I've missed work today for the first time in about 5 years. The last was cos I was having my appendix out, and before that I can't remember how far back it was.

Nothing physically wrong with me; slight hangover but I've had worse. I just couldn't face it.

Had a lot of pressures the past year or so, starting when my ex left (please no snide comments on this thread Biscuits - by all means attack in the Naafi ;)) and compounded by various business & personal matters.

Most people who know me consider that I've coped pretty well - always got a smile or a bit of humour, always ready to help out, always reliable. But the truth is I've been heading for depression.

So, today I couldn't face the normal "put a bright face on". I'm missing work, and I've booked in to see my doctor this afternoon. No doubt he'll offer pills. I know the pills won't cure the problems, but I also know they'll help me to face them and to cope with them myself. I hope he'll also be able to offer someone to talk to. Because as I start to face them, I know that I'll need help making sense of some of the screaming chaos that lies behind the cheerful front at times.

So why am I posting this?

Because "depression" is a dirty word. It means you're "mental", it's something "wrong" with you, it's a sign of weakness.

I've suffered depression before, and I expect I will again. I know it's really none of the above and I've learnt that the only real way to beat it is with help and support. I also know it's crippling if you let it go too far and that at a certain point even reaching for the support you need becomes too much to face.

So I'm reaching for it before that point arrives. Laugh at me if you like, see me as weak if you wish. But if you ever find yourself missing work because you simply can't face it, remember this post and know that there IS an alternative.

Best of luck with the quack. Hope he sorts you out quickly and take care with the pills if you get them. Apparently very easy to start on them but nightmare to get off.
Many people suffer from depression and it is an illness that can be treated. I suspect it is worse in the Armed Forces because of the can-do culture, the pressure and the perception that saying "enough" or "I need help" is unacceptable.

From what I understand, there is a preference for doctors to refer patients to therapists rather than prescribe drugs, but there are resource issues with too few cognitive therapists for everyone requiring treatment.

There is no point in suffering in silence as it makes things worse and support can be found, the hardest step is seeking the help in the first instance, which requires determination and resolve.
I know people who have suffered, just being able to talk about it is a step in the right direction. The pills do help and you can come off them - regardless what people say, take them if you feel they make it easier for you. Best of luck sorting your problems. Hope you have a friendly ear to share them. take it all a step at a time start with the small stuff and the big stuff won't seem so big when you get to it. Good luck at the docs.
Thanks for the comments - Gunny, I've never denied that btw :p

As for the pills Mur, yes I know they can be addictive, but a lot less than they used to be & effective enough to make it more than worthwhile as a starting point.

Used them before, they work. You start being able to function in a week or two on them & then you can at least start to tackle the issues causing it.
If I may?

I had a bout of depression the other year, no real understandable reason, after all I am funny, minted and good looking to boot. The best advice I can offer is to realise you have an issue, which - given the audience on this board, a brave thing to do, then realise that you're not the only one to suffer from this. The Great man himself, Sir Winston Churchill battled with depression for years, didn't stop him from achieving anything.

If you can, try to stay way from the pills, the side affects are worse then the depression itself, weight gain, addiction, abnormal sleep patterns, loss of bowel movement. Apart from the weight gain, you should be well versed on the other affects but unlike a Friday/Saturday night out, this contines through the week. Not good drills, the problems cause other problems which then spiral into a shit*y pit at the bottom. Good starting points, square away your diet, ditch the drink and get some phys in, LOTS OF IT!!! Funny as it sounds, all of these have a positive input upon your sense of well being. If your working stupid hours, then stop, play the 'work to rule' card for a while, long enough to get yourself squared away. Try to make yourself more social, get out of the house, don't sit there looking at four walls. If the mind is allowed to wonder in such circumstances and the depression comes on again.

The Dr, if they are any good, should offer counselling. It's up to you if you take it or not, maybe there is a reason outside of the current situation for this depression, like your mate crushed your eagle eye action man (not the paratrooper version though, that could never happen to a paratrooper) when you were five. I went for couple of weeks but then the counsellor realised I was analyising her life, I was told (nicely) to f*ck off...Tree hugger, that will learn you!

One of the things that got me through was knowing that I wasn't going to be beaten by it. Self belief is the right weapon to fight most battles, whether physical or mental. PM me if you need to.
LJH - as Awol said that took some guts to post that. Well done on being so proactive about this!

