Monday, July 20, 2009

Depression poll results

Does your illness cause you to feel depressed?

From time to time: 62%
Every day is a struggle: 6%
Not really: 15%
You’ve been prescribed antidepressants: 4%
You've had suicidal thoughts: 8%
UC doesn't depress me as much as the credit crunch: 2%

Thank you to everyone who took part in the poll about depression.

As I wrote previously it’s an extremely personal subject, so I won’t comment on the actual results of the poll.

I can only really talk about how having UC and now a colostomy bag affects me.

So this is just my take on things.

In the poll I voted ‘Not really’.

Being an ostomate and having an illness doesn’t make me feel depressed.

It irritates me sometimes. It bores me. And frustrates me.

But it doesn’t really get me down.

What I do find is, if I’m having a bad day, having UC and the colostomy bag makes it that bit worse.

For instance, if I’m feeling grumpy, UC and the bag make me 10% grumpier.

If I feel gloomy, UC and the bag make me 10% gloomier.

If I feel like I want to throttle employees of London Underground, UC and the bag make it 10% more likely that an employee of London Underground will be harmed.

When I’m not feeling on top of the world, being sick and having a bag of shit hanging off my tummy doesn’t really help matters.

But if I were to write a list of all the things that get me down, UC and my colostomy bag might not even get into the top 5.

I’m more likely to get depressed about work.

Or unfulfilled ambitions.

Or the state of the country.

Also at the moment I consider myself lucky.

My colostomy bag in no way disables me, it enables me.

Before I had surgery I was very poorly.

Medication wasn’t working. I was pretty much housebound. I couldn’t work. I couldn’t go out. I was in pain. I was weak. And I rarely slept for more than a couple of hours at a time. Whipps Cross Hospital became my second home.

For three months my life was miserable. I was in a sorry old state.

But now I’m kind of fine.

I can go to work, go on holiday, go out, stay up late, sleep all through the night, eat what I like.

I can be a proper boyfriend again.

My life is pretty good.

Of course some mornings I wake up and look down at the bag and my heart sinks a little.

That’s normal, I guess.

Mostly though I just try to deal with things the best I can.

Don’t for one minute think I’m one of those happy-clappy-waggy-tailed-look-on-the-bright-side-of-life-glass-half-full types.

Far from it.

A lot of the time I’m an irascible old sod.

And I’m not without my darker periods.

But that’s just me, the way I am, and nothing to do with UC.