Throughout my life, I have seen the toll that depression takes on people I love. It was hard to understand and connect to how these people were feeling, as I could never put myself in their situation. I could never see how it didn’t matter if they were surrounded by love and everything that could make them happy. I could not see how it could hit a person at any time and ruin every thought and movement for the rest of the day or week or even month.
A close friend of mine went through the worst year of his life during his junior year. When I finally talked to him about it, he told me it would probably happen to me at some point in high school, but I highly doubted him. I had always been sincerely happy throughout my life. Of course, I have been occasionally sad about the usual stuff--friend and family drama, boys, and other small things that affected my life--but nothing like what he described to me, nothing that could make me feel hopeless, nothing that could ever make me want to end my life.
It happens to most of us in high school, some more severe than others and for some it does not happen at all. Those people usually are at their peak and will not experience what other kids are going through until later years when life is not as amazing as it was in their teenage years. It can strike at any moment. No matter how good a person’s life is, everything changes once depression hits. It does not matter how great a week was or how much love the people around you show; you will always wake up one morning struggling to get out of bed. During those days, it is easy to sleep for around 20 hours a day, eat too much or way too little, cry about your appearance, and struggle to even answer a simple text from anyone. You wish more than anything that you could go back to the day before, when you felt excited and happy about life. But, right now, you are questioning if it is even worth it to live another day. It is hard to even care about your mental or physical health, or even care what you look like anymore, because you feel defeated. It is scary to not care about yourself and what happens to you, but you feel there is no way to stop.
Naturally, the people who struggle with this in high school find it hard to tell anyone because of all the jokes circulating about depression and mental breakdowns, and it is hard for anyone to understand the difference between what real depression is and what the twitter jokes make it out to be. It is also impossible for students who are dealing with their depression to have a mental health day because of the amount of stress we are faced with, between school and friends and family who may never understand and get mad for canceling plans or not doing an assignment.
It is just hard. It is so hard because tomorrow may be better but, right now, you are dealing with the depression, stuck in bed, and you know that this is going to happen again and there is almost no way to control it.
I am definitely not a writer, but, by opening up about the experiences I have faced, I realize that I want to know who else feels this way, because I know that I am not alone at all and I do not want any of my friends or anyone at all to feel like they are not heard. I want anyone who feels this way to know that you may feel like the only one and you may feel isolated but I promise you, you are not. I may only be one example, and it has just started to take a toll on my life this school year, but I promise that I am starting to understand. I see the signs in people now, and I notice the little actions and words that people say that show me they are feeling the same way I am. It is hard to put into words because last year, when I was completely happy, I could not understand how anyone could feel this way. But now I do.
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