The thing about depression is...

The thing about depression is, in my opinion, that it is a disease of which you can never be cured. Once depression has you in its grips there is no escape. You do have a choice though, you can allow it to consume you or you can slightly loosen its grip.

Depression is something that I have lived with from over ten years and I can count on one hand the amount of people who know that about me.

I believe that much like love, the same type of depression does not exist twice in the world. Everyone who suffers from depression suffers differently and copes differently or doesn’t cope at all. The hardest thing about depression is the cause or the lack thereof. There is no reason why I became depressed. Over the years I have questioned myself over and over again as to why I am depressed and it’s so tough when there is simply no answer. I have finally become comfortable with accepting that this is true. Nothing happened to me, I didn’t have a traumatic experience or lose someone close to me, instead my depression crept up on me slowly….and then all at once.

Not being able to explain why I am depressed is the main reason why I don’t share my struggle openly. In the past when I have opened up to people the question I always get is “but why?”. As I have mentioned in previous posts I have some great friends, a great job and the most fantastic family so what right do I have to be depressed? When there are people suffering all over the world, what right do I, a privileged white woman, have to be depressed? It’s this reaction from outsiders but also from myself that has led me to hide my depression from everyone.

This, to me, is the perception about depression and mental health that needs to change. People with depression don’t want to be depressed, they don’t choose to be depressed, they just are depressed and a lot of the time there is no reason.

My depression, and I call it my depression because I am at a place in my life where I can own my depression, has brought me to some very dark places. My depression makes me feel hopeless, worthless, lonely, angry and so much more. When my depression takes over I believe that everyone in my life would be better off without me, that I am an inconvenience to them. I have sat in my room with knives or pills and been ready to end it all, I have cried until there were no more tears, I have dug my nails into my face until I could feel something other than the hopelessness.

I have been to doctors and been on pills but honestly I could still feel my depression lurking, waiting for me to be lured into a false sense of security before it could pounce and bring my whole world crashing down around me again. So my solution is not to take pills to help me but I instead have owned my disease. I know that there are people who pills work for and also people with depression worse than mine so I am not claiming that this is the right thing for everyone but it has been for me. I live with my depression daily. This doesn’t mean that I am never happy but it doesn’t mean that I am never sad either.

I am getting to know my depression. I am more aware of situations that may make me feel down and I try to veer away from them. I try to fill my life with positivity and the things that make me happy but I am always aware that my depression could poke its ugly head out at any time. Just this last weekend the feeling of hopelessness consumed me. I didn’t leave my apartment for two days, I didn’t see one other person. I sat with my thoughts, I cried, I got angry, I thought about ending it all. And then on Monday I went to work and nobody would know that I had spent my weekend in a depressive state because after ten years of hiding it I have gotten really good at disguising my depression.

I love seeing more and more people opening up and sharing their experiences with mental health and I believe this is the only way that we can change things for people in the future so they won’t feel the need to hide their struggles. I would love to be able to share my story with more of the people that I am closes to but unfortunately I am still hesitant because of the stigma still attached to mental health problems. The most important realisation for me has been that I will never be rid of my depression but that there are ways that I can cope with it and not allow it to consume my life.

This weekend for example I lit some candles, played some records on my record player and drank some tea and this calmed me down and offered a peaceful distraction. Find something that works for you, whether it be pills or filling your life with things that you love, I believe that if we acknowledge our depression and own it then the harder it is for it to consume us.

User Comments
Anon-1

This is wonderful, thank you for sharing <3

I wish you all the best in the future.