In 1999, I had Glandular Fever but after I recovered I developed post-viral depression, which has affected me for the rest of my life. I have had breakdowns over the years, which I sometimes refer to as blips where I shut myself away and have just been really down. I took anti-depressants for over a year, which really helped.
I remember it was 1999 and I had just turned 18, I was packed up and feeling really enthusiastic to start a new life at university, but having grown up in a small village in North Yorkshire, landing in the middle of Nottingham was quite daunting. It was like living on a noisy TV show which never turned off.
At first I had the best intentions, wanting to show everyone how grown up I was. However, I quickly found myself partying too hard and giving up on these intentions. I also started a relationship with someone much more mature than me and in hindsight I think the pressures of maintaining a relationship I wasn’t ready for also contributed to my poor mental health.
My mental health quickly plummeted. I realised I needed to do something. I decided to go and live and work in France to try and return to some sort of normality. Although I said I wasn’t running away at the time, in hindsight that is exactly what I did. Unfortunately my health got the better of me and after collapsing at work one night it was decided I should return home. I’m incredibly lucky my aunty and uncle were there to scoop me up from hospital.
When I got home I had no energy, felt beaten, fearful of life and not really sure on what to do. I felt like my world was over. My doctor really helped me. He diagnosed me with severe Glandular Fever. It was a long six months of being really ill.
Although I made physical improvements, one of the severe side effects of my glandular fever was the onset of post viral depression. I didn’t have a sleep pattern, I felt constantly frustrated I couldn’t do what I used to be able to do, as well as being consumed by this compounding feeling of worthlessness.
I was prescribed a course of anti-depressants and referred to a counsellor at the local hospital. I felt deeply embarrassed and it all got the better of me. At first visiting my counsellor made me more anxious, frustrated and confused. However, I will never forget as time went on she listened, advised, guided and empowered me to talk not just to her but to others too, and I soon had a group of people around me – who began to understand my mental health problems.
18 years on from these event I have a beautiful wife who understands but is there to push me back to fitness when I’m going through a rough patch. My biggest worry is for my two children, social media does some great things but if kids are not looking …
Source:: The Huffington Post – UK Lifestyle