101 Things No one Tells You About Severe Depression



  1. Depression is not glamorous.
  2. Depression is not fashionable.
  3. Depression and suicide should never be romanticised.
  4. Depression can be inflicted upon you when you’re at your most happiest and content.
  5. Depression is chaotic.
  6. Depression is full of frustration.
  7. Depression is confusing and bewildering.
  8. Depression is complicated and different for everyone.
  9. Depression is illogical.
  10. Depression is devastating.
  11. Depression is invasive.
  12. Depression does not discriminate.
  13. Depression is cruel.
  14. Depression is sneaky.
  15. Depression creeps up on you without you realising.
  16. Depression is a an obsession with your own self hate.
  17. Depression makes you fixate on the worst aspects of yourself.
  18. Depression will tell you you’re worthless.
  19. Depression will tell you you’re pathetic.
  20. Depression will tell you to give up.
  21. Depression will tell you everyone hates you.
  22. Depression will tell you you’re a freak.
  23. Depression will tell you that everyone will leave you.
  24. Depression will make you feel disgusted with yourself.
  25. Depression will make wild accusations about you and convince you they are true.
  26. Depression distorts your thought processes.
  27. Depression will cripple your ego.
  28. Depression will destroy your self esteem.
  29. Depression will make you feel guilty about everything.
  30. Depression will make you feel like a burden.
  31. You will ask yourself countless times, “Why me?”
  32. You will ask yourself countless times, “Why can’t I cope?”
  33. You will ask yourself countless times, “Why do I find everything so difficult?”
  34. Depression will make you vulnerable.
  35. Depression leads to obsessions and addictions.
  36. Depression will make you shut down.
  37. Depression will make you push yourself until you reach breaking point.
  38. The smallest event can be the catalyst for a depressive episode.
  39. Depression will make you feel guilty.
  40. Depression will make you feel you have let everyone down.
  41. Depression will make you feel embarrassed.
  42. Depression will make you feel ashamed.
  43. The more people want to help, the deeper your shame becomes.
  44. You will become accustomed to depression.
  45. Depression will make you feel paranoid.
  46. Depression will make you believe everyone is laughing at you and mocking you.
  47. Depression will make you close off from the world.
  48. Family and friends will walk on eggshells around you, never knowing what to say or how to react to you.
  49. You will ignore messages because you simply have no idea how to respond.
  50. Someone will talk to you, and you will have heard nothing of what they’ve said.
  51. When the phone rings or you receive a message, you will be filled with dread.
  52. Friends will become angry, or completely ignore you because you can’t answer their messages.
  53. You will not care about other people and what they are doing with their lives.
  54. There will feel like there is a wall between everyone else’s reality and your own.
  55. You will lose friends and become distant with family because of severe depression.
  56. Your sex drive will be nonexistent.
  57. Your lack of libido will put a strain on your relationship.
  58. You will wonder how you could ever possibly have felt happy.
  59. Clambering out of a depressive episode will feel insurmountable.
  60. Eating will become a comfort.
  61. Eating will be difficult because you feel you don’t deserve food.
  62. Depression will trigger other disorders you have suffered from in the past.
  63. Depression will trigger new disorders that you never thought you would suffer from.
  64. It will feel impossible to explain how you are feeling.
  65. You will feel blank and numb inside.
  66. You will feel so overwhelmed with emotion you feel paralysed.
  67. Feeling nothing will feel unbearable.
  68. Feeling too much will feel unbearable.
  69. Walking into a room and staring blankly for half an hour will become a regular occurrence.
  70. The world will look and feel dull and grey.
  71. Your body will ache from being so tense all the time.
  72. Your teeth will ache from clenching your jaw.
  73. You will sound different when you speak to how you normally do.
  74. The glint in your eyes will disappear.
  75. You will start to smell because you haven’t the energy or will to wash yourself.
  76. Clothes will be left unwashed for weeks.
  77. You will be irritable and snap at the people around you.
  78. Everything and everyone will annoy and irritate you.
  79. You will have suicidal thoughts daily.
  80. You can never quiet your mind from negative thoughts.
  81. The simplest tasks can feel overwhelming.
  82. Activities and hobbies that you loved will simply not interest you anymore.
  83. Your senses will feel dumbed down.
  84. You will not be able to concentrate.
  85. You will have to read the same page of a book dozens of times.
  86. You will have to watch the same programme over and over again because you will have taken nothing of it in.
  87. You will not be able to think clearly.
  88. The desperation to sleep can be powerful and all consuming.
  89. Your head will throb from tiredness.
  90. Your limbs will ache from sitting in bed for too long.
  91. Your hips and back will be in pain from sleeping or lying in bed for too long.
  92. You will not ask for help because you feel unworthy of it.
  93. You will feel like you need to be punished, and depression is your punishment.
  94. Depression will make you feel restless.
  95. Depression will make you feel on edge.
  96. The world will seem overwhelming.
  97. Depression can be difficult for an outsider to understand.
  98. Good things can happen whilst your depressed.
  99. You can have good days whilst being depressed.
  100. Depression does not turn you to stone, you can still laugh and smile on occasion.
  101. After depression you feel more empathy for others.

