Helene – My story of depression

My name is Helene Ravlich. I’m a freelance
writer and copywriter, been one for about 16 years. I live in Auckland and I’m a mum
to a little boy, four year-old, called Wolf.  I think I was always quite a melancholy child
and then when I was a teenager I was bullied, which didn’t help matters, but I thought it
was the same old teenage angst. Then as I got older I found that the moments of angst
were getting greater and greater, and then a situational thing when I was between 28
and 30. I had a lot of bad things happen in a row;  my father had been sick for 15
years and died, and at the same time I had a long term relationship break up, I was freelancing
and I had two of my long term clients make me redundant, and everything came crashing
down all of a sudden. That’s probably the first time when I really realised that it
wasn’t just feeling a bit melancholy and being a glass half empty person.
  I think it was this constant feeling of low
mood  – whereas normally something a bit crappy would happen and then it would lift
and one day it’d be, “That’s that over and done with, I’ve wallowed in self-pity for
too long.” But it just was going on and on and it was like a domino effect of all
these bad things happening.  And suddenly I woke up one day and went, this isn’t right,
I shouldn’t be feeling like this anymore. At first it was a feeling of complete helplessness
and hopelessness.  I was never one of those people that just stayed in bed all day or
stopped eating or anything like that.  I just carried round this massive weight and
I was tired and very, very emotional.  But, again, I was quite stiff upper lip at the
time so I wasn’t someone who cried in public or anything, I’d just come back to my house
and just feel absolutely miserable and think I shouldn’t be like this, this isn’t right,
cos it was carrying on for too long.  
I think it was my Mum finally said to me, “You need to go and talk to someone about
this because the way you’re feeling is not good.”
When I had my son, a month after I had him I was diagnosed with post natal depression.
 So, that was another event that came out of that and then he’s four now and last year
everything seemed to be going really well and I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  When
those sort of things started to kick in, I know now I just need some help.

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