This year has been extremely difficult for me and my mental health. I came back from Cambodia and my world shook from the change, and then covid hit and my world shook even more.
For someone susceptible to mental illness, instances such as these are more than enough to tip one over the edge.
This year, I’ve experienced some of the most intense depression I can remember in a long time. Anxiety has been high, and if I’m not feeling nervous or worried about the future, I’m feeling flat, down and in the dumps.
The month of August was tough. I spent most of the time in a very ordinary state and I dipped dramatically for a period of a couple of days.
During those days of depression, you are stuck not being able to do anything. You can’t work or study because your brain is mush. You don’t exercise or socialise because there is no motivation to do so and it requires far too much effort to even get yourself out of bed.
I spend those days sitting in my car, ruminating in negative and sometimes morbid thought. I do my best to sleep it off and let the time just pass me by so the pain can subside.
The day after, your body feels exhausted. It’s like you have run a marathon without even moving a limb. Your body has taken that much of a beating, you feel sleepy and lethargic for days afterwards.
It’s come time now that I see a psychiatrist for a new medication plan.
I believe in a holistic approach to any health condition, and so this has also lead me down the path of moving into yoga retreat, where I will spend the next month working and living amongst a spiritual community on the south coast.
A lifestyle that consists of clean vegan eating, a strong daily yoga practice and some good social support with new people – I can only hope that this improves my condition in time.
I have hesitated with posting this as it is personal, however I think it’s important to raise awareness for mental health.
This experience with mental illness has been the catalyst for my scientific endeavour as a psych student, and has been the driving force behind the content I create and if I can reach out and resonate with anyone else suffering, then I feel like I’ve done something good.
One thing I’ve learned recently is, purpose and meaning are the two most important things when trying to ride a rough wave like depression. If you can attribute some sort of meaning to your pain and you can find purpose in it, it helps you ride those waves.
My purpose and meaning is all around wanting to one day help those suffering and with the wisdom and experience I gain through this journey, hopefully I can one day do a great job with that.
Now let’s raise awareness for mental health