For me, depression isn’t just a “tough season.” It’s not just feeling sad or low for a bit of time. The depression I experience is very deep and just like any given medical condition.
The degrees of depression people face can vary. But as an individual who has been fighting depression ever since I can remember, depression is debilitating.
What does it look like for me?
Depression is lying in bed until I absolutely, positively, have to get up so people don’t think there’s anything wrong with me. Depression is seeing a text message or phone call and letting it sit there because I do not have the energy to lie anymore by saying that I’m doing “pretty well.” Depression hurts my whole body. It makes seeing people so mentally exhausting that I end up feeling physically drained for days. It’s suicidal ideation. It’s trying everything in the book and then eventually giving up because nothing works. It’s never crying, then uncontrollably crying for days. Depression is deep.
Mental wellness has been a battle my whole life. Starting with panic attacks in elementary school. Dreading social interactions, stomachaches, unexplained tears and anger because I couldn’t express the feelings I was experiencing. In the midst of not knowing how to articulate the pain I felt, I recall being told:
· Look at the bright side.
· You have such a great life, so focus on that.
· There are people who have it worse.
· You must just be hormonal.
· Women are overly sensitive.
· You’re overreacting.
And the truth of the matter is, there is space for all of the above! However, there is also space for me to acknowledge that my genetic makeup has made me more susceptible to experiencing anxiety and depressive episodes. It’s ok not to be ok.
I think my point is depression doesn’t have a face or “type” that it is attracted to. It can eat away at anyone and you may never even know. So while it’s good to understand “it’s ok not to be ok,” it’s also good to know you don’t have to suffer alone in silence. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.