The Inevitable Summer Depression

The Inevitable Summer Depression

The sunniest season of the year becomes one of the darkest.
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For most people, summer is the season for friends and spending time out in the sun. But for me, it's full of a whole lot of... nothing. At the beginning of the summer break, I am optimistic. I take my antidepressant nearly every day and try to find something productive to do, whether it'd be painting, drawing, cleaning my room, or writing my Odyssey article. As the weeks go by, this slowly changes. I stay in bed for hours after I wake up. I forget to take my medication. And at the end of the day, I often find myself doing nothing but watching Netflix all day.

I don't know when my depression will get better, and I don't know how bad it'll get. Sometimes in my friends' group chat, I'll start typing out a message but figure that I would annoy them, so I'll erase my message and not say anything. I feel like if I spent too much time with someone, or text or message them a lot, they'll get tired of me and leave. Sometimes, I even feel like they're just pretending that they like me. Through years of therapy, I learned that this is probably wrong. So I keep telling myself 'You are loved' 'You are not a waste of space' 'You are wanted' over and over and over again. But for some reason, I can't get rid of the thoughts telling me the opposite.

What most people don't understand about depression is that you don't really feel sad, but just numb. The days blur together and I don't remember much. It's like having your camera pulled up on your phone but didn't hit the record button. I feel like that's what a lot of people don't understand about depression. A lot of the time, you aren't feeling sad or angry. You feel nothing. You don't feel like your friends and family love you.

Often times when my depression hits, my good old friend anxiety comes around also. Like if I hear bad news, or if I see something triggering, I feel my stomach drop and I'm nauseous. There isn't enough air. I feel heavy and lightweight at the same time. My heart and head race at a million miles per hour. And I can't breathe.

Of course, I experience these sudden drops of depression the rest of the year, too. But when I'm at school, I have so many resources to help me through the days. I have a therapist I talk to that my school provides. I have a doctor that checks up on me to make sure my prescription is doing its job. I have a roommate who is caring and supportive and have stayed up with me for hours into the night listening to me complain. I have a daily routine, which helps me get through the days. The school schedules fun activities throughout the school year, encouraging me to get out of my dorm. But during summer and Christmas break, all of this goes away. And I'm terrified that in 2 years when I graduate, what will happen?

I often feel very frustrated with myself, and I feel that others are, too. I feel frustrated that when my illnesses get bad again, I feel like my friends are purposefully leaving me out. I feel frustrated that they feel like have to be careful what they say around me because I might snap. I'm frustrated that I often jump to conclusions. I'm frustrated that I am so forgetful. I'm frustrated that I have no motivation. I'm frustrated that my ghosts won't leave me alone. I can't seem to let go of the past. I can't officially get rid of my illnesses. It might go away for a month or two, but it always comes back. I'm frustrated that it is all just one big cycle.

Long story short, I can't wait for school to start again.

Cover Image Credit: Bustle

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

From an outside perspective, suicidal thoughts are rarely looked into deeper than the surface level. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is that people live in between those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead.

You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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