May 26, 2020
It's so difficult to describe depression to someone who's never been there, because it's not sadness. I know sadness. Sadness is to cry and to feel. But it's that cold absence of feeling—that really hollowed-out feeling." (J.K Rowling). With J.K Rowlands quote about depression, I can completely connect and relate to what she is stating. It’s often said that people do not understand that depression is not about feeling sad, that’s only a part of it. Depression is about the melancholy, sadness on the other hand is an emotion that although not seen, is a healthy part of life. Depression on the other hand progressively eats away your whole being.
If you were to ask me how my first 2 years of college were going to be like a few years ago, I would not imagine ever describing it as “feeling depressed". As many future college students, I was so excited to leave home and experience a new moment in my life. I have always envisioned myself leaving and coming back home with so many stories and accomplishments that happened in college. Unfortunately, that was not the case for me! One of the most upheaval moments in my life was when I left to college and became so depressed. If you knew me, you would know that I was always the one with the bubbliest personality. I would always be smiling and never have a dull day. I was always surrounded by friends and made every moment count. I honestly can say that high school was an experience that I will never forget. You would never see me upset, let alone think negative in any situation. I would always think positive and make the best of every moment. But depression hit me hard when I least expected it. I can tell you that this situation, challenge, problem, or however you want to call it, changed me completely.
Depression hits like an invisible light, it’s with you when you look into the eyes of those you love, when you look into the things that you once love doing, and even with you when you want to rest and sleep at night. I honestly can say that this situation was hitting me hard, it’s crazy to say I had no idea what was going on with me. I just felt lost and not myself. I remember when I was alone in my dorm I would cry because every day that went by, I would feel less and less happy. This is not the memories I wanted, why was I feeling this way? I did not know who I was anymore. It was scary because I did not know what was going on with me.
So why was I depressed? The crazy part is that even though when I came to that, I still did not know why. I did not only lose my personality, I noticed I started losing weight, I also did not want to get all glammed up like I use too. Worst of all, I would avoid going to any social events. I did not want to see, talk or involve myself with anyone. I remember my only friend was my roommate, and that was only because we lived together. I knew that when I had officially isolated myself from everyone and everything around me, I needed to ask for help. I remember finally having the courage to speak to the one person I trusted the most, my mother. I remember that weekend I took a long train ride back home, and broke out in tears telling her all that I felt. With the simple words of “come back home", I knew things would get better. Just as my mom said, I did come back home. With the help of my closest friends, my boyfriend and my family I was able to apply and get accepted to a great college back home. I did not want to feel worse losing a semester. I knew that getting back to the way I was would take baby steps. When I returned home, it was as if this was the missing piece and was put back into my heart. I also seek professional help. I had the great pleasure of being open enough seek for help and see a shrink/psychologist every week. Emily was her name, she was very sweet and strangely comforting at first sight. I’ve never been the type of person to open up to anyone so quickly. Somehow I managed to do it with her. With weeks and weeks of having therapy with Emily and opening-up to her, I felt myself coming back. I was feeling happy again.
Today, I can say that depression can take a toll on anyone. I thought I was strong enough to hide it and resist it, but I was wrong. That attitude probably explains why I suffered such a serious episode. I resisted seeking help or saying how I was feeling, but I did it just in time. Don’t let this ever be you. Checking for help with depression is no different from going to a doctor with a cough, a sprained knee or just a check-up. We just need to check in from time to time on our physical wellbeing. It should be just as normal for us to consult our mental health experts. There is no shame in it and there is no fair person who can make you feel guilty for wanting support. Not only that, but it will help. If you knew me, you would probably ask me, “Tahiry, how could you be depressed if you have had such a wonderful life, filled with blessings and happiness?" But somehow, it happened to me. With this situation, I decided to change this negative factor of my life and make it into a positive one. With the experience that life brought upon me I also decided to become a psychology major and currently working on my degree. I hope to soon after getting my bachelor’s degree, apply right away for my masters in clinical psychology. I am so determined and motivated to help any person whom might be going through the same thing. I want to share my story and talk to teens and children that depression is something we can all get through. We can make any negative situation into a positive one. I want to inspire others to push themselves to not be afraid of feeling depressed. To fight to get better. Depression is a tricky topic to discuss. Living through is a tougher thing even. I spent more than two years living with depression. There were a lot of things I learned after a while about how to get by without giving up. Depression is the core problem, it distorts the reality. Not only do things that you usually enjoy seem less enjoyable, but you have trouble seeing yourself in the positive aspects. Depression appears to grab on and loop again and again through pessimistic feelings until you are persuaded that the worst has to be real. So, one thing I learned with this is that you must value yourself first as a person. If you do not value yourself, anything you might do in the future might not seem worth it to you. Depression is getting segregated. It deliberately destroys your relationships and allows you to break up the bonds by telling you people don't matter, they don't understand, and you don't need them. The important truth is, you do. Since depression makes an objective evaluation of your condition difficult, the feedback from other people becomes more relevant. This comes to a learning factor that you should NEVER isolate from the people who care about you and to always have someone to talk to and someone who listens to you. Have faith in the good in people. Most importantly, a huge factor I learned through this experience and feel will give me a lot of validation in my future career and goals is that depression is a disorder. When we are stressed, the way we respond to emotions is not tuned the same way other people do. Feeling negative is a habit and it's hard to learn the correct way to respond or express those POSITIVE emotions. That is not to suggest that you CAN NOT. You don't lose out on a good gland. You 're just out of lineup. DON’T EVER THINK THAT YOU SHOULD SEE THINGS AT NEGATIVE, THINK POSITIVE!! This has been a huge improvement and has widely open up doors for me in both personal and professional levels. This has also given me the confidence of develop internal strength and mental discipline to tackle new challenges, such as writing papers and articles for a large audience and have talks about this topic and others for teens facing problems or even just the simple college relatable factors. Up to this level, I've made a lot of strides in handling my mental wellbeing, because this is an unhealthy notion that isn't practical. Instead of searching for a position of perfection, we need to continue to work for greater comprehension and acceptance of ourselves over time. We need to understand that there are many things that could happen to us when we least expect it. Things that we might not understand in the begging, but that for some reason it happened to you. I take this experience as something that made me value myself, my family and my life in general. It made my more confidence and made me not take the small things for granted. I truly hope this experience helps me help others and make an impact in their lives.
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