Mental health: ethnic minority experiences

Terri - Interview 24

Female
Age at interview: 41
Age at diagnosis: 32

Brief outline: Terri, 41, describes herself as Black-British. She was diagnosed with depression in her early 30s. Terri says she now realises that she has an illness and has to take her medication or she will get into a deep depression.

Background: Unemployed, single with 1 child. Ethnic background/nationality: Black-British (born UK).

Audio & video

Terri, 41, describes herself as Black-British. She was diagnosed with depression in her early 30s.

Terri first realised she was unwell when she began feeling uneasy and awkward around people. She felt she didn't have much to live for. She felt afraid and was neglecting herself. When she is depressed Terri feels unable to cope, loses her appetite and doesn't want to get up. She says she stays in her flat doing nothing and has to force herself to do housework. Terri says she now realises that she has an illness and has to take her medication (600mg clozaril) or she will get into a deep depression. She says her current medication has helped her a lot. She recently had her medication increased and she says it helps her to sleep and feel like starting the day when she wakes up. She has also tried risperidone but she says it made feel on the edge. Her doctor hasn't offered her counselling or anything else but suggested she goes to a support centre and another drop-in centre. Although he doctor told her not to come back, Terri says she was happy with what the doctor did for her. 

To cope with her symptoms she does things she likes doing, like shopping, going for a walk, and going to the support centre. She says she likes going to the support centre because it's something to look forward to and something to get out of bed for. At the support centre they do activities, go for a meal and go shopping. Terri enjoys spending time with other people instead of being alone in her flat, but says she wouldn't describe them as friends. At one point, Terri stopped going because she was worried she didn't fit in, but now those worries have gone. 

She thinks not being able to get a job and not having any friends led to her depression. Since she's had depression, Terri says some of her friends don't talk to her any more and she wonders if it's because they think she's not good enough for them. She also says it might be because Black people are full of pride and don't like to get involved.

Terri has read leaflets and pamphlets about depression and found them useful because they tell you about symptoms and what to look out for. Her message to other people with depression is to be strong.

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