Let me introduce myself, my name is Becca and 4 years ago I was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety that left me as a broken shell of a person until I was given the help that I needed which turned out to be a combination of many different things.
I call it the darkness, the shadows that circulated and suffocated every thought that ran through my head from the age of 15 until recently. It’s not that I am afraid of the word depression neither am I ashamed of it but in my eyes Depression was just a word that could literally mean anything about anyone, ‘the darkness’ is what I saw, what I felt, what haunted my every joyous moment and what hurt me, what felt like, every time I took a breath.
Like many people my head twisted my thoughts into a cycle and I was plagued with feeling like a failure that this world would be better without. It took me a long time to tell the people I loved around me just how dark the clouds in my mind had grown, the revelation to those closest to me set me free in a way and turned me towards my path to heal. After speaking to my local GP, I was told that because of my age medication was frowned upon, at least for a while, but I needed to at least try talkative one-on-one counselling, so that’s what I did.
After a few months of therapy, I was still working towards stopping myself from self-harming. I don’t know if there is any right way to describe why a person might choose to hurt themselves. Don’t get me wrong I didn’t want to hurt myself or feel any kind of pain but for a while at least I could feel pain that I could understand; if I could see a cut running down my thigh the pain would make sense rather than feeling a pain from within me and not being able to recognize or easily fix it. After a while of talking this through I tried something I would have never have thought of before, I started wearing a rubber band on my wrist and whenever I felt the need to harm myself I would ping the band.
Although you still felt some pain through the pinging of the band it wouldn’t be lasting or scarring therefore stopping the most harmful part of self-harm. I have heard that addicts sometimes use this to stop their cravings and in a way that is exactly what the band does; it stops the person from craving the thing that they feel will hopefully solve the pain within.
Fast forward a few years and after a combination of therapy, interventions (like the rubber band) and a small amount of medication to give my mind a moment to calm itself before reacting in a certain way, I am on the mend. I finished school passing all my exams and I began my own business which is growing all the time.
I owe everything to the people that helped me, my family, my friends, the doctors at the NHS and my counsellor who made me see that there is a world of help for a person who is willing to let their inhibitions go and share their feelings to finally get the help they need.
I don’t think someone can ever be fully healed for a disorder of the mind, you can absolutely get better but will probably always have to find ways to cope with different changes and upsetting events in successful ways that don’t see you spiralling out of control. My advice to those who also suffer is to try different things to help yourself, no person is the same therefore no person’s treatment can be the same, talk it through and see where the conversation takes you.
If you have been affected by the issues discussed in this article, you can contact the Samaritans here.
Rebecca Spinks is the managing director at Bexmin Ltd, which is a company that manages other businesses office admin and social media accounts. With no official qualifications in the psychological field what Rebecca does have is experience of issues like depression in day to day life.
In Rebecca's words "I think people working in this field and helping those in need are all one of a kind and each deserve a medal for championing against the horrors that are mental health. I have no expectations about where this article will end up or who will read it but I thought if I could help at least one person like me it will be reward enough."