After a personal depressive episode, Dorset Mind volunteer Annabel Goddard emphasises the importance of discussing feelings and worries.
A few years ago, after a string of bad events, I found myself at an all-time low point, battling to keep myself going.
I’d experienced low moods before, but I was told this was now within the realm of a depressive episode. It was a struggle to get out of bed every day, let alone go to work. I found myself focusing simply on survival and not taking any enjoyment in my life.
I felt as though I was permanently in transition – I didn’t once look around and appreciate the present because I was constantly thinking the future would be better.
After a while, I started confiding in my friends and family about my fears and uncertainty around the future. At first, I was scared of being a burden, but after letting my family know I was struggling, it began to get easier to share my struggles with them which in turn alleviated a lot of my worries and stress.
In your own time
Talking about your feelings and worries isn’t easy – but it is so important not to bottle your emotions up, as they need to find an outlet. Allowing your feelings to weigh on you will only drag you down further.
Go at your own pace – it might be that you mention you’ve been struggling a bit lately and allow the person you’re confiding in to ask questions.
Try not to feel like you’re weighing other people down – they would much rather help you than leave you to struggle, even if you’re not showing symptoms of depression or anxiety. No one is expected to ‘therapise’ you – all you need is to be listened to, and from there you can decide what steps to take to get better. If there isn’t anyone you feel you can talk to, visit your GP.
Time to talk
Opening up to someone can be hard. However, letting others know what is going on with your mental wellbeing is important, in case you begin to feel worse and need more support than just talking can offer.
Having a support system of friends and family is helpful, but not everyone has access to this. That’s why it’s also important to check in with your coworkers and other people you might see regularly, especially if they don’t seem like themselves.
If you give out kindness, it will come back to you. Often, we don’t know what is going on in someone’s personal life, so if you or someone you know is struggling, it is important to stay connected and tuned in. Talking about your feelings is the first step to finding support – we urge you to share this message and #GetDorsetTalking.
Support for you:
Visit dorsetmind.uk for local mental health support and ways to keep mentally healthy
Call Samaritans on 116 123 for free 24/7 emotional support
Call Dorset’s mental health helpline Connection for support on NHS 111