As part of our #NothingToHide series, UCD student, Clare O'Connor talks us through her darker days and the difficulty in overcoming depression...
In November 2013 I spent 2 weeks sleeping on the floor of my bedroom in UCD. I wasn't doing this for fun. I was doing it because I was unable to summon the motivation required to make my bed. Every time I glanced in the direction of the bed covered with clothes I was reminded of my failure and I felt nothing but hatred towards myself.
This for me, captures the indignity and the darkness that is depression. It's not a bad mood or feeling down. It is literally being unable to want to do anything, and that includes getting better.
I gradually stopped going to college, mainly out of the fear that someone would ask where I had been. "In bed" was the honest answer that no one wanted to hear.
Some days it would take everything in me to get myself out of the house, only to become overwhelmed with anxiety and turn around and go home.
I was most angry at myself because my depression had no justification. I hadn't experienced any traumatic life events, and on paper I had it all. I felt like I didn't deserve to get help, because I had no reason for feeling this way. I was ashamed.
Since sharing my story back in May, people's responses have been overwhelming.
To everyone who hugged me a little harder, who looked me in the eye and asked how I really was, or who empathised and opened up about their own struggles, it means more than I could ever explain.
And finally, for anyone who is in that place right now. I promise it's not like this forever.
Whether or not you believe it right now, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and you can get better.
The first step is opening up to one person. It's by no means an easy ride but I promise you it is worth it.
Utmost admiration for Pat Mc Keown for starting the Cashface campaign to show everyone that there is #NothingToHide when it comes to mental health.