Depression and Other Mental Health Issues


Book Reviewer
Rather than totally mess up the Alcohol Abuse thread, I thought I'd start this one instead. Please don't see this as a 'look at me' thread, this is a serious issue and one that is often misread by non-sufferer.

I have suffered from Depression for many years. Every time I think I have beaten it, and that's the end of that. But no, it comes back. This time it is the worst episode ever. I am almost non-functional, to the extent that I am not able to work.

This is not a case of "chin up", "smile, it may never happen". To be honest, those phrases are almost certain to make a sufferer have to massively control themselves from beating the living daylights out of you. As well as the typical low mood and episodes of emotional breakdown, I have bouts of almost uncontrollable rage. At one point I wanted to kill someone and a friend saw the look in my eyes and extracted me from the situation - she seriously thought I was going to commit murder. I can't concentrate for more than a few minutes - so my OH won't let me cook when she's not home in case I burn the house down or injure myself. My short term memory is shot - I have to write everything I do down, or else I forget I've done it and my OH has to write everything I need to do each day in a diary, I have anxiety attacks. The other day I needed to go into a shop. Someone was walking towards me in the isle and we did the left-right-left-right dance. He chuckled and said sorry. I was a sweating, shaking, nauseous wreck - I had to get out and sit down.

So now I have been deemed unfit for work. I am seeing a Lt Col SMO and a Consultant Psychiatrist. They are settling in for the long haul I think. The difficult thing is not knowing. If I had a broken leg I know that in x weeks the cast comes off, in y weeks the physio starts and in about z weeks everything will be fine. Depression is not so clear cut. I am on Anti-Depressants, and slowly these are beginning to work. They are only a crutch though, not the cure.

Depression is a lonely existence. Many folk have been in touch from here, from Facebook and from the Real World offering help, support and advice, and I genuinely appreciate and thank them for that.

I am opening this up to you lot for your experiences so that I, and others may learn something.


Book Reviewer
Thanks for the PMs, I see that I am not the only one to suffer this condition. It is an odd comfort in this lonely existence.
You're not the only one, I remember taking the piss out of people with issues and them being called SSAFA cases.

Now I am one. Along with Combat Stress, RBL and various NHS agencies.

There are some things in life that you might be able to just shrug off at the time, especially on high tempo ops, but they will come back and bite you on the arse eventually, and when they do you will ******* know about it.

My Doc won't even let me have sleeping pills or anti-depressants because I've turned into Ord_Sgt's apprentice, as you can probably tell from most of the shite I post on here.

Every day is a ******* living nightmare at the moment and I have come close to topping myself a few times, if it wasn't for the fact I had my wife and kids around me I wouldn't be here now (no great loss I hear you say :))

But I won't give up just yet, there are people out there to help you, but it's just trying to help you cope with it, the memories will never go away
Good thread Legs. It may need to be moderated closely, otherwise an potentially beneficial thread will get crayoned on by idiots.
IMHO this is not the best idea for a thread. But what do I know. :)

What he said above.
I would like to contribute with this but would only be comfortable doing it via PM ~ but I'm new to this and I don't know how to do it!?! Sorry could someone help? Thick I know....
I'm fortunate to have never suffered from depression or the host of other debilitating illnesses out there. However, for 2 years I was with, and cared for, a person with depression. I watched her fight round after round of mania followed by depression. It was one of the most frightening things I've ever seen.

However, she got better. Drugs, therapy, family and friends - I don't know what it was that made the difference (I know it wasn't me), but something got through in the end.

Its a bloody awful thing to live with - but the key thing is to know that there is an answer out there - and to get through to that point any way you can.

Legs, and all the others - I wish you all the best.


Book Reviewer
I beg to differ, the more mental health problems are discussed the less stigma will be attached.
I agree jarrod

I just get a little concerned that some prat is going to kick the arse out of a depression joke and it ends up as a cluster.
Legs, for 2 reasons do not think of your antidepressant as a crutch.

Firstly the antidepressant helps replace chemicals in your brain, this drug is lacking, so if your doctor suggested you took a vitamin or mineral supplement due to you being deficient of this substance would you see that as the vitamin being a crutch, no you would not, so don't think of the antidepressant as a crutch.

Secondly, what do you do with the elbow crutch, when your broken leg mends, you discard them and try to mobilise without them at earliest opportunity, you cannot do that with antidepressants, as even when they stabilise your mood it is necessary to continue with them for a while afterwards, a lot of people think great i'm feeling better i will stop the antidepressant, result return to depression.

Even Winston Churchill suffered from what he called his 'Black Dog'

Keep fighting it with the support/help of the professionals, your peers, family and friends
I beg to differ, the more mental health problems are discussed the less stigma will be attached.
And besides that, people can decide themselves to post in an open forum or PM someone who strikes a chord with their own situation.

The more avenues and options open to people to help them through problems and lead a worthwhile life, the better. There is no common single solution.


One of the worst things for me is how unpredictable it is, i could be ok for months at a time , then, bam, wake up one day and its there again.

I dont think it ever truly leaves you
Can I recommend a book? Its called "Depression the curse of the Strong" its by [I think] Prof Christopher Cantopher, I don't know its ISBN number ~ its not very long but incredibly informative. It answered a lot of my questions and helped. He's an expert [non military] in this field andit made a lot of sense. there are some online 'clips'/snippets' which give a sample.. Helps with drugs/meds info as well which can be a mine field.
It's not a mental condition, its physical which is what the meds help to 'mend'

Joshua Slocum

its not easy to deal with or even come to terms with
Winston Churchill suffered from it all his life
I suffer from it
I do find that being outside in the light helps, if I get really down I tend to sleep a lot, in my previous job I never told them as they tended to get rid of you, when they did find out I was made redundant not long afterwards but the package was good and has given me a boost
keeping busy seems to help but taking drugs for it is a no no with me I am really worried about the long term effects
if I am having a bad day I tend to spend tiem outside in the garden or fresh air or cycling or just wander into town always brightens me up
just hve to get on with it
I do have a friend who is suffering from a very dark form of mental illness and he always ays he wishes he was normal like me
never mentioned my problems to him just try to keep him positive and make him laugh about things
I have found that if you dont get help small things that you coudl shrug off seem to take on gigantic propertions and seem overbearing
if you dont talk about it it becomes a social stigma
maybe its a trade off for other gifts
not sure
I think that this thread, if heavily moderated, has a hell of lot to offer to folks going through this shit!

I have suffered from it in the past, not to the extent of wanting to top myself but it really does effect your life!....It doesn't matter if you are the biggest, hardest bastard on the planet, this is something that can hit you at any moment!

I still am a moody ******, but am very, very lucky to now be with someone who understands and also puts up with it.


I hated how it made me treat those around me.

I was told by a lovely mental health nurse "antidepresants are not the answer to depression, they are the helping hand that guide you to safety, and hold on to the hand hand as long as you need to"
I was told by a lovely mental health nurse "antidepresants are not the answer to depression, they are the helping hand that guide you to safety, and hold on to the hand hand as long as you need to"
Simple but excellent message to use on the journey that depression takes you on.

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