If you or someone that you know struggles with depression of any sort, it's a never-ending reoccurring battle that comes in waves. Depression is temporary but sometimes lengthened periods of unhappiness, worthlessness, ruts, not knowing what to do with oneself, and lots of other unique circumstances. Depression is just like anxiety: it's different for everyone and varies between cases of itself. Depression is overall an agreed-upon hard thing to have to tough up to face, and I never wish the suffering that comes with it upon anyone.
Throughout my life, I've had periods of time where I don't want to wake up, I don't want to eat and I don't want to talk to or respond to anyone. I'll leave my phone alone and ignore text messages. In periods of lows, I had to be reminded to eat something because I'd "forget" to and it would slip my mind. I lost a ton of weight very quickly in this particular circumstance.
Photo by Ali Yahya
Depression for me is a never-ending back and forth conversation of voices. Anxiety is similar to this, but depression is a voice saying one thing and a different voice saying the exact opposite. The bad part about the voices going back and forth bickering all of the time is that the malicious voice says things like "you're not worth their time," "you're a sinful person and don't deserve anything good," or even "why would you do/want to do such a thing?" Even if I don't take action on something that's on my mind, there will be a lot of considering consequences without even doing it, and criticizing myself for even considering certain things.
During consideration of opportunities, making myself feel guilty is the thing that I know how to do. Without even getting into a situation, I talk myself out of it or guilt myself out of doing it. Why? This is the question I always ask and never will have an answer to.
Depression varies between people and that no single case is the same. Each person describes their situation differently and it's virtually impossible to understand what anyone is going through. I have very close friends who deal with all sorts of depression, including just seasonal depression and even depression year-round that never subsides for a minute.
Recovery and treatment for depression vary as well. I've found in my time with medication that it doesn't do much for me. My body becomes immune to all types of medication very quickly, and that they stop having effects on me after a couple of weeks. Even raising the dosage of medication wouldn't help me. Nothing ends up helping me, even therapy is something that I can't commit to because of my past and the fact that I don't want to reproach it.
Photo by Ben Blennerhassett
Not wanting to talk about things that make my depression cloud over me is a common occurrence and one I wish I didn't need to keep in check. Avoiding talking about things that make me upset really sucks, but if it's what I need to do, then it's what I HAVE to do.
My depression has brought me to very dark places including being suicidal in times of doubt, wanting to hurt myself and following through on it, and wanting to ignore my friends' cries for me to stop. Friends have always wanted to be with me so that I don't become tempted to harm myself on their watch.
January of 2017, I admitted myself to the mental unit of my local hospital. It was my only other opportunity to try again or else the latter… which can be assumed was not a good alternative route.
This was my rock bottom with my depression. I was stuck in the hospital for 3 nights and 4 full days. I saw my mother once in those few days for 30 minutes and had a hard time calling her since we had one working phone, and other patients were always hogging it.
After coming out of the hospital, I've viewed my life differently. I still have lots and lots of urges and feel as if I don't make the right choice for myself, but I've at least learned to live with my mistakes now and to let go of the past - for the most part.
My depression still very much comes in waves and is a reminder of my past, present, and future. I'll never have the luxury to kiss depression goodbye as it's here to stay. Learning to live with it is something that, if I can do, I believe anyone can learn to do. It's not easy, but we work through it - together.
Photo by Jared Murray