Despite experiencing depression for as long as she can remember, Alexis’s journey is one of, ups and downs, persistence and ultimately, recovery. She shared her story with us to encourage others, and remind us that there is always hope.
Alexis remembers early signs of depression creeping into her everyday life from age seven. Warnings signs included her sensitivity to the news, constant fear, and over analysis of her family's love for her.
Following multiple suicide attempts that began at age nine, Alexis was finally diagnosed with depression at 18.
“I had become so incredibly good at the façade I was portraying, that even my family had no idea of the struggles I was dealing with on a daily basis,” Alexis remembers.
“Self harm had become a very common coping mechanism for me,” Alexis said.
Alexis visited countless mental health professionals, spent months in hospital and was prescribed seemingly endless lists of medications. It left her feeling helpless and with little hope of ever living a “normal” life.
Alexis started psychological treatment and the full extent of her pain was finally laid bare: past experiences with sexual assault, verbal and physical abuse, and substance abuse had rendered her unable to move on with her life.
“Starting at the bottom left me with very little hope for a future on this earth. I couldn't see a way out of the pain and I had no energy or will left to help myself. Thankfully for me, I had a very persistent Mum who was determined to keep me on this earth,” said Alexis.
A friend recommended a psychologist to Alexis’s mum, and his treatment became “an absolute godsend” and started the process of healing and treatment for Alexis.
“He listened and focused on retraining my ways of reacting in situations that often lead to a suicidal spiral, and most importantly he gave me the tools to become healthy and happy again.
“It wasn't by any means a miracle cure - it took years - but I was finally moving forward,” said Alexis.
Now at the age of 25 she has confidently lived completely free of depression for two years.
“I can now say that I am free from depression and suicidal thoughts. I have gotten married and am now pregnant – milestones that seemed impossible when I was in my darkest times.
“I'm never going to tell you that the journey is easy or simple, but I truly believe "the other end" should be possible for everyone.
“This is a topic that I am incredibly passionate about and I won't rest until I see the system changed,” said Alexis.
We thank Alexis for sharing her story.
All stories are shared with direct permission, as part of Share Your Story month.
If you, or someone you know, requires assistance or needs to talk to someone, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.