Michelle's story

Michelle

I am 41 years old and was first diagnosed with depression about 4 years ago when I walked into my doctors surgery and just broke down in tears.  I work for Police Scotland in a seconded post representing staff across the organisation.

Since then I have had reoccurring episodes, each taking longer to recover.

The treatment I have had has been patchy, counselling has only been offered through work until recently.

I had one GP who every appointment asked me if I had a drink problem or used drugs. I accepted this for the first and second appointments.  But in the following appointments I found this insulting and frustrating.  I very rarely drink, less than one a month, and have never touched drugs.  They do not interest me.  She even commented one day that I must be feeling better as I was not wearing dark clothing for a change. Actually, it was all I had that did not require ironing.

I have found that people make assumptions that I cannot cope with work when I tell them that I have depression.  I am told I do not need to attend meetings as it will be too much.  They do not ask how I feel and what I can cope with. To me, too little work is more worrying than having too much.

My diagnosis has been questioned as I approach life with a smile on my face.  I laugh at myself.  Basically I have become very good at hiding my emotions from people.  

Now I am becoming more comfortable with my diagnosis and learning to recognise my thought patterns and behaviours. I believe this has been with me for many more years than the four that I have been diagnosed. I now believe this stems from my teens and hope to explore this moving forward.

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