Darcy’s story

Aerial fitness and gardening enthusiast, Darcy, 24, Melbourne, has been living with clinical depression for the past 10 years.

Since her diagnosis with clinical depression at the tender age of 14, Darcy has continued to combat negative feelings every day.

“For me, clinical depression is like a long, slow slog through feelings of hopelessness, guilt, and isolation. You feel hopeless because you’re convinced that you’re a worthless, terrible person. You feel guilty because others have gone through much worse and not complained. Finally, you feel isolated because you’re too embarrassed to let anyone else in,” said Darcy.

“I have a lot of self-doubts, so I often shy away from good opportunities, such as job interviews or even social interactions and meeting people.”

“I’ve ended romantic relationships because I’ve felt that I’m not good enough and that they should be with someone better. Similarly, I’ve forgiven people who have treated me badly because I feel as though I deserve it,” Darcy said.

Despite battling these feelings for a decade, Darcy is still searching for a recovery process that works for her.

“I have seen multiple therapists, although none have really worked for me. I’ve also tried different antidepressants over the years, which dull the clinical depression, but am yet to find something that alleviates all symptoms for me.”

Today, Darcy is participating in the Australian Genetics of Depression Study, a groundbreaking international collaboration exploring the genetic risk factors associated with clinical depression, and how genes influence one’s response to treatment.

Darcy hopes the study can highlight the need to personalise treatment for the illness and believes there could be a link between your genes and the likelihood of developing clinical depression.

“Hopefully this study lead to a better understanding of mental illness and may prompt further research into this area. I genuinely hope that more research in the area will ensure people can access appropriate help and will reinforce the importance of personalised treatment,” said Darcy.

“I believe there could be a link between genes and one’s predisposition to clinical depression. Some people are more prone to becoming clinically depressed when certain circumstances arise, but I believe others don’t necessarily need a trigger to feel this way.”

To volunteer for the Australian Genetics of Depression Study, head here: https://www.geneticsofdepression.org.au