From Daisy

Dear You

I know it may be hard for you to read anything at the moment, but please bear with me.

I have suffered from infrequent bouts of depression and anxiety since my early 20s (I am now 45) and there is one thing I cannot emphasis enough: seek help as soon as you feel things aren’t right. You will feel better, but it will take a bit of  time.I would like to reassure you, depression is hideous; I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. But it is treatable.

With depression and anxiety, you may not know what is happening to you, and you may feel very isolated and frightened, especially if you don’t feel able to talk to friends and family, or if you do, they are unable to understand or help at all.

Depression and anxiety have very strong physical symptoms. Familiar ones may be sleeplessness, lack of interest in food or sex, nausea, and feeling like you are unable to enjoy day-to-day things. But at one point I felt like my body was literally pinned down by a lead weight – I could barely lift my head from the pillow for two days. This was combined with a strong feeling that my brain just did not work - I was unable to read, plan, and let my mind wander as normal. I did actually feel possessed by something nasty, in my most recent bout.

I use the CBT techniques I have learned every day. It gives you a way of focusing your mind and addressing problems from an angle you might not have considered. It also gives you techniques for developing self-esteem, positivity and enabling you to put a traumatic event behind you.CBT teaches you to respect, not blame, yourself.

You just have to become very tuned into yourself – not only to your mood, but also physical symptoms such as palpitations. Remember, depression is an illness, it’s just people may not be so familiar with the symptoms and treatment. You may well encounter a lack of understanding among people, and I suggest if humans cannot help you, animals could.  My purring cat has been such a source of comfort to me. Other people get the same boost from dogs, birds, horses, or just being close to nature. Just remember, as I kept telling myself, you can beat this, you are stronger than you think you are, and you will feel better.

Best wishes