Stay Positive: Previous experiences with mild depression. Expect strong language, dark humour and the occasional outdated opinion.
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Normally, the first few passages of an article are the hardest to write.
Just like writing an essay, everything else in the document flows together in your mind like a beautiful dream, as you envisage yourself in a film montage, typing away and creating the next piece of literary genius for the world to fawn over.
Then reality kicks in, and you find yourself staring at a blank screen, with the same literary nous as a poodle with no legs. This one was slightly different, however, as I knew exactly what to say to kick things off:
This article will deal with my ongoing relationship with mild depression.
There. That was pretty simple, really. That opening line also tackles a few of the six w’s that are the cornerstone of any journalistic opening, but this isn’t the time for newsroom lessons.
I was ‘diagnosed’, if you will, about 18 months ago by my then GP, who has since moved on - but I don’t hold it against him. The first reaction to the news in my head was a tongue-in-cheek, “If you think I’m bad now, you should’ve seen me a few years ago.” Somewhat wisely, I refrained from letting that quip out of my mouth.
The initial reactions ranged mainly from annoyance to denial. The reason for those feelings was down to how I was tested. A program on the doctor’s computer asked me a questionnaire based around my general well-being, with my answers fitting in a pre-determined list.
Quite often my actual answers didn’t really fit in with the answers, leaving me feeling that if I was about to be strapped into a strait-jacket, I wasn‘t going to do a very good job as the new Randle Patrick McMurphy.
Film jibes aside, I hadn’t ended up at my local surgery because I had gotten into trouble with the law, or because I had threatened to jump off a bridge. As methodical as it sounds, I realised I was becoming increasingly upset, distressed and unattached to reality, and decided to do something about it before I did break the law, or threaten to jump off a bridge.