Depression can hit us anytime

I am saddened by the passing of Danny Frawley. I have read articles around this and about how Danny spoke to Jeff Kennett about his issues with depression. In light of reading about Danny’s issues with depression I feel compelled to share my story in relation to anxiety and depression not in vain of sympathy but in hope that it will help someone and motivate them to seek support to deal with it.

People sometimes think depression is something that they will never have to deal with however it can hit you at any time and when you least expect it. I have being doing a lot of work to raise awareness over the last few years on social media, in media and speaking at events/conferences. Depression hit me a month after I spoke at RMIT. It creeped up on me and suddenly hit which made me anxious as well. 

One can never pinpoint depression exactly or the cause of it. Often it is micro events in our lives or signals that are telling us to slow down or that something is wrong or triggers leading us to depression. Sadly, too often we ignore these micro events or signals in our lives to our detriment. Hence we suddenly realise we are depressed without thinking about why or how we came to this point in our lives.

For myself allow myself to be taken advantage of and doing too much for free was a trigger. Also, the day to day demands of life and having to read negative press about transgender people got to me a bit. Putting up with the day to day stuff like people over phone calling from call centre when I answer phone saying “Hello this is Melissa” and people on the other end responding after a moments silence with things like “Can I speak to a Melissa” or “Are you Melissa”.  Also people calling me sir even after explaining I am transgender female or woman just because I have more masculine voice, a problem a lot of transgender women face. 

Sadly some large corporates off-shore there call centres and don’t invest in diversity and inclusion training hence transgender women still have issues. So these things, other events in my life including dealing with bullying, and trolls on social media and also dealing with helping my flatmate through dealing with the medical system during his cancer treatment and other small things all impacted on me. I can see now that it was an accumulation of things both before that lead to my depression as well as during the time dealing with it and anxiety as a result of this.

I was lucky that I had a few good people I could go to talk to deal with it even though it took time to get through it. During this time I spoke again at an event and though I appeared upbeat the reality was far from this. I was still writing articles in an effort to maintain an even keel and doing a bit of consulting whilst working fighting my way through my depression and the black hole it seemed to be sucking up all my energy. 

Some people think a quick visit to a psychologist will fix it when this is not the case. It is a start but more time with psychologist or counsellor or someone professional to support you is needed. Having someone or some people to support you is so vital to begin the process to get though and process of dealing with it so can look forward to one day recovering from it.

I managed to get out of this black hole because I took time out to deal with it; also using various strategies such as continuing to live as normally as possible even though this hard sometimes; also by writing articles and asking for support meant I got though it. I also let go of emotions bottled up for years by crying a lot and speaking to a few people close to me. I have also been lucky to have people in the background who have supported me though maybe few they always have been there for me when I have needed them. What works for each person is different however the key is getting support and the right support to deal with your anxiety and/or depression.

I can only encourage people to call Beyond Blue on phone: 1300 22 4636 or Lifeline on phone: 13 11 14 if you need to talk to someone ASAP. The sooner one reaches out for support the sooner one can begin to deal with there issues around anxiety and/or depression. 

We all need to acknowledge and understand depression exists and the impacts upon your life can be horrific. It impacts your confidence, ability to think straight and ability to socialise with others in society or partake in day-to-day activities. Let us all recognise that unless we come to terms with the fact depression exists; talk about so we can deal with it as a society in a better way then this issue will only get worse. 

You will be sadly missed by all Danny Frawley R.I.P.

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