Let me start off by telling you why I am writing this: when I tell people I am depressed or I’m having trouble with my mental health, they think I’m ‘lazy’ and they tell me to ‘get over it’ I want to try and get people who do not suffer from mental health to understand what it’s like, so maybe when people like me do need to talk to someone they’re not scared to because they don’t want to be judged. So, this will be kind of like my own life story but I’m not going to leave out the bad parts; in fact, those are going to be the parts I want you to pay most attention to.
It started when I was ten, we (me, my mom, uncle, two brothers and our dog) had just moved to a different city, everything was going good, until we had to move again, that’s when I realized my mother and uncle were not okay, you see, they started drinking more and more often, which lead them to fight almost every night, soon my uncle called the cops because he’d had enough. That’s when I moved in with my father, for the next nine years I delt with depression, I couldn’t do normal every day tasks like go to school or even take care of myself, I had trouble sleeping and I had no appetite, my life seemed to become someone else’s, I had no control over my depression, which lead to me harming myself. You see self harm is not about what you think, it’s about feeling like you have no control over your life so you turn to pain to try and shock yourself into believing you have control.
By this time I was turning 14, I was starting high school, and it got even worse, I was sleeping 12 hours a day and waking up tired, I had no motivation to get up and do anything, I was struggling with this illness, I didn’t know how to push through it so I let it control me. By the time I was 16 I seen more than a dozen therapists, my doctor had diagnosed me with major depressive disorder along with seasonal depression, but I was still not on any medication for it.
So, for the next year I kept seeing a therapist, I learnt how to deal with my depression, some days were easier than others, but then, winter rolls around and I’m back to where I started. At 17 my doctor prescribed me with anti depressants, by this time I had stopped hurting myself, the next two years were not easy, I still wasn’t going to school but I wasn’t sleeping 12 hours and I was able to start eating properly, I was finally on the road to recovery, and I was okay for a while until winter of 2020.
You see, depression does not go away, you’re stuck with it forever, yes, some days/months/years are easier than others but as long as you are trying to push through it that’s a win in my book.
If you stuggle with depression you know that it also comes with anxiety, you see, depression makes you not care about anything and anxiety makes you care too much, so having them both, well, it’s absolute hell. There is no specific thing that can cause us to feel depressed or have a panic attack, they just happen and most of the time we dont even know how to explain it because we don’t understand it ourselves, our brain is in a constant battle, it’s the reason we like to sleep so much; it’s the closest thing to death/ being free, we can get.
To those of you who do not struggle with this, my advice to you is; be there for those that have this illness or any other (bipolar disorder, anxiety etc) be patient with us, listen when we need someone to talk to, most importantly, don’t treat us any different than you would someone else.