I have suffered from Depression and possibly Anxiety since my teens, but as I thought my concerns would be brushed off as teen angst or something, rather than being taken seriously, I did not go to the doctor. I did have panic attacks before and around my GCSE's and had Beta blockers temporarily to get me through that time, but didn't follow this up afterwards.
When I was 6 years old my dad left. He was in and out of my life after that. At the time, I developed an eating disorder which the child psychologists couldn't work out. I refused to eat. I could manage a milkshake at school which my friend at the time told me, had added extras such as eggs, unbeknownst to me. Eventually I was taken to a Hypnotist (radical for 1981) who discovered that I thought if I made myself ill, my father would come back. He didn't, but I gradually started eating again.
In my early 20's I had a nasty split with my ex-fiance. When I look back it was sooooo the right thing to do, but at the time I reacted badly and couldn't understand it. Plus, I stopped eating. Not on purpose, I just lost all urge to eat or feeling hungry. Great for weight loss but not great that every mouthful had no taste whatsoever (heard of the phrase "chewing cardboard? - it's true). I moved back into my mums and went to the doctor who prescribed me counselling. I went to a few counselling sessions which started 3 months later, after I had restarted eating and so I didn't find much benefit from them.
I met my new boyfriend around this time, the love of my life and we were together for around 5 years. I still had dark feelings which I couldn't explain and he didn't realise how bad I actually was (I didn't really want any attention but was scaring myself) as I hid it quite well. Then my father died, which again was a life trigger for me and I dropped even further. I went to the doctor. He said as I was crying, then I was OK. But I knew I wasn't.
Gradually over the next year I was quite unstable and it ruined my relationship with my partner. We split. I overreacted. I went to the doctor and he luckily took me seriously. He prescribed antidepressants (the worst possible kind for me but anyway....) and counselling. I was drinking heavily, partying, sleeping around. I had no self worth. So I stopped taking the antidepressants and moved to Switzerland where I had worked a ski season a few years before with my ex. That was 7 years ago.
4 years ago I had another breakdown, triggered by the death of my nan. This was he worst breakdown and I ended up back on antidepressants and in a Swiss Psychiatric clinic for 7 weeks, much to the shock of my new boyfriend. Hence begins Psychiatrist visits monthly (or more when I am bad), constantly changing meds which stop working after a while, frequent GP visits, insomnia, but I have much more support thatn I have ever had.
I was first diagnosed in Switzerland with atypical depression. The rap sheet is exactly me, and I started to understand that my overreaction to certain events were based on my hypersensitivity to rejection. As the years have gone by and I have had many changes in medication I am now considered "treatment resistant" and also have mood stabilisers.
So that's me. I tend to rant quite publically at people about stigma in mental health and experiencing mental health because I was sick of hiding behind a mask all the time. The few people I occasionally socialise with accept that I am a mentalist but no-one really helps me except my best mate in England. But that's usual I suppose.