Clinical depression is a morbid illness. It kills people. It killed my grandfather – even the Nazi’s couldn’t do that. It tried to kill me.
I have spent most of my life wishing for death.
I have stood on the edge of a sheer drop, my toes over the edge, palms sweating and heart thumping.
I have a strong primal instinct for self-preservation. I fear pain. I suffer from vertigo. When you stand on the edge of that drop your mind says jump but your body says stop.
My suicide attempts were all failures. Some were half-hearted cries for help. Some were the only way I could be taken seriously and get some treatment at last. Some were meant to kill me and some very nearly succeeded.
And I’m still alive.
And what’s more, I’m feeling better than I have for many years. I’m recovering.
Clinical depression morphed into anxiety and I ended up in an acute hospital. I rolled around the floor of a deserted corridor having one panic attack after another. The staff just left me to it. I could barely eat. I couldn’t lift my fork to my mouth. I lived on pieces of melon. I couldn’t sleep. I was scared of being murdered in the night by psychopathic patients. Every moment was a hell words cannot describe.
When they let me out again I saw a private psychiatrist for a one-off consultation. She prescribed anti-psychotics instead of anti-depressants, as none had ever worked, and she gave me tablets to help me sleep and to quieten my out of control nervous system.
I slowly began to learn how to function again.
And so here I am: a survivor.
My new diagnosis of BPD is unhelpful and, yes, anxiety is a daily battle but I can actually feel again. Instead of a flat-line low mood occasionally dipping into crisis I can now enjoy the good things about my life and my mood can go up as well as down. I have a wonderful wife, two amazing children and my faith.
Standing on the precipice I never would have believed that I could feel so well or have so much to live for. So I say don’t give up. It’s never too late for things to change.