If you’d seen me when I had cancer you wouldn’t have said ‘Come on, pull yourself together.’
"Cancer becomes you in all sorts of ways.
When I was told I had cancer I was scared. Fear struck me, it struck me hard if truth be told, my life was recalibrated in an instant. And overnight my health started to deteriorate, except it wasn’t just my physical health it was my mental health too.
Depression is the equivalent of a chemo cycle in some ways. Debilitating, tiring and miserable. It is not just your happiness that is affected. It is every aspect of your makeup, every element of mood and every detail of your life.
And unlike a chemo cycle it doesn’t have a definitive end. I’d even say my battle with my mind was harder to win. It contributed to my divorce. And I burst into tears when a colleague asked me how I was one day.
It is not just your happiness that is affected. It is every aspect of your makeup, every element of mood and every detail of your life.
With depression there was nothing wrong with me on the outside. But when you are sick it’s the real thing. A deep, dark, numbing abyss, making it harder to re-boot my life. My first attempt failed. Bad timing.
Thanks to my GP the second time brought a referral to a Community Psychiatric Nurse who got me involved with SAMH and then Gateways, a service devoted to social inclusion.
I was able to build my confidence, develop ways to cope with stress and tools to deal with anxiety, wherever and whenever it popped up.
What I realised was that time was everything to getting better. With cancer I understood that, with my mind I didn’t."
Referral through GP or mental health worker
The Gateways Service promotes social inclusion by supporting adults in Inverclyde with severe and enduring mental health problems to access mainstream activity in their local community.