Depression sucked the life and soul out of me but I knew from my clinical experience that I could recover

I can now see that depression crept up on me slowly and silently. Despite 30 years’ experience as a registered mental health nurse I didn’t recognise, acknowledge or even notice the range of symptoms I had been experiencing, or how they had been affecting me. It was only when I finally cried at work that I realised something was wrong.

At the time I was working as an executive director in a London mental health NHS trust. There had not been any obvious feeling of being extremely sad, just a slow downhill trundle and loss of enjoyment in life. My symptoms included being overly self-critical and a loss of interest in things I usually enjoy. I was tired but not sleeping, procrastinating and felt I was a failure.

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Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder; it is the "psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment".