I have had depression since December 2010. I recognised the symptoms earlier than most sufferers and went to my doctor for help.
That in itself was traumatic. I rarely visit the doctor and have been healthy all my life. To suffer from a mental illness when my brain has been my life is extremely distressing.
The medication helps, but I seem to have reached a plateau, where I can no longer notice a daily improvement in my condition. My thinking is more focused, but I still come close to panic whenever I have to do anything that involves other people, even email.
I will see the doctor again this month about increasing the medication I am on. I want to get better. I want my active brain back again.
I used to write for ten hours a day, now I can only manage three, but that is a big improvement on three months ago. I find I need to get away from the computer after three hours, because my stress levels have built up to intolerable levels. I have started to force myself to do some writing and some online interaction every day.
I have always heard people with depression saying that they tire more easily. It really is true. I now find doing crosswords difficult, because my brain refuses to work. I have started to do Sudoku puzzles to give me brain exercise that is not too stressful.
When my stress levels get too high, I just have to have a nap. I used to nap for ten minutes in the afternoon. Now I can drop off for a full hour, even just two hours after getting out of bed at 8am.
I have always been a morning person but now I find it totally impossible to start a new task in the afternoon. I have to choose between spending days in the garden and days writing. The garden won during April when Ireland was in the middle of a heat wave. The writing is winning in May, while it is raining at least.
The support I have received from friends at InfoBarrel has been massive. This helps me to set myself daily targets and tasks to get done. This is wonderful progress because a while ago I could not face even writing a blog post or setting up a Wordpress plug-in.
Writing online really does give you a passive income, though. Even for the past four months, when I have written nothing, my income has been steady. I just need to work on my sites and articles now so my income will grow a little faster.
I have recently set up two new niche blogs and try to post to them most days. I find that writing 500 word InfoBarrel articles is the most difficult part of my writing day, so I do that early, to prevent my fear and anxiety levels from increasing and stopping me writing them.
If anyone reading this thinks they may be suffering from depression, you probably are and I would urge you to find help from a doctor sooner rather than later. The main cause is a shortage of a chemical in the brain and medication can increase the supply of this chemical.