Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Depression - the history

I think I'm currently going through my 4th period of depression, although I've only every had one formally diagnosed before.

The first time I think I was depressed I was about 7. I didn't know I was depressed at the time, this was northern England in the early 1980s, depression was like avocados and meat served rare, we'd heard of it, but never thought it would happen to us.   It's only since being diagnosed as an adult and remember how I felt that I put two and two together.

I moved to a new school when I was 7 and it was difficult.   I am bright, I'm good at maths, languages, not bad at history and sciences.  But I am not good with my hands and quite clumsy.    I do wonder if I was at school now if I would get a mild dyspraxia diagnosis.   The school I was at focused on things like knitting and neat hand writing as well as the more usual things.   Because of the focus on these areas I started to feel like a failure.   I also went from having a very best friend to struggling to find friends. 

My memories from this period are of feeling desperately unhappy and not knowing why.  It wasn't unusual to spend Sunday afternoon crying and not wanting to go back to school.  I described it as feeling homesick despite the fact I was at home.   I'm not sure how I got through it, but the support of my parents was crucial.  I had very kind and loving parents, it was a good home.  I think that was what made it more confusing, because I wasn't sure what was making me unhappy, it didn't seem right or proper.   I didn't want for anything so why wasn't I happier.

Looking back it was a horrible period, I felt like I was letting everyone down, in particular my parents, when I just wanted to make them proud.   I think this was the start of not wanting success for myself, but wanting it in order to seek approval from others, this has got me into all kind of messes as I've grown up.

Now I just want to make sure my daughter doesn't go through the same thing.  I want to make sure she is happy, she is motivated to do her best, but doesn't feel under pressure and doesn't beat herself up if and when she doesn't manage to achieve exactly what she wants.    Don't get me wrong, I had a happy childhood, but I want my daughter's to be even more amazing.

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