Depression is one of the most common disabilities in the world, and about 350 million people suffer from it.
Many people seem to think that depressed people feel sorry for themselves, are simply looking for attention and should just snap out of it. The problem is they can’t.
People don’t choose to become depressed. There is no single reason why depression affects people. It can be caused by stressful events, worrying about the future or an imbalance in the delicate chemistry of the brain.
It could hit anyone, at any time, for whatever reason. And when it does it’s not nice, believe me.
My dad suffers with depression. My mum and I have had to live with it all our lives. Most of the time it’s just verbal abuse but sometimes when it gets really bad he might hit my mum. This only happens when he doesn’t take his medication. He doesn’t like taking the tablets because they make him feel weird.
He says he doesn’t feel like himself. When I first started to notice my dad shouting at my mum, I would hide away in my room and turn my music up full blast. I’d cry myself to sleep. I never knew what to do.
I just thought that he was having a bad day or that it was just a normal argument that parents have. I never knew my father had a real medical condition.
My mum would be very strong and carry on as normal, but we never knew when he might snap. As I became older I learnt to deal with it. Now I can tell when he’s getting wound up so I suggest we go out. He would never make a scene by shouting at or hitting my mum in public.
My dad has left home before for a few days when he got too angry. My mum would tell me he’d gone but it never bothered me. I didn’t care. I just wanted to carry on as normal. Sometimes I never cared if he came back at all. A couple of times when it got really bad my dad would tell us that he wanted to die.
He told us that we shouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t see him the next day because he would probably be lying somewhere dead.
He just wanted to kill himself.
Once it got too much and my mum went to see a solicitor about a divorce. They went to see a marriage councillor. This actually helped for a few weeks but then it all started again.
My dad always said that there was nothing wrong with him, but this time it was different. I’m not quite sure what happened next but for some reason my dad went to the doctor. He accepted that there was a problem and he wanted to get better.
I used to do everything I could to stay away from my dad but after he got some help I started to notice a change. I saw the dad I used to love. My real dad. My mum and I can tell when my dad isn’t taking his tablets. He starts to get bad tempered and he doesn’t want to do anything. So we do all we can to help him.
Sometimes that doesn’t help. We just leave him and he realises there is something wrong and starts taking his tablets again. At the moment my dad is very happy and I have a really good relationship with him. But you never really know how long his happy moods will last.
If you or someone you know suffers from depression, don’t be afraid to ask for help. For more information take a look at some of the following organisations:
Mind provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problems.
Rethink offer advice and support to help millions of people affected by mental illness by challenging attitudes, changing lives.