Relapse…. damn it

By Terence

Coming to the end of therapy for depression and anxiety through CBT I had convinced myself I was getting better, I was getting there, I’m cured!! Good times right? Well no..

About two weeks after I thought this I found myself struggling again, getting up in the morning was painful and the thoughts of suicide were back. My medication that was working for my anxiety wasn’t working any longer or at least it didn’t feel that way. There I was, at night in bed trembling, feeling sick, ruminating and worrying then staring at the ceiling not feeling anything. Because of this I went down a new route, self harm.

I hate anxiety, I hate depression, I hate cutting, honestly I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. It was so frightening to be here again.

Luckily I still had a few therapy sessions left (they’ve since been extended because my therapist is uneasy discharging me while I’m self harming). He explained that this happens, it’s common to relapse. Since then I’ve come to realise something…

Although therapy and Medication have helped, I’m still not perfect, my brain is still ill but I can cope far better than I used to. I still have down days and that’s ok. I can accept that because I know I’m not alone in this, I haven’t failed and neither have you. Relapse is quite normal.

I’ll finish with this. If you feel like you’ve failed yourself and everyone around you by falling back into depression, anxiety, self harming or any other symptom of a mental illness after so much effort and work just know you’re not alone, keep working hard to get through, the effort is worth it. I promise.

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  1. The worst thing is when we have a relapse. But if we know nearly everyone relapses BUT it doesn’t mean you have failed just that the going can be tough at times, it means we have hope – hope and belief that even with relapses we’re better than we were. Be proud of what you HAVE done and keep believing in YOU because you are trying and THAT is no small thing. (hugs)

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  2. When I was referred for group therapy, I attended for 9mths. During that time I learned how to deal with my problems. At the end of those 9mths, she told me that I didn’t need to attend any more….I panicked. I was leaving the security of my weekly visits….who was I going to talk to now? She also told me to use the skills I had learnt. Yes I would have setbacks and relapses and I would work harder than I had ever worked in therapy. She said to use the relapses in a positive way. Be proud of what you achieve, but be sure to recognise those achievements. As time moved on, I found my brain getting tired of the old thoughts and slowly the positive ones started to work for me. NEVER stop trying, there is always HOPE……I’m still learning after many years.

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