How Students Against Depression Saved My Bacon

I was ready to die. I was drunk again and my mind set was growing irrevocably worse. Things were only going to go downhill from here and I knew I couldn’t do that. I felt trapped. I vaguely remember drunkenly walking home to my flat and not looking across any of the roads I crossed. The pretense of an accident would make my death easier to bear for those closer to me, or so I thought.

I sat at the kitchen table and waited for my body to register what my brain so desperately wanted to happen. I guess I must have googled depression, and stumbled across Students against Depression. It seemed incomprehensible that other students were in the same position as me. On the Students against Depression website there is a large green button in the right hand corner, which says “desperate right now?” I clicked on it.

I was then lead to a page with large headers and I read this “If you are about to harm yourself or have already done so, phone 999 or get yourself quickly to your local hospital’s A&E (accident and emergency). Tell them clearly that you are at risk to yourself.” And I did just that.

I walked into my flatmate’s room sheepishly and said that we had to go to A&E. He asked why. I didn’t really give a reason, I just said that it was something I had to do, that it was a last resort. It was what I had been told to do. The taxi was expensive but money didn’t mean much to me in my mental state. I walked into the A&E and toward the receptionist. I said that I was a danger to myself, but it took a while to say. It was as though my tongue was repulsed by the words and refused to utter them.

After waiting in the waiting room for a while I was called through. I was asked many questions, almost none of which I can recall. I was probably still a bit drunk if I’m honest. One thing I do remember though, is that I had two options. No assessors would be on hand until the morning, so I could either stay the night or I could go home. I knew what would happen if I chose the latter, so I stayed.

The night oozed on and morning eventually came, and I was ushered into another room. I was let go as quickly as I had come in, armed with some leaflets on depression. I felt like I’d done something wrong. This was my last resort and it didn’t work. I went home and quickly got drunk to forget about it.

To cut a long story short, I was eventually detained under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act. I was assessed and it was advised that I go to hospital. I said yes, and ended up some hours away. After weeks of switching medications we hit the nail on the head and my mood began to improve. After about a month or so I was discharged and I slowly wandered back into my university life.

What I can’t deny though, looking back on it, was that if I hadn’t have stumbled upon the Students against Depression site I probably wouldn’t be here. And that’s amazing. People often say that our constantly plugged in and connected society is a scourge upon humanity, but I would rebuttal this by saying that a site that wouldn’t even exist twenty years ago saved my bacon. And that’s something to keep in mind.

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