My Relationship with Depression and the Mountains.

It may have come to some of my fellow tweeters notice that I have just recently reappeared on the media site after some absence and to add this is my first post in over a year so please bear with me. I write this with great testament to @SmirnieOutdoors whom with great courage and eloquence has written on the subject of Depression herself as to which gave me the inspiration to come to terms publicly on the matter myself.

 I can only come at this from my perspective as to the attitudes of others and the medical profession in general and as I write this it is difficult  but hopefully cathartic in doing so and be of a benefit to others…

I have had this illness on and off for the past seven years and it can show itself in various forms which some people may not be aware of. My recent setback followed on from an injury I had in late 2012 whereupon I tore my medial ligament this laid me off hillwalking, running and biking for three months,  three months of inactivity, which set the course for the rest of the year.
Being self-employed   this of course made matters worse however when I became sufficiently mobile I had no option but to return to work.

My first noticeable sign of the onset of this episode arose in the form of an obsessive compulsive behaviour to fold clothing and have drawers cupboards etc as neat and tidy as they could possibly be to the point of driving my wife to distraction whats wrong with that I hear you say most wives or partners would be quite happy with someone being as tidy. But it does have an effect on all around you when your constantly replacing items to their original place especially when your wife has told you in the past of being a messy B*****d.

As I previously stated  it comes in many forms another of mine was art however a number of people associate it with someone taking themselves away  being introvert , not eating , sleeping, and generally dissociating themselves from family and we have all heard of the stories of sufferers dependant on alcohol drugs etc and one which is coming more to light nowadays is past abuse whether it be of a sexual or physical nature.

My first experience with my local GP regarding this illness wasn’t good he basically asked me to fill in a questionnaire which took all of two minutes had a quick look and prescribed anti depressant oh and come back in six months that was it.

This was the first time it had an effect on my going into the mountains  the will was there but that final motivation had gone and I desperately tried to get it back to the extent I would kit up drive half way to my destination and turn back, then would have that overwhelming guilt feeling of not completing my task. I was still reading mountain journals and following what was going on with different expeditions but my mojo had vanished.

My advice to anyone who is suffering silently is to talk to someone sometimes its better in my opinion to discuss it with a stranger whom has experienced it themselves and will understand where your coming from rather than a therapist that could be talking out of his or her arse. A few years ago I had that experience where he was blaming it on my childhood which couldn’t have been further from the truth. My diagnosis is that I am just a miserable git that will have to put up with this now and again.

My mojo is well and truly back  the mountains are my spiritual home this is where I personally feel alive. This year my planning has already started for wild camps and munroe summits to be completed.

To conclude get help don’t keep it bottled up or hidden away its difficult but you do get through these dark days its taken me a long time to go public.

So get out there and keep positive.

I shall follow up on this article periodically .


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