As soon as I got home from the doctor, having just being diagnosed with depression, a brilliant 10 days before my 30th birthday, I had three immediate thoughts as I dropped my keys on the counter.
One – schedule your follow-up doctor’s appointment now. Like, right now. If you don’t do it, you probably won’t go. So I did. 18 July, I see you.
Two – take the damn pill. Just take it. Don’t overthink it.
And Three – there has got to be a support group nearby. There has got to be more people than me suffering with this thing in my area.
A quick Google search brought me to a Facebook Group that has been operating for a couple of years, aptly titled around the broader area I live in. If I like the page, my friends on Facebook will see I have depression. Who cares, Conrad, you actually DO have depression. The group is small, so it’s probably dead and I shouldn’t apply to join. Conrad, request to join, just do it. What if they tell me it’s all made up and that I am not depressed enough? A medical doctor diagnosed you with depression. You have it. It’s real, dude.
All of these thoughts and more raced through my head, and I still ended up only just managing to get enough courage to e-mail the group admin. I started the message off with “I was diagnosed with depression yesterday”, which surprised me. I hadn’t said it out loud, but had written it at least and I was very proud about that. “I am looking to join a support group in the area, when are you meeting?”, I asked.
Nobody is going to respond to you. Yes, they will, Conrad. The group probably only allows women in. No, they don’t. Depression affects everyone. You will have to drive so far to get there. Perhaps, but how about you find that out first. You’re wasting your time. Go to hell, depression.
Response, featuring “I’m so glad that you reached out so quickly after your diagnosis”. Their next meeting is in 3 days, and if you’ll believe it, it’s taking place less than 1km from my house. Ask for help if you’re struggling, it’s out there, I promise.
Conrad was here.