Maddening Creativity



When I’m in a manic state, creativity becomes my everything. I have this incredible surge of confidence and self belief that comes from nowhere. I truly believe I can do anything. I have always been creative. I started playing the drums when I was eight, I studied art up to A level and I continue to draw, sketch and sculpt. I almost studied sculpture at University, but decided instead on creative writing. I am always writing, whether it’s non-fiction or fiction, or here on my blog. As anyone does, I have times when I’m motivated and focused, or I’ll be inspired by something. The difference with mania is the creativity is astoundingly concentrated. My whole life will be consumed with the need to create. I’ll forget to eat or sleep, the house will become grimy and messy. I won’t shower because that takes too much time. So I sit in my trash ridden house with grimy hair feverishly writing or painting away. I’ll put off paying bills and running important errands because creating will be all that matters.

My mind at these times is sodden with creative ideas. I can’t ignore it and it turns into a flood of activity; from researching, buying resources and creating. It’s like I’m possessed, and there is nothing I can do to stop it. Except, I don’t want it to stop. I long for these moments, whether they last for a week or a month, when I can find inspiration from anywhere. I can pluck new ideas out of thin air. It is an enticing state, and one I miss when it has dissipated. I can be up and wide awake at three in the morning still sketching or writing. I show everyone what I’ve been working on, with a pride that verges on narcissism. I feel I have to do something with my work so I start a business, start writing a book, or both.

The only problem; it doesn’t last. Sooner than I’d hope, I crash and depression becomes my everything. In my mind I am useless and can’t believe how deluded I have been. I’ve told so many people about my projects and plans, but all I feel know is incredibly embarrassed. I have begun a novel and scrapped it in a moment of self doubt. Created intricate wire sculptures and torn them apart in anger and frustration. Blogged almost everyday, and then found myself unable to write a single word for months.

I don’t know what to do with all of this. This creativity is one side of many manic symptoms. Too many of them are unpleasant, self destructive and harmful. Unfortunately they co-exist, I can’t have the inspiration and confidence without the anger, over spending, delusional thinking and risk taking behaviour. I once thought I was a racing driver and crashed my car. Another time whilst driving I closed my eyes and let go of the wheel. I’ve believed I couldn’t be hurt and walked into traffic and put my hands under boiling water. On all occasions I could have easily have died or been critically injured. That is the other side of mania. It isn’t glamorous and definitely shouldn’t be romanticised. Despite these negatives, I still find myself longing for those flashes of imaginativeness and inventiveness. So I accept it, and wait with both dread and eagerness for the next time.

How the label of Bipolar changed my life – for the better 


At 10am, 13th December 2012 was a life changing moment; I was diagnosed with Bipolar. My initial response was of anger, an anger that it had taken until I was twenty seven and fifteen years of pain and suffering to finally have a diagnosis. So many years of my life felt wasted, as I had dragged myself through horrific bouts of depression. I had self destructed countless times as my manic episodes had caused my behaviour to spiral out of control. I was broke, in debt and unemployed. I wanted to scream and yell at all the doctors that had misdiagnosed me over the years. I felt someone had to be held accountable for everything I had missed out on in my teens and for most of my twenties. There was no one though that I could single out and blame, it was the way it went for many people with Bipolar. I had to let it go. For my own piece of mind, my health, I had to let it go.

When the anger had subsided, I realised how this label I had been given explained my erratic behaviour. It gave meaning to my partner, family and friends of my sometimes bizarre actions. Instead of recoiling from this label, they were willing to listen and wanted to understand more about the disorder. I feared that such a diagnosis would scare my family and friends. It didn’t. This reaction filled me with the confidence to be able to tell more and more people about my diagnosis. When asked why I was not working, or why I was ill, I was always truthful.

Being labelled was a release. No longer did I feel weighed down with the burden of knowing that something was wrong with me, but not understanding what it was. I could prove that I wasn’t attention seeking when I was suicidal, or that I would magically just get over what I was feeling. I was armed with knowledge and I could now educate myself and learn how to combat and find some relief from this illness.

I’m not denying there is stigma attached to having a mental illness, of course there is. I’ve  encountered it many times. What I’m saying is that I felt I was able to wrestle some control back into my life. With the help of a psychiatrist, I was able to assess my capabilities. I could set realistic targets to have a sense of normalcy and stability I hadn’t felt in years. I felt empowered and that I could choose how to manage my illness with medication.

