I began with symptoms of depression in May 1999. These symptoms gradually got worse over the next 2 months, until they really began to intefere with my life in a big way.
I visited my GP because I was not feeling well, and he suggested that I may be depressed (he also did a blood test which revealed that I was anaemic at the time). However, I refused to believe this diagnosis at that point in time.
A few weeks later, I was really bad - I was having trouble sleeping. I would fall asleep when I went to bed but then wake up anytime between 12 midnight and 2.00am, and then not be able to get back to sleep. During these nights, I would have terrible feelings of extreme loneliness, suicidal thoughts, and also a real, physical pain inside. This began to interfere with the rest of my life - I would be irritable and tired all day. I also felt like crying a lot of the time, and lost interest in EVERYTHING.
I went back to my GP because these symptoms became really unbearable. He diagnosed clinical depression, and prescribed medication. But it took me a further 2 days to accept this and begin taking the tablets. My employer at the time was very good, and gave me a month's compassionate leave to try to help me.
The medication took about a month to start working, and I began to feel a bit better. Gradually since then, I have got much better, and although I still have occasions when I fell really low, but I get over this within a few days now. My interest in life has also returned, and I do actually enjoy doing things occasionally.
On occasions, I can now see "the light at the end of the tunnel", and I always know that this is there, and hopefully one day I will get there........