“Cheer up you have nothing to be depressed about, some people have It worse than you” A sentence I am used to hearing time and time again. People view depression like you are just really sad about something, so they automatically say things like “It will get better don’t worry” or “you’ll be fine”. Now I don’t blame these people for what they say as they have not been correctly educated to understand exactly what Depression is. However my frustration when I hear those words is something I cannot control and I want to scream at these people and tell them:
“Do you think I want to feel this way? Do you think I want to wake up and feel this empty? Do you think I do this for attention? When you are blessed with having everything you could ever want and still feeling like you want to lay in your bed and hide away from everything! Feeling such despair that all you do is cry because it just hurts so much and you don’t know why! Do you have any idea what its like to wake up and feel like its much to get out of bed and face people because of the anxiety inside you and you can’t do anything to fix it? Have you got a clue about pretending to be happy all the time around people and getting in to bed at night and feel the tears the next morning drenched on your pillow? When you can’t fix this you feel so broken and there is nothing you can do to make that awful sinking feeling go away?”
Obviously you can’t actually say this to people so you force a smile and walk away or politely try to change the subject. This week is Suicide Awareness Week so I though I would write about depression. It is a taboo subject especially for those in the Asian community. However I know many of us suffer in silence. Why? Because we are afraid. Afraid of what people will think, people who don’t even matter in our day-to-day lives but god forbid someone in the society finds out that we are less than perfect and we become the topic of gossip for the next month. We are so scared about looking weak that we hide the truth from our nearest and dearest. Worried that people will treat us differently or make us feel like an outsider but the reality of the situation is the more people we tell, the more people in return will tell us that they probably suffer from the same or know someone who does.
Living with depression and anxiety has not been easy, sometimes you could be on top of the world and it just hits you, to try to explain it to the people around you is difficult to but we have to start trying. It is the only way that people will start being more aware and actually understanding that this is not just a phase or attention seeking, this is a serious illness.
Mental illness be it depression or Bi Polar or anything you may suffer from, it is important to educate those around you and not hide it, this is the only way that in our society it will become acceptable. As strange as that sounds right now, it is not acceptable, it means that you are not normal because people do not understand it and have not been educated and it is up to us to do that.
Depression is like constantly having your self-esteem knocked, when you think you are doing really well or feeling good about yourself, suddenly it can hit you like a ton of bricks, you feel worthless, like you don’t matter, like you are the reason that everything is going wrong. No matter how many loved ones and support you have around you nothing changed that pain inside.
Imagine you are sitting in a dark room with 10 different doors and each door has a different voice behind it, whispering good and bad things to you and you are trying to pick one door but you can’t because you are so confused, so you sit in the middle of all these voices trying to figure out what to do. That’s what it feels like, the bravest thing you can do is seek help, try counselling, therapy and please go to your GP because you cannot fight this illness alone, believe me i have tried. To all those people that think of you any differently or don’t think you are brave for getting the help that you need, well those are the people you do not need in your life trust me!
I have lived with depression for many years and right now everything has been under control and things have been good, but as my fellow sufferers know, it can hit at any moment so i do take precautions, i still go to therapy, i have a positivity journal and i read self-help books all the time, because i am not perfect nor do I want to be but if I can make this journey a bit easier one step at a time well I’m damn sure going to try.
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