I’ve heard many different opinions about being diagnosed and how it has changed people’s lives. Many people don’t like the idea of having a label that comes with a mental health diagnosis. That it singles you out and makes you different, and for some, can make it harder to find support and care. This new label attached to me had given me clarity. I could look back at the years before and how not knowing what was wrong had decimated my life. Laid bare were the countless acts of self destructive behaviour, the violent outbursts, the almost insurmountable debt I found myself in. How my drastic moods had clouded my experiences and often left me feeling like a shell of a human being. For me, the day I was diagnosed and ‘labelled’ as Bipolar drastically altered my life but in a way I hadn’t expected. To anyone who is concerned they may have Bipolar, or any kind of severe mental illness, please don’t be scared of finding help. Don’t be scared of a label; it saved my life.

Anger and Bipolar


I have always had a temper. Except for the people closest to me, it’s a side of me that I rarely show. One of the major problems I have when managing a manic episode is controlling my anger. I usually come across as calm and friendly; a level headed type with a gentle nature. When I’ve explained I struggle with angry outbursts to people, the reaction I’ve had has been

“But you don’t come across like that” or “You seem like such a calm person!” or “Could never imagine you doing something like that.”

I find it all very difficult to explain to others. Of all the mood swings that accompany Bipolar the swell, well actually the tidal wave, of anger I feel is difficult to explain and for others to grasp. What tends to happen is that I bottle up how I feel and hold onto it when all I want to do is rant and rave. Everyone has flashes of anger and we all know someone that we describe as having a short fuse; they’re a hot head, or just generally grumpy and bad tempered. The anger I feel is sustained and intense.

It begins with a general irritability, with everything around me touching a nerve. Ok, everyone feels that way when they’re having a bad day and we might feel as if we want to burst. For me that irritable feeling is relentless, like a constant itch I can’t rid myself of. The loudness of someone eating, the way they might look at me, people getting in my way when I walk down the street all annoys me. I will snap at people vocally and internally. This will go on for days and days and, if I’m lucky, it all levels out and I act like an annoying bitch for awhile before it dissipates.

The anger, the real anger, is when things get serious. Sometimes it is an explosive rant. I’ll shred the person to pieces with a barrage of insults, or I might angrily shout about something that happened earlier in the day. Everyone does this occasionally, but nearly always it will be a significant argument or serious situation. It’s not the same for me, with the tiniest annoyance setting me off and sparking a rant. I often explain these rants as being stuck in a loop. A cyclical bout of anger I trap myself in. It can last hours, ruining an evening or a whole day for myself and everyone that has been caught in it. I literally can’t move past the problem and calm down, constantly going over and over it.

On another note, I’m also ashamed to say I have had many, many temper tantrums. Shouting, screaming, swearing at nothing, everyone, in people’s faces, in the street and at home. I’ll stamp my feet whilst I rant and rave, I’ve thrown my phone, my laptop, trashed my home. I’ve hit myself, I’ve punched the walls – I had to explain to my landlord when we moved out why there was knuckle shaped hole in the wall. These tantrums can be a response to pretty much anything that has upset or annoyed me. Once it started because I thought my brother had opened a package addressed to me. Another occasion involved me forgetting my hairbrush when my husband and I went on a trip.


Before I was diagnosed, I assumed everyone had bouts of anger similar to this but they were just better at hiding it than me. I assumed it was pms, although this anger could happen at any time of the month. Mania and feeling stable but happy are very different things.  Bipolar: The difference between feeling good and mania Deciding that this was true, in certain circumstances I began to train myself to hide how I was feeling inside. At work in particular, because of the nature of my previous jobs, I would nod and smile when really I was raging. I would excuse myself and go to the bathroom, where I would scream and stamp my feet. This is one of the most unhealthy coping mechanisms I have acquired over the years and is one I can’t seem to break. Returning home after work the anger would explode into viciousness and exasperation. Everyone I have lived with, or has spent an extended period of time with me, has had to deal with this and I’ve apologised many times when I’m more stable.

One comment that really doesn’t help is “I can see you’re angry.” Yes, of course I’m very aware that I’m angry! Or “You just need to calm down.” It’s pointless to reason or argue with me and the best way for people to deal with it is to leave me to myself. I’ve told family and friends there is no point in telling me I’ve upset them there and then, because I won’t see how inappropriate I’m being. If I’m calm and stable, then I’ll listen and I’ve been deeply upset at how I’ve treated people I care about.

I know my behaviour is  destructive, and after the mania has ended I am completely exhausted. I talk about the realities of mania in the post Mania is… The anger can last for weeks, or a month or two, so doing nothing for a week and catching up on sleep is all I will want to do. I’m learning to spot the signs now, but it doesn’t necessarily stop it from happening.

You can follow me over on: