April 29, 2013

RebeccaWhen I was 14 years old, the style of ‘emo’ was rife. Joke upon joke suffocated anyone with dyed hair and skinny jeans, most of them fixated upon depression and self-harm.

I had depression at this stage but for me it was all about avoiding the symptoms. If I felt emotional it was because of hormones, if I had no energy I should go back to sleep, If I couldn’t sleep it was because of my uncomfortable bed.

Excuse after excuse led me to be the biggest hypocrite of them all. In school, it seemed that if you admitted you were depressed it was for attention. If you talked about your feelings you had been listening to too much MCR. And if you hurt yourself you should either ‘get on and do it’ or ‘stop begging for attention’.

I ignored my problems with depression

And so I, as I’m sure many other teenagers did, ignored my problems and blamed it on me being weak. I even laughed along with the awful inconsiderate ill-informed jokes that batted around the school playground like a seemingly harmless bullet that really threatened to be fatal if it hit the wrong struggling teenage girl.

I am 21 years old now, and although I was never a bully, I still feel ashamed for not having the courage to understand and relate to other children. And it wasn’t until only four months ago, with the support of my fantastic mother, I finally admitted to my problems.

I was diagnosed with severe depression and axniety

I gave in to the care my mother was so eager to give to me and I went to the doctors and got diagnosed with severe depression and severe anxiety as well as other symptoms we are yet to find the source of. I was also told the strange episodes I was having were either panic attacks or restlessness and violence due to my condition. And that the strange night time struggles I had were sleep paralysis.

And although I thought I would feel weak and I thought everyone would just laugh in my face like they may have done in school, I feel stronger. I finally knew what all these worrying things were that were happening to me and I knew that it wasn’t just me who had them.

I no longer have to hide what I'm feeling

I may have to take a few pills a day but that gives me the better quality of life I have been craving and it means that I no longer have to pretend and put on a brave face for my friends. Because now, although they have decreased in numbers since school, they have increased in quality and they not only accept me but they help me.

And sure there are the odd slips of the tongue. If I accidentally say I’m feeling nervous meaning little by it, I can see them all tense and repeatedly ask if I’m alright but that’ll wear off. The most important thing is I’m not alone and I’m no longer having to hide what I’m feeling. I’ve finally gained some honesty.

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