I was first diagnosed with major depressive disorder when my mum suffered a severe stroke that has left her disable, not able to speak and having to wear kimbies. I think I have always had depression but would focus on helping others and being the rock for everyone which left no time to even consider any type of mental illness. My experiences with the world since I have “officially” been diagnosed has exposed me to just how little people understand. Especially when they compare you to their circumstance of losing a loved one and overcoming the grief/mourning or finances taking a knock or not being satisfied with their place of work. So how do you explain to them the difference. You don’t because no matter how many times you try people have this oh-so irritating habit of comparing you to what they are going through that day/week/month. I have also experienced indifference twice now in casualty at hospitals. The moment you say you are on medication for depression their whole attitude to treating you changes. I have been left sitting on a bed for more than an hour before the Doctor came to see to me and I have been ignored when I was rushed to hospital during one of my ‘episodes’. The dr came to see how I was and I asked for something for a migraine which my episode brought on. The dr left and never came back. I was fetched by a friend and left the hospital in a lot of pain. I am sure that there are people out there who have experienced worse and can relate to what I am saying. The stigma is forever looming and people’s reaction if you just having a bad day is “must be the depression”. We have ‘normal’ bad days like everyone else. We just feel it more intensely but nobody understands that. I am currently doing Tai Chi and walking to help me deal with my disorder and hope that one of these days I will also be able afford buying the groceries I need in order to eat properly. I am also seeing a psychiatrist regularly and take my meds religiously. The plan is to eventually be weaned off the medication in time. This is a part of my story.