During the height of my depression I began to suffer from agoraphobia. I hid myself away and isolated myself for a while, which looking back now exacerbated my symptoms and I became paranoid about everything and everyone around me.
My paranoia and agoraphobia became that severe that I would keep the blinds close and would not sit in view of the window in case anyone could also see my shadow. Sometimes it was that bad I would sit either under the windowsill or I would make a gap between the chair and settee and sit there, where no one could see me. If the doorbell rang I would pop my head around the living room door to see if I could make out the shadow, my parents would shout through the letter box to let me know that it was only them. I would open the door but stand behind it so no one could see me.
If the phone rang then I wouldn’t answer it because I didn’t know who it was.
I wasn’t afraid of anyone in particular and I couldn’t really tell you what it was I was afraid of. I just felt that people were looking at me, people knew what I was thinking, people could see into my soul.
I was in a extremely dark place, everyone around me tried to support me. My mum would try to get me to come to the local shops with her, I would sometimes only get as far as a few yards away and I had would have a panic attack and have to go back home. Some days i would find strength and face my fear and get out and would bump into family members or friends, I wouldn’t talk I would stand there feeling anxious waiting to be able to move on.
How did I fight this?
Well I was on antidepressants and I had a massive supportive family around me who would help me take it step by step and one day at a time. I fought this with the help of them, I pushed myself to face my fears. If I looked panicked my mum would say they are not looking at you or they are looking because they are concerned or because they know me and want to say hi. I had to be reassured that I was doing great and every step was a big achievement.
This process happened gradually, there was no massive turning point or lightbulb moment, this took hard work, this took support and strength to challenge these negative thoughts and I suppose in away to retrain my mind.
These were the darkest days of my depression, a place I never want to be again, the reason I challenge negative thoughts, the reason I look for positives, the reason I fight.
Ta ta for now, Kel x