I was talking to a few people over the weekend and realised how much of a taboo depression still has. This is especially the case amongst men. Suicide is still one of the highest killers of young men around.
I would just like to tell you about the time I went to the doctors about my depression. I was thinking about starting my own business and realised that I needed to make sure my head was in the right space.
Since starting my business I realise how much of an emotional roller coaster owning a business is. There are many moments when you are terrified about what is going to happen (the rest of the time you are terrified that nothing is going to happen).
I went to see a doctor just before I started my business. There was a 2 fold reason for this:-
- I wanted to make sure I was in the right head space when starting the business
- I know I can get myself into a state where I constantly doubt myself and draw myself deeper and deeper into the depths of depression.
So I went to the doctor who was really surprised to hear what I had to say.
The conversation went something like
Doc: Hello Mr Patel how can I help you today
Me: I wanted to come and see you as I know I can get myself into a depressive state”(I know I sound quite the tool)
Doc: are you depressed at the moment?
Me: no not really
Doc: Hmmm this is an unusual situation most people who come see me about depression are usually in the trough of a depression and have hit a real low.
Me: I have hit those lows before but have always thought to myself don’t be such an idiot is your life really that bad get over yourself and be happy with what you have.
Doc: How come you have come to see me at the moment when you are not currently depressed?
Me: I am thinking of starting a business but until I feel my head is in the right space I don’t think I will do it.
Doc: OK let me refer you to a counsellor
I didn’t realise how unusual a conversation I had just had with my doctor actually was. Reflecting back on this I realise it is important to get help not when you need it most, but when you feel like you can make best use of it.
Depression is something that can become all consuming and pervasive. It can enter each and every small part of your life. At the moment you are in the darkest recesses in your mind it can be almost (and in a lot of cases is) impossible to reach out and grab the help you need.
Mental health still has such a stigma surrounding it even though it is something that many of us will contended with in our lives. I think the ability to talk about these issues before they become all encompassing is the key to really making an impact.
I spoke to a counsellor after the GP refereed me and I can honestly say that although I did not go back knowing I could put me in such a better space mentally going forward.
There are always ups and downs in life and when you get depressed it is almost certainly a down but it is also an opportunity to really connect with yourself and figure things out.