‘I’m so depressed’. These three words are often used in a jokey way, mainly to describe a mild frustration. But what if you really are depressed? As a bloke do you ‘man up’ and suffer on your own in silence or do you give in and eventually deal with the fact that you have a medical condition that needs treating?
This article tells the story of Martin Bowe, who became depressed in the two years which followed university.
Martin, 24, graduated from Northumbria University in July 2009 with a 2:1 in Graphic Design. He made what he intended to be a temporary move back to his parent’s house in West Yorkshire and was excited about the prospect of getting a good job and moving into a swanky, inner-city flat.
He began applying for Graphic Design jobs but after only two interviews in four months he realised his plans weren’t going to materialise any time soon, “I came out of university with a bit of an ego. I thought I should be walking into a job. But you can’t have that ego. The fact of the matter is there are a lot of people in the same position.”
Martin began to get very frustrated and miserable, to the point where he thought he might have depression. At this stage Martin didn’t act on his feelings and eventually in October 2009 he finally got a job in a high-street Bookmakers after starting to apply for any and every job available. This was a far cry from what he desired but he was lifted for a brief time because he was finally earning some money.
After a few weeks though it became evident that his current situation was only a short term fix and the frustration of working in a job he didn’t enjoy soon took its toll.
Martin tried to make a change by moving back up to Newcastle. He also moved on to another high-street bookmaker as a Deputy Manager as a last resort after again applying to more Graphic Design jobs without success. Again this provided a brief lift in his feelings but under the surface he was so unhappy that at this point the negativity was present for weeks at a time, rather than days, “It was something that was brewing from the previous job. I was earning a bit more money but I was still not enjoying my life.”
It was around this time that Martin began to get very depressed and had an experience that scared him. On a night out with a friend from university Martin was a little ‘off-hand’ with her, something which she spoke to him about the next day. He had no recollection of that part of the conversation and having only had two drinks all night was shocked at his sudden case of memory loss. It was only after this that he thought he should go see a doctor.
Listen to the sound clip below to hear what happened:-
Martin was put on a course of anti-depressants and decided that he was going to save up to go travelling while he was on his medication so he had something to look forward to and after a few months he went to Australia. This, of course, meant he had to leave his job and since he has returned from his trip in February he is still unemployed.
As you can see this is no fairytale story. Martin doesn’t have the complete life he wants yet and in the current economic climate he may be waiting some time before he does. But he doesn’t have depression anymore and has a new outlook on life.
Listen to the sound clip below to hear Martin’s new perspective on his situation:-
If you have depression don’t be embarrassed, it’s more common than people realise and it can get worse if you don’t treat it.
By Michael Clarkson (follow @M_Clarkson)
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