost felt like it was a game of questions and answers. Even though my answer to all but one question was "no", I was prescribed Xanax and antidepressants before I left and told these weren't addictive. I understand he was probably worried when a 21 year old girl was sitting in his office crying like a baby - but i'm a big girl, we are both adults and he should be honest with his patients (a quick google search tells the horrors of Xanax addiction!)
When I left the doctors office, I was feeling confused and misunderstood. That night I took half of a 0.5mg Xanax and slept for 13 hours, the following day I took half of a 0.25mg Xanax at 3pm and spent most of the evening laying on my bed until I eventually fell asleep at 7pm. I was supposed to be taking the full Xanax pills twice a day along with antidepressants which list being extra tired and weight gain as the main side effects (as an already overweight girl, I don't think I should be taking pills which make people gain as much as 30lbs in 6 weeks!) Taking all of the pills would have meant I would likely want to sleep all day, every day. I did not want to waste my life in bed, nor did I want to take pills I didn't feel like I needed. I don't believe I was/am depressed, anxiety maybe, but I think the doctor diagnosed me as depressed and put me on pills because it was an easy option.
The next week I began to google counselling services and called up a local therapist who scheduled an appointment for the next morning. It was a little daunting at first, I was really afraid of going in there and being judged but I was made feel so comfortable and welcome. Although I still have a long way to go, I know I will get there and I really feel that this is what I need to get on with my life and focus on the positive things again.
I guess the main point of this post was to share "my story" which I hope will help other people. If ever you don't feel comfortable with what your doctor has prescribed/recommended, seek a second opinion. If you think you may need to speak to a therapist but are worried about the stigma attached to it and mental problems in general - don't be! Sometimes we need a little bit of help or guidance and nobody should be afraid/ashamed to seek it. I'm certainly glad I have.
ps. Completely unrelated but I will be announcing the winners of my giveaway as soon as possible, its going to take me a while to sort through all of the entries. Thanks to everyone who entered!