It's with great pleasure that I get to introduce my lovely friend Katie.
Katie and I were Police Officers at the same time with Cheshire Constabulary, although we never worked together back in the day.
Katie and I got to know each when she moved to Adelaide, I was already established in a new life down under here in Perth when moving here to work with WA Police, we were put in contact with each other so I could provide what advice I could with Katie's move to South Australia.
Fast forward a few years and Katie and I ended up working together in Perth as Senior Investigators for the WA State Government for a few years before Katie and her husband moved back to Adelaide. Katie is also an active fellow member of the Rogue Runners Club Australia.
During our time working together and since, Katie and I have become great friends and in doing so have openly shared and supported each other along our respective mental fitness recovery journeys.
Each persons battle with mental fitness, regardless of diagnosis, is completely unique to them, although both Katie and I live with depression and anxiety, and our paths have crossed, our recovery journeys are completely different and as they should be.
Thanks for sharing your story Wreny, you're a legend!!
As always please 'Consider the Content' of the blog post before reading, if any of the content makes you feel uncomfortable, please seek professional medical assistance.
Hi my name is Katie aka Wreny. I am 36 years old and I’m a happily married professional. I’m a former Police Officer, a qualified lawyer and currently an Investigator for a large government compliance and regulation agency.
I also run my own consulting business, KEW | Consult, which provides specialist investigative training workshops, teaching forensic interview techniques, statement taking and dealing with vulnerable witnesses. More recently, I’ve started the journey to becoming a lived experience speaker to share my mental health and female Police Officer story.
I live with Anxiety and Depression. I can’t really remember when I was diagnosed, but I certainly remember being depressed before the age of 10.
Following a considerably low period over the last 6 months which saw me not being able to get out of bed, or stay awake beyond 8pm even after 10+ hours of sleep, I insisted on a broad range of blood tests. As a result of that, I was found to have a homozygous mutation of the methylene-tetrahydrofolate reductase (or MTHFR) C677T gene which very simply means that, unsupplemented, I can only metabolize 30% of the folate I eat. That, along with my suffering Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PDD) is what I believe to be the main drivers my depression.
My signs and symptoms vary but, in summary, at certain times of the month, I feel extreme lethargy, have a lack of concentration, am extremely emotional, whilst also being apathetic, unsociable and generally very down. When not on medication, I am unable to get out of bed. With my medication, I don’t suffer as much with anxiety but, when I do, it manifests as a tendency to catastrophize about issues and I become hyper vigilant which itself is a form of PTSD from previous emotional abuse suffered in relationships.
My recovery journey to date has included seeing various general practitioners and counsellors. Counselling kind of worked for my hyper vigilance and trust issues, but not for PDD, for which I take antidepressants. The main help for me has been my husband, whose patience and emotional intelligence has helped me understand my worries and challenge them on a consistent basis.
I now supplement the lack of folate my body is able to mobilise with folic acid and vitamin B12, take SSRIs for the PDD and focus on my physical health, through nutrition and fitness, strength training and yoga. My husband and I also have a love of travelling enjoying our honeymoon hiking in Nepal and most recently spending time exploring Greece.
My message to anyone who may be doing it tough right now would be:
You will not always feel like this. Sleep if you need to sleep; eat shit if you want to. It will pass. Look to someone who will support you when you’re at your crappiest and keep using their energy and their hope to keep you going until the help/solution reveals itself. Never stop looking!!!
Depression and anxiety are unique in that their symptoms are usually tiredness/exhaustion, but that’s what they proliferate in any attempt to deal with them too. Over the long term it is SO tiring to keep trying different things, and failing, and having to go again. But I promise you there is a way, you just have to find yours!!
PS Everyone go to your doctor right now and insist on a blood test for MTHFR mutations and homocysteine levels! And please ensure you take time out for your own self-care.
Investigator Trainer Speaker
Teach: The World
Instagram: @kewconsulting and @roamfree82
Thank you for joining me.
Please fell free to contact me, to become a guest blogger or provide feedback via email at: The KiltedRogueRunner@outlook.com
https://www.beyondblue.org.au Tel: 1300 22 46 36
https://www.lifeline.org.au/ Tel: 133 11 14
https://www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au Tel: 1300 65 94 67