I think I’ve been depressed for as long as I can remember? I was on and off meds throughout high school. After high school I had a really tough time with my appearance and body image, a high conflict relationship, and my sense of self worth. I really identify with the “black cloud” analogy: everywhere you go you see things through this dark cloud. You judge other people so much, but you judge yourself even more; everything is stupid, worthless and meaningless, but not as much as you are. In the past I’ve been so obsessed with my appearance, I’ve lost so much weight and become so critical of my body, but then things get hard and I ‘lose control’.
Depression is such a fixation on anything but the present moment. You’re worried about your future and how you will inevitably fail, you’re worried about all the stupid things you’ve done – the present moment is so far away. That’s why mindfulness was so great for me, it helped me cut through all that bs into what is actually going on right now.
I started seeing a psychologist towards the end of 2014, when things were pretty dark, and it was only up hill from there! I recommend every human being to start long term psychodynamic therapy – anyone who has a childhood should do therapy!! 😀
This year I finally feel like the ‘cloud has lifted’. Amazing allied health professionals, mindfulness meditation, self compassion, an interest in buddhist principles – a general interest in my own inner thoughts and feelings – are some of the things that have really helped me change from such an anxious and ‘needing to please’ person, into someone who is fairly happy in her own skin 🙂 Not that I’m perfect, still got a long way to go!
First year med was such a stressful period, I was so burnt out and disillusioned towards the end. This year I’ve really focused on creating hobbies and extra-curricular activities, which has kept me interested and engaged in life! I’ve been super involved with UQMind (https://www.facebook.com/UQMind/?fref=ts) a brand new wellbeing initiative at the University of Queensland, which has been such an outlet for me! Getting involved in university activities is a cliche suggestion, but it does help. I have a tiny circle of amazing people who I like to vent to, and listen to their venting, which has been indispensable – you know who you are 😉
I’m pretty happy with how life is going at the moment, something that 5 years ago I wouldn’t have even thought was possible! Everyone is worthy of being happy with their lives, it takes an enormous effort but it’s certainly worth it! 🙂