Trigger warning: depression, self-harm, suicide
Today I have a very personal post for all of you. It’s something very difficult to talk about for me, but I want to be open and fight the stigma around depression and other mental health issues, and hopefully help someone that needs to know they’re not alone.
So today, I’m going to talk to you about depression.
We all know people that use the word depression as if it’s a joke. Or to exaggerate when they’re feeling a bit sad.
“Ugh, I’m so depressed!”
But it’s that kind of thing that needs to stop because depression in and of itself, is a very dangerous and common mental health problem. One that isn’t always taken seriously, even though it definitely should. It’s underestimated constantly and most people laugh it off and tell you all you need to do is “just go outside more!”. I know I’ve heard that on numerous occasions, even from people close to me.
But going outside more is not the solution. Sure, you’ll get some Vitamin D and fresh air. But that’s not the solution for depression. If it were, I don’t think there’d be a lot of people suffering from it. Going outside isn’t the problem. The problem lies somewhere deeper than that.
I’m not a psychiatrist, or even a psychologist or therapist. I’m by no means a professional when it comes to depression. But what I can tell you is how it feels to suffer from it for far too long. And that’s what I want to offer you. The perspective of someone that knows how it feels.
The monster that is Depression
To me, depression is a very persistent monster that seems hell-bent on sucking the joy out of every part of your life. It makes everything a little bit harder every day until eventually you don’t even see the point in trying anymore. Because why bother, right?
Depression makes every little thing in your life a chore. Something you have to do because it’s expected of you, not something you actually want to do. Because, honestly, there isn’t anything you really want to do anymore. It’s as if it actually does suck the joy out of everything and replaces it with indifference and the feeling that you’re going to fail no matter how hard you try. What’s the point if you’re not going to succeed anyway? Why bother trying when you know it’s not going to work out?
Depression makes your brain a very busy place 24/7. For me, it’s extremely busy because even when I’m feeling good, I have a million voices in my brain. With depression, I have even more. Voices telling me I’m worthless, a failure, ugly, fat, a loser, unloved, … Voices telling me the world would be better off without me. Voices telling me to hurt myself and even end everything just to stop the misery. I never get any rest in my head. Not even for a second. And depression just makes it worse.
I’ve been suffering from a depression ever since my third trimester of my pregnancy. Which was Spring last year. And even before that I was no stranger to the monster. I take meds and I go to therapy. But sometimes that isn’t enough. To be honest, I’m not even sure what CAN help me at this point. It seems like I’ll never get rid of it no matter what I try. I don’t have an official diagnosis when it comes to my mental health. I have things I strongly identify with (Borderline Personality Disorder and Avoidant Personality Disorder), but to get an official diagnosis, I’d have to pay several hundreds of euros and I just can’t afford that right now.
But still, despite how hard it is sometimes, I don’t give in the that voice telling me to end it all. Because while I feel miserable, I still know I have things to live for. I have my partner, whom I love more than anything in the world. I have my daughter, who is the light of my life (some days, other days she’s a whole different kind of monster that makes me want to pull my hair out, but I digress). I have my friends who are always there for me.
So why am I not happy?
Honestly, I don’t know. I don’t know why my brain is like this. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, if anything. I don’t know how to help myself get better anymore. I feel lost and alone, even with all those people surrounding me. I feel like I’m being weighed down by a heavy backpack filled with weights. Dragging me down to the deepest depths while I struggle to get air and breathe.
Depression is a very stubborn and common problem for many people. And it’s time we talk more about it. Stop the stigma and actually find ways to help those who are suffering. Because depression is an ugly monster that knows how to hide. So check in on your loved ones today. Make sure they’re doing alright. Don’t make them fight this monster alone.
I’m Bee, and I live with depression. Stop the stigma.