Last week was Depression Awareness Week and to raise awareness myself I've decided to write a blog post about it. It shouldn't just be one week that everyone talks about depression it should be every day because if we talk about mental health a lot more we can tackle the stigma in a more effective way. People choose not to talk about depression because of the lack of understanding and compassion in society today. Depression doesn't define who you are as a person.
They ask "Are you okay?" and the answer is always "I'm fine" because you don't want everyone to think that you're weak.
So imagine this and put yourself in someone suffering from depression's shoes. You wake up in the morning and it requires a lot of effort because you'd rather just stay in bed and hide from the world because you feel there's no hope left. You manage to drag yourself out of bed to attend school/college or work and you paint a fake smile across your face because you just can't explain to anyone why you feel the way you're feeling. They ask "Are you okay?" and the answer is always "I'm fine" because you don't want everyone to think that you're weak. You feel like you're moving and thinking in slow motion that you're just existing and not living. You just don't know who you are anymore you feel so lost and alone. Your friends and family really irritate you and you struggle to express yourself so you close them out and refuse to let them in to help. It feels like there's a glass wall between you and the rest of the world and you feel so disconnected from everyone and everything. You feel as though you're drowning and suffocating and it's just a constant battle that just can't be won you're tired of everything, tired of fighting, tired of waking up every day with that voice in your head telling you how worthless and horrible you are like an outburst of negativity. You feel like a burden to everyone you know and you just don't feel like you are worth people's time and support. Physically you feel awful you're tired all the time, you don't have much energy some days and your appetite fluctuates. Some days you feel numb you just feel so empty.
Occasions such as Christmas don't feel the same anymore because you just can't be happy and all you want to do is lay in bed and cry because you just don't feel worth it and deserve to be alone. Everyone around you is trying to encourage you and support you but all you can do is be horrible back to them and that makes you feel so much worse. You want to be able to cry but you just can't and when you do try and cry you have no tears. Everything seems too much of an effort. Everything just seems so bleak and there just seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel you feel trapped and imprisoned. You do everything you can to try and get yourself through this dark tunnel but all that effort and hard work seems like a waste of time because all it's doing is making you feel exhausted. You lay in bed at night and your mind just won't turn off all the negative thoughts going through your head and they keep you up until 2am. You've made it through another day and prepare for another day of fighting tomorrow. This is what it's like everyday it just repeats itself and even if it's a good day it still feels cloudy and grey. Depression is debilitating it affects every aspect of your life and you feel like you have no strength left. Put yourself in these shoes and imagine the pain and distress someone with depression goes through.
Please don't suffer in silence.
My message to anyone who thinks they may be suffering from depression is please do speak out. There ARE people who can help such as a GP, friend or even a family member. Depression is a difficult condition to fight and at its worst it can be debilitating. Depression is an invisible illness that nobody can see if you think someone you know may be suffering from depression be that caring friend or family member and ask if they're okay but don't push them to talk as they'll talk to you when they are ready but let them know you are there for them. Depression CAN be treated and there are so many different treatment options available. Please don't suffer in silence. Someone once told me this " You may have lost the battle but you haven't lost the war." Carry on fighting this constant battle and get the freedom and happiness that you deserve. One thing to always remember "I may not be there yet but I'm closer than I was yesterday."