Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Blackness

So what have I been doing for the last month or so?

I've been in a very difficult place, most commonly known as depression.

I'm not looking for any sympathy writing this, I just want to tell my story and help anyone else out there in writer land who might be suffering, but may not know it.

Mental illness affects one in four people. I have twenty three followers of this blog, which means five of them could potentially be suffering from mental problems. Don't let the words 'mental illness' scare you, although depression is classed as a mental illness it is treatable, you just need to admit you need help and ask for it.

Not so long ago I found myself sleeping a lot, and when I was awake I didn't have any energy. I lost interest in my writing (I've written nothing since the CBBC drama competition), going out, socialising, or doing anything other than sitting on the sofa in front of the TV. I also found myself analysing everything about my life in the minutest detail. I felt I was a failure as a writer because after eight years of trying I've still not had a commission here in the UK. I was also very short tempered and would get angry over the littlest things. Life was, in short,...crap!!!

But I decided to go and do something about it. I got my doctor to refer me for some counseling and I've just started cognitive therapy (reordering the way you think about things and look at the world). Even after only one session I feel better. I know I still have a long way to go, but I know I'm doing something about it now, so one day very soon those dark clouds are going to lift.

I even feel a little interest in my writing coming back, so I may even write a few little words on a treatment, or something, just to get me started.

Asking for help is a hard thing to do, but I promise you there is no shame in it. If you're feeling down I urge you to go and talk to your doctor and tell him how you feel. He/She will listen to you, and more importantly, he/she will be able to help.


laurence timms said...

Dom - well done for writing all that down. I understand how very difficult it must have been just to express all that.

I have some small understanding of what you are going through, having known several people who have suffered some form of depression. One of them undertook cognitive therapy and found it extremely helpful in the medium and long term.

potdoll said...

Shh, Dom, this is one of the things Adrian Mead told us not to blog about. Lol.

Depression helps us writers have more empathy for others, and a more rounded view of the world and ourselves.

Hope you are feeling better soon.

Paul McIntyre said...

The thing with depression, it's not permanent - and it's good that you are starting to feel a few positive rays of hope.

Unknown said...

Good on you for getting help. Glad you're starting to feel better. Take care, dude.

Gareth Michael Turpie said...

Welcome back Dom!

Stay positive, mate.

Paul Campbell said...

Hey, Dom.

That takes guts.

Stay strong.

The Kid In The Front Row said...

Dude, read some autobiographies. Some of the greatest creative minds in history suffered from depression, from lack of self-belief, from all sort of things. I just read Steve Martin's book about his career as a stand up, that's a perfect example. There are so many. It helps to know you're not alone, that people like you have been along before and have achieved enormously. That can, and will be you, too - you just need to believe it.

Keep your head up :)