The first time it ever crossed my mind that I may have been suffering from depression came after months and months of feeling alone, empty, overwhelmingly sad and just downright exhausted to the bone. It wasn’t merely a tiredness that a good night’s sleep would fix, it was debilitating and relentless. I wasn’t myself. It was then that the notion I may have been depressed crossed my mind, but I quickly just brushed it off; what did I have to be depressed about anyway? Of course, now this logic seems ridiculous; after all, depression doesn’t take personal circumstance into consideration when it chooses who to attack.
A few more months passed and my depression became more and more uncontrollable and had gone past the point of just being brushed off as a “teenage phase”. The worst part of it was that I knew what it was doing to me. I knew it was affecting those around me. I knew it was ruining my life. I could feel my life slipping away one day at a time but I was so detached from everything and everyone that there was nothing I could do about it. I was numb. I became disinterested in everything and everyone, I thought about death all of the time and all I wanted to do was just lie in bed and not move. I didn’t even have the concentration to watch TV or listen to the radio and I couldn’t bear seeing the light of day so I kept my curtains firmly shut. All I could do was lie there and hope that when I woke up I’d feel better, but I never did.
I was very reluctant to visit a doctor about my depression, but eventually I did, I mean, it’s not like I had anything to lose at this point. In all honesty, I didn’t think they’d be able to help me and I know this sounds ridiculous and stupid, but part of me didn’t even want helping. As masochistic as this sounds, there was a bittersweet warmth and comfort to depression. It made me see the world in a different light and made me feel foolish for ever being so optimistic about life; it was like I was finally seeing reality for the first time. I can only really compare it to being like a form of Stockholm Syndrome within my own mind.
The first doctor I visited instantly made me regret ever bothering her with my problems. She said that I was fine and that it was all just part of my ‘personality’; she even went as far to explain to me that all lives come with ups and downs and we just have to learn to cope with them. I felt like an idiot.
In hindsight, it was certainly not okay to be thinking about death as often as I was. I felt entirely worthless and everything I ever said, did and breathed made me sick. It was like someone had put a dark tinted veil over my life and all the things that used to make me so happy, instead made me feel hollow. There is no way on Earth that this can be classified as “normal”.
Fortunately, nearly ten years on and my depression is more under control than ever before. I’ve been on medication for a while and have learnt to create coping mechanisms to help deal with the crushing lows that depression brings. Am I cured? Definitely not. I don’t think depression ever goes away. When I find myself sinking back down to rock bottom I once again find myself feeling ridiculous for ever finding joy in life and there are times when I feel like it would be easier if I had never experienced happiness at all. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There is a lot of good in this world that everyone should have the opportunity to experience and with the right continuous help and support, it can be overthrown.