opening up, depression, truth

Opening Up: My Battle with Depression

The thing I've been avoiding all along

Jada
Jada
187
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For over a year now, I've been living with depression. I'm not officially diagnosed with depression, but the one therapist I've seen told me that I was. The one therapist I've seen has also told me that I've become less depressed after my short time seeing her. Which is great, but I've never really been honest with myself and come to terms with it. I'm depressed. And, I'm happy to admit it now.

After my first session of therapy, I think I called or texted my boyfriend and cried-complained to him that I can't go to therapy as a psychology major. I felt that if I wanted to help people with their issues, then I needed to not have any issues. At the time, I did not see the bright side in being a psychology major and going to therapy. My boyfriend had to tell me about it.

As of now, before the publication of this article, only one family member knows that I am battling with depression-- my mother. And, after she found out the reason why I am depressed, so much of my life has been put into perspective for her. She now has more of an understanding of the way I react to things, why I have panic attacks to trivial things like being overdressed for a party, and why I sometimes can't get out of bed. Because my mother is such an amazing person and lives her life with extreme empathy, she does what she can to help me become the person I was before I became depressed. One of the biggest things that my mom has helped me with, is trying to figure out the right time to tell my friends and family that I am depressed and the reason why. The two biggest people that I am having trouble finding the words to tell are my best friends, whom I'm just going to call L and T.

I currently feel stagnant in my life and I think that a way to help this is to address some of the problems which may or may not be the reason why I feel this way. My depression is one of the biggest. What I have learned about depression is that it affects people differently and those anti-depressant commercials are such dramatizations they're ridiculous. Granted, I've come across people that are chronically depressed, to where their outlook on life is completely horrible. But how I live my life as someone is depressed isn't with a negative outlook on life. I love my life. But there are times when it's hard for me to really connect with my friends or want to be socially active. Some days, I just want to lay in bed and watch Netflix and sit in a Discord voice channel. There are other times when I have extreme cabin fever and I want to go out and connect with people. My mood goes up and does and changes quickly, but I am happy. I am ready to see where fate takes me.

I don't really have a conclusion for this article. I tried to write many different ones all hitting different topics but they don't work. I guess the last two things I want to say are this: if you do have depression, you're sure as heck not alone. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being depressed. I also want to say that you shouldn't let your depression define you and take over your life. Your head may get in the way of things but people see you as many different things before they see you as depressed. Hell, some people may not even think that. Depression doesn't define you, you define it.

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

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

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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My Eating Disorder Was A Secret, Even From Me

No one ever talks about it, and if they had my life might be different.

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I remember ninth grade health class very well, specifically one day in particular. The day we talked about eating disorders, I was ready to hear about anorexia and bulimia. I was not ready to walk out of that classroom with confirmation that I had an eating disorder, but that is exactly what I did that day.

After speaking on anorexia and bulimia, my teacher told us about Binge Eating Disorder.

My 14-year-old ears perked up. I had never heard of this disease, but I was immediately interested. I knew anorexia and bulimia well, they were the diseases that, at the time, I wish I had the determination to try, but I was too scared to hurt my body.

Binge Eating Disorder was new to me. My teacher described it as continuing to eat after you were full and eating for hours at a time. As the signs and symptoms continued to be read, I realized... that the last three years of my life had been plagued by binges. There was a lot I couldn't control in my life, but eating was one thing that I always had control over. It was the one thing that always brought me comfort.

Most binges would start after I came home from a hard day at school, or maybe after I got in a fight with a family member. Maybe I felt insecure about the growing number on the scale, but I ate.

It always started with half a bag of chips, then maybe a cookie or other sweet treat, and then I would finish with something else I could find in the pantry. My mother would come home and begin making dinner.

Ashamed, I would hide the food anywhere so my family could not tell I had been eating and then I would go eat dinner.

This was a common occurrence for me, but I had no idea that my habits were wrong or should point to an eating disorder. The only thing that I knew was wrong with me, was that I was gaining weight.

For the longest time, I thought an eating disorder was something that helped you lose weight unhealthily, not gain weight. It wasn't until I sat in a health class that I realized that there was anything wrong with me.

Education is so important in overcoming eating disorders. We are making such great strides about informing people about the dangers of eating disorders and positive body image.

It is so important that we start making Binge Eating Disorder a topic that is as known as anorexia and bulimia. No one ever discusses Binge Eating Disorder, not even the dangers of it, maybe if they had my life might have been different.

Maybe I would have found out about it earlier and could have gotten help before it got out of hand.

I wish I could say that I left that health class that day and never had a binge again. The truth is I binged several times after that, and still to this day I have an episode, although they are very rare.

It would be unrealistic to tell you that I overcame my eating disorder that day because it is a journey I am still completing. Every day presents a new challenge, and sometimes I fail, but I will succeed, and succeeding is worth a few failures.

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