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Hello and empathy to you all!



Mar 11, 2009
County Durham
I've finally bitten the bullet, as I feel I have a duty to say "hello" to so many immensely courageous souls on these forums, many with mental health issues and stories similar to my own.

I've had a history of depression, anxiety and what is now known as OCD since having a nervous breakdown in 1977 and again in 1982, both involving periods of hospitalisation. My first breakdown was bought on by cramming for A Levels in 1977, but it is true to say that the cracks were already there following the early death of my father. I can remember the exact day and time when revising that I felt and overwhelming feeling of depression and "not being able to cope", feelings that have shadowed me for most of my adult life. It certainly changed me forever. I could probably write an Egon Ronay guide to most of the major and minor tranquillisers from chlorpromazine to diazepam and most of the tricyclic antidepressants that have been prescribed to me over the years. I've also seen a plethora of psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists - some have helped, many haven't, and some profited!

:)On a positive note, since 1982, I've managed to complete my A Levels as a mature student, gain a degree, get married, have a family and hold down a variety of sometimes quite stressful marketing jobs. Courses of psychotherapy have helped, as have modern antidepressant medication such as Seroxat and Citalopram. NHS Community Psychiatric Nurses have been of great help and support. It's all a far cry from those less enlightened times of the 1970s, when as an adolescent I was referred to the local mental hospital.

I had a long period after 1999 when I was getting on just fine, but stressful family or work situations can trigger problems and for the past few months I've been seeing a CPN again, who I've found very helpful. The trigger this time has been my wife's chronic physical illness that has affected her emotionally, and although I take pride in supporting and loving her through this, I do find the emotional side difficult to deal with bearing in mind my history (and a teenager in the house too!!).

Ultimately, I suppose I accept myself and understand the illness more now, I don't fight it (in the traditional sense) or expose myself to unnecessary stress. Since 2000 I've been more of a house-husband working part time while child-rearing. Over the past couple of years I've gone back to working full time but in a more menial role, but with much less stress. I think my white collar days are over, but this could be a blessing!

Anyway, cheers to you all, and perhaps I offer some support on the forums!


Hi Micra and welcome to the forum. Look forward to seeing you around.


Well-known member
Founding Member
Feb 14, 2008
Birmingham UK
Hi Micra and :welcome: to the Forum. I am sure that your experience and wisdom will be really valuable here.



Mar 11, 2009
County Durham
Many thanks for the welcomes peeps. I certainly hope I can help, as indeed I have been helped, many times in the past by a variety of very good people, doctors and CPNs. My experience of mental illness (depression and anxiety in particular) is that it is very difficult chronic condition. However, it can be reduced and controlled, with supportive professionals, and where possible with supportive friends and family.

I've also found that an employment change to a much less demanding job has helped immensely, although I no longer use my academic qualifications. I'm now a delivery driver - the only job I've ever actually enjoyed - a far cry from a marketing executive, but it has helped relieve stress immensely. It may mean less money, but money is worthless when the bottom is falling out of your world. My one wish is that in these days of greater materialism and society's obsession with money and competition more people would take note. I'm sure the planet would be better for it, and people themselves would be happier and less depressed by concentrating less on careers, money and material possessions.

:)My job also allows much more time for my family and my main hobby - astronomy/cosmology - a thoroughly expansive and relaxing science and past time. It does give some sort of cosmic perspective to the human condition!

I'm a firm believer in avoiding unnecessary stress, and my own experience is that people with mental health issues have a propensity to not be able to cope with stress well (either through nature or nurture). Indeed, stress is always a trigger for my occasional flare-ups. Accepting a weakness in this regard, and avoiding stressful situations has been pivotal to my recovery.
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