Monday, 17 February 2014

The right prescription...

Since the age of 11 I've been a spectacles wearer. I still remember that momentous day so many years ago at the opticians. I'd been suffering headaches, was falling behind on school work because I couldn't see the board properly and my eyes were always tired from having to squint. It was such a relief to finally receive a 'diagnosis' and to hear the optician say that I was mildly short-sighted.

I will always remember walking out of the opticians, with my NHS brown metallic rimmed glasses pushed against my forehead, and for the first time really seeing things: the trees now had individual leaves and branches, rather than the blurred mess I was used to looking at; I saw detail in shop signs and peoples faces as they walked by; I appreciated the colour and vibrancy of everything so much more. Over the following weeks the problems I was experiencing improved dramatically: no more headaches, I caught upon on school work and actually did quite well and my eyes no longer had to tire themselves out.

Fast forward to my late teen years and I experienced these same emotions and feelings again. I'd been having horrible mood 'attacks', feeling extremely sad for no apparent reason, my university work was suffering and I was constantly tired. Finally, a very helpful GP diagnosed me with low mood and depression. It was such a relief to actually know my problems had been recognised. Receiving this diagnosis meant I could now finally receive the help I needed.

The GP explained about serotonin levels and how some brains like mine were just different and gave me a prescription for anti-depressants. The following days and weeks after taking them, I experienced the same clarity and relief as I did when I first put on my glasses. I felt back to my normal self, the countryside looked greener, I heard birds sing, saw smiles on peoples faces and even smiled myself.

Both of these episodes resulted in a prescription for my problems. I'd never now leave the house without my glasses - to do so would cause me to not see things in the right way. The same goes for my anti-depressants. If I neglected to take them I wouldn't see things properly and most importantly I couldn't be me. I view taking anti-depressants the same as I do my glasses - it is not a sign of weakness wearing/taking them (as many people think) but a sign of strength that a problem has been recognised and is being treated. You wouldn't tell a spectacles wearer to stop wearing their glasses as they should be 'cured' by now, so the same applies for anti-depressant takers (yes, I have been told this!)

Everyday, with the help of my glasses, anti-depressants and mood tracking, I'm seeing more - and liking what I see.

A Moodscope user.