Hi everyone! My name is Dean, and this year I will be writing a blog about my experiences of depression. I hope that I can focus on the different strategies that I have come across to help cope at different times! I hope that it will be interesting and useful to anyone that wants to know more, and to show that there is plenty of help out there, you just need to know where to look. The important thing is YOU DON’T NEED TO DO IT ALONE, HELP IS OUT THERE!

Thinking back (as you may have seen in my background story), I think I had a general underlying depression dating back to quite a young age. I often found myself feeling empty, anxious and generally very low. However, this really came to the fore as I started university, increasingly isolating myself from others, feeling more withdrawn and much more flat. I was irritable, constantly feeling very low, and generally feeling disengaged from everything going on around me. My behaviour became erratic and reckless, as I began doing things I would not have done if I had been in a better place.

One feeling that has been generally pervasive throughout this whole time is the fear of not being good enough. This led me to get into great panics quite often, even if (in retrospect) they weren’t particularly necessary. It seemed to me that even people I was close to thought I was being melodramatic and unreasonable, but this really was a feeling of irrational terror for me. I was lucky to have a few friends who (as I saw it) put up with me, and they at least helped keep me on track enough to finish my Final exams in 2009.

I finally sought help during my Masters year (2010). After a rather hectic period of personal issues (including breaking my leg in dramatic style…!), my girlfriend at the time persuaded me to go to see my GP, and that has led me from then until now, with various types of treatment being offered to me, which I hope to share with you over the next year.

So now I am in the middle of studying for a PhD, still with some of these feelings of emptiness, lowness and struggling to believe I am good enough. Over the next year I will be able to keep you updated on how treatment options are going for me, and what things I am trying to do to help me in everyday situations.

I look forward to hearing your comments and chatting more to you all over the year!