Clinical depression: Lawrence's story 

Lawrence has depression. He explains how easy it was to ignore the symptoms, despite being a psychiatric nurse, and the problems this caused in his working life.

Learn more about depression

Transcript of Clinical depression: Lawrence's story

I realised I wasn't coping at work.

But I was in denial about that.

I was in a stressful job. I had a lot of responsibility.

Um, and my defence mechanism was

um, it'll all pass, Lol.. Continue what you're doing.

It's just a little bit of stress you're experiencing

and it'll all pass... in time.

With the depression, my thoughts were very negative,

which is often the case with depression.

Everything in the world is seen in a negative light.

I was feeling that I wasn't doing my job properly.

My self-esteem wasn't as high.

My confidence level had been affected.

Decision making. Where I'd normally make decisions and stick by them,

I was questioning the decisions I was making,

which wasn't normally something I would do.

Sleeping was affected.

During the night I would wake up ruminating,

as we call it in mental health terminology, over certain things,

negative things.

Um, when I was in a room with people in a meeting, I was feeling very anxious.

I was having panic attack sensations.

So then I wondered whether other people were noticing that in...

The junior members of staff at the time,

were they realising that I was struggling with my emotions

because of the way I was behaving?

Go into my office, closing the door and just hoping that things would go away.

But of course they didn't go away, they just got worse.

The point when I realised I needed help was a meeting with my manager

and she could see I was struggling

to deal with some issue we were talking about.

And she said, "Lol, I don't think you're well, basically.

I think you need to seek help."

Deep down I knew that anyway,

but it probably took somebody to say that to me.

And the manager at the time was probably the right person to say that.

I started feeling a change probably

after about two weeks of taking the medication.

So I then attributed that to the medication.

I felt... With most antidepressant medications

it takes two to three weeks to start having a therapeutic effect.

So in my own mind, I knew that my...

I was conscious that my mood was changing.

I was enjoying things more and I was having less negative thoughts.

I wasn't feeling so negative about myself and different things.

So after about two weeks I noticed I was changing.

and things were starting to improve.

I feel I've become a stronger person because I took time off work

and accepted what the problems were

and dealt with them in an appropriate manner.

And now I'm more insightful as to what keeps me well,

so I can spot the trigger signs a lot sooner now and I'll act upon them.

If I feel I'm getting stressed now I know what to do to act upon that.

Mental illness can happen to one in four of the population,

so if it can happen to me, a psychiatric nurse, it can happen to anybody.

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