My Relationship with Depression

My relationship with depression begins about two and a half years ago when my friend reached out to me. I had once believed that depression was an excuse, a way to get out of things and a way to get prescription medication. That all changed when my friend called me up to say goodbye, that he had a gun in his lap and a made up mind. I talked with him for two hours to try to get him to change his mind, and that was the most stressful, most frenzied google searches I've ever had, trying to learn as much as I could before he did the unthinkable. He ended up unloading the gun and going to sleep after a while. He had changed medications recently and it was messing with his head, as I learned a short while later.

I had now established depression as a legitamate illness, but I was quite apathetic about it. It didn't bother me, so I wasn't going to all of a sudden be vocal about it, or worry about it for that matter. I just lived like normal after that. I was a freshman in high school, I had other things to think about, other priorities. 

About five months after my friend called me, I had noticed I was feeling really down a lot more often. I pinned it as stress from coming to high school, and moved on. It was another phone call which made me look deeper into myself. Another friend called me, this time with razor blades. She just wanted to talk, and told me a lot about herself and her disorder. I found myself sympathizing with a lot of it, and after we got off the phone I began to look up the same searches again, with a different intent in mind. I wasn't looking for anyone but myself, to see if it was true. I realized that I had a lot of the symptoms, and I most likely had Major Depression.

It only got worse over the next two years.

I trusted a few people with my secret but maintained a happy exterior both at home and at school. It was easy to do at first, but it became harder to act like I was always happy at school and home so I became a little more honest at home and stopped smiling as much, stopped talking as much, etc. It became a little more manageable because I had a place where I could let my guard down. I never wanted my family to know, as they aren't too sympathetic towards mental illnesses and I thought that they might either not take me seriously, berate me for it, or possibly send me to a mental health hospital. I was just going to wait until I turned 18 to move out and seek treatment on my own dime.

That all changed a few months ago, when my depression took a downwards spiral. I began having a lot more suicidal thoughts, and it was harder to trudge through the day with a fake smile stuck to my face. I would cry a lot when I was alone to let all my emotions out, and then I'd just feel hollow and empty the rest of the day. I learned all the tricks to hide the signs I've been crying. It really took a hit on me when at home everyone confronted me and told me that I'd better get happier soon if I cared about them. This is where I was conflicted. The only reason I hadn't killed myself already was that I didn't want anyone to find me, and I didn't want them to think they failed. I really care about my family, which is why I took it so hard that they thought I didn't care.

So I began to act at home too. I struggled with suicidal ideations and self-harming thoughts on a daily basis, but I fought them off, thinking about how much shame I would have if I failed at that too and how it would make others feel. I acted all the time except when I was alone, and it took a big hit to everything. I couldn't do anything right, and I would have no energy because it was sapped by trying to seem happy all the time. My family would say "See, it's not so bad! You could do it!" but I knew better. I knew what was really going on. I stopped acting at school so that I could have some kind of energy back, and keep my family happy.

I was found out a week ago. Someone from the school had called my parents asking about my health, and how I showed many symptoms of major depression and listed my corresponding behaviors that justified it. Our school has seen two suicides in the last year alone so I don't blame them for being vigilant about that sort of thing. I was confronted by my parents about it, and I just couldn't lie anymore. I didn't have enough energy to continue.

I told a highly edited version of my story, removing the suicidal thoughts and self harm from the confession. Now they know.

I've been getting a lot of glances lately. The glances happen whenever someone on the radio or tv says the word "depression" and god forbid they mention suicide, because I always get glanced at when it gets said. There was a Prozac commercial the other day and it was awkward as hell. Nobody said a word the entire time. I've been feeling highly paranoid lately, fueled by the fact that someone took the time to watch my every move at school and write down what I did to pass along to my parents. I probably see who did it every day, yet I don't know who it was.

The reason that I'm writing this is that I have a doctor's visit tomorrow. I'm going to be screened for a cocktail of mental disorders apparently, and I'll be pulled out of class to do so. I don't know what goes on in the doctor's office for this kind of thing, and I'm scared. I feel so alone, like I'm weak and broken and my parents probably feel like they have to take their broken son to the person mechanic to see what's wrong with it. I don't know if I'll even be taken seriously considering I really have nothing I should be feeling this way about. If I do get help too, I don't know if it'll be therapy or drugs to help it. I'm doing badly enough in school as is, I feel like I don't need another thing taking a large amount of time out of my schedule in the case of therapy, and I don't know how drugs would make me different. 

I'm very scared. I feel very alone.

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