Cognitive therapy (physical & social activity) as Bravo2nothing points out has been proven time and time again to help. I firmly believe that it is the best way of coping, as it strips the body back to doing what it was designed to do. I'm going to stop myself before I launch into full Dr. Flowers mode and simply say best of luck to you honey!


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As a past sufferer from what I called "chronic stress" (due to over work, bad marriage, leaving of Army) though in hindsight was probably a low grade depression I can thoroughly recommend therapy. There are many several types but mine was mostly my therapist listening to me as I worked things out.

As mentioned diet and exercise are also important. healthy body, healthy mind line.

Our bodies are designed to cope with acute stress but chronic stress (mental or physical) will grind it down and somewhere along the road it turns into depression.

Depression is not a dirty word it is sometimes a misused one.
Get yourself a sports car and a younger lady!

That always seems to cure most guys problems :D

Good luck
flowers said:
LJH - as Awol said that took some guts to post that. Well done on being so proactive about this!

Cognitive therapy (physical & social activity) as Bravo2nothing points out has been proven time and time again to help. I firmly believe that it is the best way of coping, as it strips the body back to doing what it was designed to do. I'm going to stop myself before I launch into full Dr. Flowers mode and simply say best of luck to you honey!
Shouldn't that read PROZACtive Flowers?

Good luck at the docs mate. Been there, done that. My best advice is pretty much as has been said before, get yourself out and do a lot of phys. You will sleep better and feel better within a couple of weeks. At least I did anyway.
Again, thanks for the supportive replies. And the slightly more "humourous" ones. Still remember how to laugh ;)

Doc was cool - talked a little about the situations that triggered me to visit and what courses might be helpful. Good to be able to talk to someone totally non-judgemental. Have gone with the pills as an immediate help cos I know they do, but he also lent out a practical workbook on defeating it, and is arranging a course of counselling for a more permanent approach.

Funny, just getting down & doing that brightens things a little - may even get to work tomorrow!

Merely seeing a way out of it helps just as much as actually working yourself out of it (from personal experience). At least I know now that if I ever go back down that road - there's a way out and that's comforting to know. Took a lot of guts to ask for help in the first place - and to post it here!

Watch those pills though mate if you do meet a young lady though you might have trouble getting it up and you're going to yawn a lot (random side-effects).
Not funny at all mate, depression nearly did me in

Medication can help a lot but try not to take it for too long, I stopped them after a couple of months

I did'nt find counselling helped, largely cause of my character

Medication allowed me to get a grip enough to work out the undelying problems and after a year life is just about back on track.

Another problem I had was that I always regarded mental illness of any form as self indulgent and weak and as o consequence it took months to admit to myself where the problem lay.

Once you acknowledge the problem and identify the causes the curing part is relatively easy

It is'nt easy mate and it cost me everything, job, partner, house, the whole lot. That does have a good side though because it allows a whole new start and life is sstarting to look very rosey

Huge espect is due for admitting it, I could'nt admit it to myself let alone my girlfriend of ten years or publically

I wish you luck and success, where you go with it is upto you in the end but it CAN be soted
Apart from p1ssing my sides laughing at some of the comments...........

1) Took guts to say it on here, however is there an attention complex building?

2) Why spill a life story and not just state about "depression" in general.

If your looking for that BIG hug to cheer you up, it won't be coming from here.

Depression is a big thing and people do abuse it for selfish reasons.

Jack, you are not dying, you have all your limbs and your health. Cheer up lad, face it you could of lost your whole family in a hurricane or a terrorist attack etc.

Always look on the bright side of life!

Watching dirty den dying on East Enders is not a reason to be sad Jack!

(Waits for incoming fire)

P.s. Moody, do your kids come back smiling like little soldiers????
Moodybitch said:
If ever I feel depressed, Shorfuse offers to take my son to see his puppies.

What a nice guy, helping me out like that and giving me a break ;)
thanks moody ... he especially likes me to show him my special stroking technique.
Woooooowwwwwww slow down there guys!!! There really are some VERY unnecessary replies in this thread which are not fricking nice at all!!! Fair one L_J_H probably shouldn't have put anything on here about the way he is feeling, but, when you're down you sometimes do silly things.

L_J_H mate I hope you feel better soon buddy. As has been already mentioned though, keep your chin up and do as the Doctor says, and, if he says you need tablets then you need tablets - take them!!!

Anyways - you know I'm on MSN if you wanna chat mate.

In the meantime have a heart the rest of you!

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