Psychology

How I Learned to Control My Depression

Depression is one of the largest killers of men worldwide.

This statistic never failed to frighten me. But I knew myself. That would never be me, right?

Wrong.

My name is James, and around a year and a half ago, I was diagnosed with depression.

If you were to have spoken to my family and friends, they’d all tell you the same thing.

“Oh, he’s so funny; he’s always smiling. Not a care in the world.”

Now from the outside looking in, this was wholeheartedly true. I always carried myself well and made sure to put a brave smile on my face.

But inside, where it matters, I was fighting a losing battle every day.

I can’t quite pinpoint the exact moment it hit me, and it was more of a drawn-out battle that took place over a few months.

Let me try and paint the picture with words – please know I am healing now, and I am trying my best to live every day to the fullest. But this wasn’t always the case.

I was living my best life for as long as I can remember. A healthy balance of the whole “work hard, play hard” narrative.

But as was the case for many, things changed drastically, almost overnight.

The first lockdown hit me hard. Harder than I’d care to admit. 

I found myself locked up inside, with no access to family or friends. 

I was living alone at that point, having recently taken a job in the City; I had flown the nest and found myself a lovely apartment in Houston.

Things were seemingly going well, and I had a great work and social life balance, close friends nearby, and a job I loved. 

My weekends were spent at bars and restaurants with my friends, and I even had relative success in the online dating world – all good, right?

But life has a way of knocking you back.

Like the whole world, I was glued to the TV when the first lockdown was announced.

I didn’t take the lockdown too seriously at; first, I thought it was a means to an end, and it would soon pass.

But as the weeks went on, I found myself becoming less motivated, reflecting on my work, communication, and health.

But the icing on the cake for my mental wellbeing came on a gloomy Spring afternoon – an out-of-the-blue work call with my line manager.

He explained that people had noticeably recognized a dip in my performance and work and sadly had no other option than to let me go.

I was crushed.

My expensive new apartment, bills, outgoings, all of it was doomed.

I didn’t have the heart to tell my parents or friends, so I bottled it up and just sat in my apartment, alone with my thoughts.

After this, the days started getting longer and longer, and I regrettably found some short-term relief through drinking. I know, not my proudest moment.

Life had me down in the dumps. I was now broke, unsociable, unemployed, and unmotivated.

I still hadn’t reached out to my family or friends; I just found solace in the bottle.

I felt like there was no way out for me. My mind would always seek the easy way out of things, and there were those dark days where the thought of just ending it crossed my mind.

I never thought I’d be one of those statistics you see on the news about young males ending their lives so unbearably short.

And if it wasn’t for what I am about to share with you next, that may well have been me.

The day began like any other: wake up around midday, pour myself a drink, and sit down in front of the TV.

I had barely looked at my phone except for the odd takeaway – a great way to save my depleting funds, I know.

But when I was scrolling to find my next fast-food intake, a message popped up that damn well saved my life.

One of my former colleagues, Sam had reached out to me before, but I had dismissed it as he reminded me of how much of an unemployed loser I felt like.

He asked me if he could call me, as he missed hanging out and felt a little isolated following the second lockdown.

I hesitated. He probably had everything I wanted; functional relationships, a good social life and the job I loved doing. 

So I ignored him.

But thankfully, he was persistent. 

My phone started to ring, and I panicked. I hadn’t spoken with anyone for months.

I cleared my throat and tried my best to sound happy (and sober.) 

He sounded relieved when I answered the phone. He told me how sorry he was for not reaching out sooner and expressed his condolences for the loss of my job.

We spoke for hours in one of the most difficult conversations of my life, and I found myself pouring my emotions over the phone.

We weren’t so different.

Sam had been placed on furlough and never went back to work either. He spent days upon end feeling sorry for himself. It all sounded horribly familiar.

But he managed to pull himself up, dust himself off and get back out there using an app, of all things.

He pointed me in the direction of the app he used.

It was called DoMental.

Now I thought therapy was never for me, but neither did I expect to be battling depression – so did I have a choice?

Well I was wrong, that much I can admit. After some quick clicks online, I realized that therapy can be benificial for everyone. 

One article went as far as to suggest that everyone should try therapy at some stage of their life, and I am inclined to agree with them.

I dug out my laptop for the first time in weeks, started researching this app, and found some solid reviews suggesting to try it.

I wasn’t ready for regular therapy, nor could I afford it, so this suited me.

Despite my lack of interest in getting help, Sam’s faith in me and my promise to him to try kept me going. He even fronted me the money for the first 3-months of the app.

And thank God I did.

I chatted daily with my assigned therapist Katie. Whenever I felt low – which was quite often – or in need of some guidance, I’d drop her a message, and after a short wait, I always had a response that made me feel warm and comforted.

We plotted out my goals and worked tirelessly together to make them happen.

She suggested setting goals like; reach out to others, be open and honest when I am feeling down. They gave me something to aim towards, and that really helped me recover.

I began reaching out to my family and friends, apologizing for not staying in touch.

Their responses were overwhelming. My parents were so supportive and pleaded with me to talk to them next time.

But all this was made possible by the help and support I received from Katie at DoMental.

For affordability and results, I cannot speak highly enough of her.

Of course, my family and friends were there for me too, and not everyone may have this luxury. But reaching out can often be the first step. 

You DO NOT have to try and fix this yourself.

Let’s come back to the present day.

I still use DoMental, It gives me that peace of mind knowing help is only a few clicks away – but I am doing so much better.

I found myself a new job, slightly closer to home, because if this process has taught me anything, it’s that family is everything. 

I may not be 100% – but I’m a lot better now than I was a few months ago.

So please don’t stay hopeless. Help is out there, and maybe just a text or phone call away. Reaching out is the hardest step, but you will thank yourself later.

DoMental allowed me to get back to my routines, encouraging me to take the next positive step, create goals and track my progress.

The quality of care I received from Katie was exceptional. I really could not see myself being here today without that compassion and empathy that she displayed.

So that’s my story; I hope you take from it what you can and that it may offer you some comfort knowing that help is out there.

There is a free questionnaire you can take, tailored to your emotional state. Whether it’s depression and anxiety, they can help find you the best support.

So I wish you all the best; try the questionnaire yourself by clicking the button below. If it has half the benefit it had for me, I promise you it will be worth it.

Take a free 2-minute quiz to find the right DoMental therapist for you

Always consult a professional for medical advice

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