In The Dark Depths of Depression


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A Journey through Anxiety, Depression &
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

By Julie Boyt

ISBN: 978-1-78382-062-7
Published: 2014
Pages: 48
Key Themes: Mental Health, Poetry, Depression, Anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD


For the past few years, I have been unfortunate enough to suffer from a combination of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. I have found it very difficult to talk about my experiences to my family and friends during this time and I could never bring myself to recount my deepest thoughts or feelings to any of them.

I decided to describe my difficult journey through poetry and once I started writing, one poem just led onto another. Although I found it quite easy to write these poems, the thought that others will read them and discover my inner-most feelings, when I was in the dark depths of depression, is actually very scary! I am not ashamed of the depths of my illnesses; it’s just that I have never wanted to admit how desperately ill I was to anyone else. I didn’t want them to worry about me, so I always went out of my way to hide all evidence of how unwell I had actually become!

I hope that these poems can give a small insight into the thoughts and feelings that someone can have if they are affected by anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. They are all conditions that can have hidden, invisible symptoms and are often not fully understood by those fortunate enough to have never been in their grips. Believe me though, if you become captured by any one of them, then it can feel that there will never be an escape from a very dark and disturbing world!

About the Author

Julie was born in 1967 and lives in Winchester with her husband and three sons. She was a midwife who was happy, confident and carefree, until her life changed in a split second after witnessing the tragic death of a young boy. She subsequently suffered post-traumatic stress and severe depression, where she was unable to function or participate in everyday life at all. She felt so alone, suffocated by her black and desperate thoughts, and her world just totally crumbled. She fought this difficult battle for nearly three years, hiding away from everyone as she struggled to cope with her illnesses. She found that writing her experiences down on paper, through the medium of poetry, very healing and really helped her to get all of the negative thoughts and feelings “out of her head!” With the continuing support of her family and friends, and two sets of wonderful CBT sessions, she has finally been able to leave her gloomy dark days behind, and is now far down on that wonderful road of recovery.

Julie is now very open about her mental illnesses and wants to let everyone know that it is actually ok to be mentally unwell, and is not something that needs to be hidden away or be embarrassed about. She plans spending the rest of her life being a true advocate for mental health, and hopes that her experiences will help her to support others who are also unfortunate enough to be deep in its grasp.

Julie is just beginning her new journey as a volunteer for both Solent Mind and Southern health NHS foundation trust, and is very excited about all the various possibilities that a future in mental health may bring.

Book Extract

Elusive sleep

Exhausted and shattered
I am desperate for sleep
I would do anything for some rest
I try shutting my eyes
Tell my body to relax
But cannot drift off into release

Sheep are passing me by
I count them as they jump
But still my mind wanders on
I try creating a tranquil void
But this emptiness never appears
As my thoughts just won’t be ignored

I’ve had a mug of cocoa to drink
And a warm soothing bath
Soft music is all around
I follow gentle routines
The books say this helps
So soon, I should be snoozing away

But, I am still lying here awake
It’s the middle of the night
Where is this elusive sleep?
I’m going to have to give up all hope
And reluctantly rise from my bed
And accept, that I am beaten again

I am so tired during the day though
And then desperate for sleep
I could snooze at the drop of a hat
But when darkness returns
My brain seems to spring back to life
All ready for its evening fight!

Hooray, at long last
My eyes wearily droop
And into the land of nod I tread
Soon in my dreams though
A terrifying nightmare appears
And destroys my last hope of sleep!


I had always taken sleep for granted and had never previously had any problems falling asleep, only getting up again in the mornings!

I found it quite alien to be lying awake for hours, exhausted, but unable to relax and calm my thoughts. It was very frustrating to be in bed in a wide awake state, whilst my husband was lying next to me, blissfully snoozing the night away!


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