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    Posted May 5, 2014 by
    frasertown, New Zealand
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Going public with mental illness

    A story from NZ

    Hi,Im Trudi,I lost my Dad to Suicide...10 years ago. I have suffered from Depression since my teens..of course not diagnosed until a working holiday in USA in my early 20's.Im 41 now.
    Im from a country town.Very rural,very much "Kiwi Attitude" of harden up,you will be fine..think of how lucky you are. Unfortunately that doesnt work.
    My Dad was the life and soul of the party,clever,funny,artistic,musical.I sufffered from dark thoughts and EVEN I didnt see it coming.
    Suicide rate in NZ is shocking..especially in men.NZ has this TOUGH GUY attitude and any sign of depression has been seen as a weakness.So men dont talk.
    In the last 10 years people have become more aware,there are adds on TV etc...but it still carries a stigma of weakness and a huge misunderstanding.
    Everyone thinks Im very funny..."should have been a comedian" comments..etc..they dont see me when Im sad.Most have no idea.
    I tend to hide.But I have a supportive husband.
    I have an interesting way to deal with it!!
    I have not been on any medication for 5 years..I feel it makes me someone Im not.
    When I start to feel anxious or down I drive to town and buy a big bag of sweets.Also an energy drink.
    For some reason the sugar hit releases endorphins and I then get busy doing stuff I want to do.....enjoyable stuff(I work at home as an artist)..no pressure....and keep busy so I dont feel the come down off the sugar high.
    Im not sure this is a healthy option but it works for me!!!
    I may not have any teeth left by the time Im 60 but Im hoping if I keep on track I will still be here!!!!
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