The musings of a fourth year English medical student

Monday, 25 April 2016

FRUSTRATED

I'm really fed up of depression.

I feel like I don't know where to go from here. I engage with all of the resources I have: medication, counselling, being honest with my friends and family etc. I exercise regularly. I have hobbies. I take time off when I feel like I need to. I eat healthily most of the time. I barely ever drink, and when I do I don't do it to the point of getting drunk or intoxicated. 

I don't want to feel like this. I don't want people to feel sorry for me. I want my enthusiasm back. I don't want to lie in bed worrying about my deadlines, whether I said the right thing or if I worked hard enough that day. 

It saddens me that we really don't understand mental health. If we did then maybe there would be less stigma around it. Truly, I don't know why I am depressed or where to go from here. 

When I feel at my lowest, I lose so much of my personality. Usually I am chatty, smiley, a little bit cheeky - I love to dance and sing and meet new people and be out in the real world, learning and discovering new things. That is how I want to be. I want to live, and not just exist. I can't quite figure out how I can do that all the time, though. 

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Sunday, 24 April 2016

A LOVELY WEEKEND

I've had a very nice and relaxing weekend with Rob. Yesterday we went and had a McDonald's for lunch (whoops) followed by a coffee and cake at John Lewis. The weather has been so gorgeous this week and I hope it stays that way! 


This week has felt really challenging, and at times I've questioned whether I wanted to still do medicine. The reason for this is because I felt like I was getting so much negativity from staff despite working my absolute best, and I didn't feel valued.

University is not a good reflection of the real world. It pisses me off that you can do really well in some areas without getting any positive feedback from staff. I appreciate that the staff have tremendous pressures of their own, however it really does suck when you feel like you are bombarded with work deadlines, and threatened into filling out pointless surveys. I genuinely got a warning from the university because I didn't fill in ONE survey. That really does take the piss. 

I know that medicine is the vocation for me. I have the right personal qualities, and I know I am capable of completing the degree. But the negative aspects, the competition, the dim political atmosphere and so on really make you think twice. 
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Tuesday, 19 April 2016

HOW TO NOT GIVE A F*CK

Today I was lucky enough to have a day off! As well as that, it has been gorgeously sunny today, so I went into town. I visited Waterstones and came out with Sarah Knight's book The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck.

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Sunday, 17 April 2016

REASONS TO STAY ALIVE

I stumbled across this lovely video by Will Darbyshire, and decided to share it with you.

   
  
                              
                              

This week hasn't been great. However, instead of asking 'why' I'm depressed, I am trying to focus on 'how' I can improve the symptoms. I worry too much. I don't really know how to stop that from happening, but I'm trying to find ways of zoning out and forgetting about the burden of university deadlines.

I hope you're well and enjoy the video

Love

Kate xxx
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Monday, 11 April 2016

CAN YOU OVERCOME DEPRESSION?


As you lot know, I have been recently struggling with my depression. I stumbled across Mimi's YouTube video titled: "How I overcame depression and anxiety". In the 40-odd minute video Mimi is really honest and discusses how her relationship, plus yoga and meditation all contributed to improve her mental health. 

When my mood is low, I often contemplate 'Will I ever not be depressed?'. Despite Western culture slowly accepting depression and anxiety as bona fide diseases, it is still a bewildering area of health. You can't pop a pill to cure it. You can't inhibit one enzyme or neurotransmitter and then Bob's your uncle: no more depression. We know that stress, trauma, family history and exercise all play a role, but what is actually going on? What actually is depression? I find it baffling that doctors prescribe medications such as SSRIs that affect partially the limbic system, when scholars cannot even agree on the anatomical definition of the limbic system. 

I do believe that lifestyle is a factor, but is it a cure? For example, I went to the gym bright and early this morning and did circuits. I felt fab immediately afterwards. However, by lunchtime I was tired and pretty miserable. Hang on, I'll refine my question: do lifestyle changes alleviate the symptoms or can they cure the pathology? What I mean by this is that, although exercise boosted my mood (the main presentation of depression), regardless of how good I am at going to  the gym, my sleep is always rubbish and I am always tired (two of the symptoms that can come with depression). Lifestyle could be the cause but I'm not sure it's the cure, either. You know when you have an awful headache, and you take some co-codamol. The pain is relieved but you feel foggy; you can still tell the pain is there in your head but someone has put a blanket on it. Maybe lifestyle is the co-codamol to depression. 

I truly hope in the future we can learn more about mental health, and that people with legitimate mental health diseases are not stigmatised. 
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