More about me...
At a similar time her parents broke up, her best friend left, she moved to middle-school, and she...
So I kept winning the sweet every week, which obviously didn't make people very happy. But really she should have done a different competition and sort of just given different people sweets. But instead she kept doing it and then told me to go off somewhere else which I was like, I was only 8. I was saying, 'Well, I want my sweet.'
And the whole class kind of went, 'No, make her go', and I think that really, was really traumatic. And I suddenly realised that up until then I'd worked really, really hard at school and I thought, if you do well and work hard, people like you. And it made me realise that's not true.
And that happened at a very similar time to like my parents splitting up and my best friend leaving. I think the whole thing was very unsettling. And where I lived, we had Middle Schools so when you were 9 you changed school, and basically at that time I changed school, my whole personality totally changed, and became really introverted and shy and withdrawn.
As a teenager she did not understand she had depression, and felt her doctor should have found...
Of course I didn't know that then, I was only 13, 14. They, ... I'd had... , basically I would go to bed early, I would go to bed late, I tried everything but I always felt tired, the whole time. I still have that and I don't know if it's like'.You know it can be a symptom of depression, of just feeling you know tired or just not sleeping very well.
And I think, like I went to the doctor and I said, 'I can't, I sleep but I always feel tired. I've tried going to bed early, I've tried going to bed late, I've tried everything that I can think of.' And he just said, 'Try getting more sleep.' [laughing] I was like, yes, I could have thought of that, I've tried that, it didn't work.
So I went, 'Okay, thanks.' I think, I can't have been that old because I think my Mum came with me but you know, my feeling is that really he should have asked a few questions and could possibly have diagnosed that I was depressed.
Felt she was patronised and not listened to by GPs until they realised that she had attended an...
Like I'm not stupid, and I'd like to get something explained to me but nothing was ever explained to me until I was at University because then they go, 'Oh, what you are doing?' I'd say, 'I'm at University.' 'Really, where?' '[elite University name].' 'Oh, right, my daughter's there' and then they're suddenly, oh you're at [elite University name], right you're...
Part of the fraternity?
[It was like] You know, you might understand what I'm talking about because I'm so clever. Before that, it was like you were some sort of total moron, that you just didn't get listened to, you didn't get, you know it was as though what they were saying was, 'Well, it's just in your head, you know you don't really understand, I know better." And I know that they're really busy and I know that they don't have a lot of time, but I really felt that I got no help at all most of the time.
While the initial side effects of Efexor (venlafaxine) seemed severe, they settled down, and even...
Because it made your pupils dilate. And I was shaking. And I would wake up in the middle of the night with a bolt of fright, and shaking and stuff. And I only persevered with it because I thought I've got to give this a go... And after about'I think you really had to make sure you ate a big meal too'Otherwise is messed up your stomach' And after a few weeks it kind of calmed down'
I find that I probably do sweat more than I used to have done. And I also feel like I have put on weight that I can't shift. And that does happen to people. But all things considered, I would rather put on weight than be depressed. I know that for some people, it doesn't help them'And I feel that despite all the side-effects, and that I can't get off them, that's a scary thing.
But I would never regret taking them because taking them has totally changed my life...Taking them'I don't feel that so much now'But when I first took them, I felt like I had been given my life back. I feel like I can now be a normal person.
Stopping her Efexor resulted in a lurching sensation in her head, electric shock sensations in...
Well, the other one that I get is, it's a kind of numb feeling, slightly like an electric shock as well. Sort of like a tingling sensation mainly in my hands but also sometimes on my nose as well. It sounds really funny, but sometimes the tip of nose goes really like, feels really funny.
I think after a while, like if that happens a bit, you know you can deal with it, but sometimes I've gone out, and I've forgotten my tablet or whatever, and it used to be that if I waited for the evening, I'd still be all right. But now, if I couldn't have it [my tablet] until the evening, by that point I'd probably be like experiencing like severe motion sickness or whatever, just like proper lurches in my head. And after a while, like after a bit longer, you start feeling a bit kind of like crying and stuff, just really kind of emotional and like a bit teary basically.
The curative effect of Efexor (venlafaxine) was her proof she had a brain chemical imbalance,...
But you are made to feel it is your fault. The fact that these tablets helped me, I thought there was something going on with my serotonin'. I felt vindicated. But after a while, I realised it sorted out my brain chemistry, but you have learnt all these negative ways of looking at things, and doing things' you've learned this behaviour, from your parents at times.
And that is why I believe I need long term therapy as well. I felt better, but I still didn't have ways of dealing with things'. The tablet helps you to be more positive, but in other ways' for example, I find it easier becoming friends with men, but I find it hard to make friends with women. But there is no tablet for that' I still have a total inferiority complex'. I think I am right, but I also think I am wrong. I hold myself back' I know I am good at my work, but another part of me thinks I'm crap'
Growing experience of depression and life has helped her to develop a more positive view of herself.
But I see myself as having...through experience, experiencing it myself, having got better and able to cope with it, even though if you get depressed you always still, you still really kind of believe that this is it, and it's really bad, but at the back of your mind at least you know that it's going to get better at some point. And I have become more positive, and I don't know if that's just something to do with gaining experience in life and actually doing things, and so becoming slightly, you know more confident. I mean, nowadays when I talk to people and meet people, sometimes I say, “Oh, I don't feel, I'm not very confident,” and whatever. And they go, “Well, that's funny because I really thought that you were”. So I've become a lot better, I think at presenting a better face to the world, and not kind of…. so obviously, like just withdrawn and introverted. And you know, partly that's just growing up, I think and just kind of gaining in experience, and just being less, slightly less, you become less self-conscious after a while.
The NHS offers no sure path for getting a referral to a talking therapist, and it's easy to fall...
And I got put on this list when I went to see the psychiatrist people, they put me on a list and what they usually do is to say 'Oh yes, I'll put you on the list.' And then you go back and they go, you say, 'Did you put me on the list?' They go, 'Oh dear, yes, I forgot, I'll do it now.' And then eventually I got this referral and I was like, 'Wow, I've got the referral, I've got an appointment.' Went in, this woman basically said, 'Yes, it seems like you've got depression and anxiety or whatever. I suggest you go and see a psychoanalyst, go for a student, you have to go 3 times a week and it costs you '7 a go because it's a student so it's cheap.' And I'm like, I don't have '21 a week to spend, because at that point I was earning like hardly anything'.
Has come across unhelpful holistic therapists and wonders about their qualifications.
And I don't know, I don't know the exact law, but as far as I understand it' it's' maybe I'm totally wrong, but with holistic therapies and stuff like that, anyone can just set up as a therapist.
Was surprised by the way a hypnotherapist helped her to think more positively.
Well I'm not sure what it's supposed to be about, but you know, it's all about trying to make you less anxious and stuff. But he sort of' I think a lot of these things are just down to the individual person, and how good they are, or how you get on with them. And he just seemed to come up with quite sensible ideas about it. And I think partly, if you're doing hypnotherapy, it's like you know the aim is to get a kind of release of your subconscious, and go down and teach your subconscious better things. But also, if you're doing that you're visualising stuff, and so if you say this is what I'm visualising, they go, 'Oh right, so you're seeing things like that and maybe you should see it like that.' And I think that really, even though there's no way, I can't do it now, and I should have you know, but I've totally forgotten it all. I've taken things away from that, that now there is a little bit of a little voice in my head whereas before I'd just been like, 'Oh, everything's really terrible and I can't do this, I can't do this.' There's at least a little voice in my head going, well actually maybe you can. And you know, that's a big change for me.