A Day as 'the Girl With Depression'
I’ve noticed many people in my life don’t understand my behavior and the way I react to various events — because they are comparing me with the average healthy woman. So I would like to explain what really goes on in my head as someone with depression.
When you read about depression on the internet you’ve probably come across some words like “low serotonine,” “chemical imbalance” or even something as ridicules as “brain damage.”
I may not have a Masters in psychiatry, but I do have almost 20 years of first-hand experience so I think I am “qualified” to tell you what really goes on in my battle with depression.
We all have these little voices in our head talking to us all the time. Without them we would probably be lost. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to read this article!
But for someone with depression these voices are often louder and stronger, and not to mention, they mostly say negative things.
Let’s go through a day in the life of a depressed girl:
10:00 a.m., in bed. “Should I get up? No, I think I’ll stay here a little longer.”
12:00 p.m. “Come on, you really have to get up now, you’ve got chores to do.”
In the shower. “Look at your ugly body. Ew, gross, you’ve got hair all over you, why don’t you ever shave? And your hair! I’ve never seen such a mess before. Yuck. You’re the ugliest person I’ve ever seen. Especially those pimples, have you looked in the mirror recently?”
Lunch time. “I’m not hungry. I just want to go back to bed.”
You may just have a little nibble of toast before your tummy heaves.
4:00 p.m. Your friend calls up and asks you to hang out. You say sure and go over to their house. During the walk you feel sluggish and can’t really be bothered.
“You know she doesn’t really want to hang out with you, you know she only asked you over because she feels bad for you. And of course she doesn’t want to feel like she’s to blame when you and I kill you hahaha (evil laugh).”
You get to your friend’s house and her whole family is there laughing and chatting away happily. You want to join in but the voice sneaks up on you:
“You’ll never be happy like that. I won’t let you! I’m going to make sure you’ll be miserable for every day and every second of your silly little pointless life!”
You go home crying. You go straight to your bed. “Why am I like this? Why aren’t I like everyone else?” you ask yourself over and over again. You cry and scream like a baby, but no mother comes to comfort you. You’re left all alone in a small dark room with a monster trapped inside your head. You try to sleep. Insomnia creeps up on you.
3:00 a.m. “Remember that time when… Remember? Remember how embarrassed you were? Remember when you got yourself in to this mess? Remember that time you were 3 and you…”
Tears are running down your face, snot drizzling down your chin.
“Why can’t I just be normal?” you ask yourself out loud.
The seconds turn into minutes, and the minutes into hours. The voice refuses to stop. You get out of bed and go to the bathroom and you think about self-harming. Some nights you give in to that urge. You go back to bed.
Morning comes, and it’s time to face another hard day. You get up, tears streaming down your face, wondering whether it would be less painful to end your life.
That’s what it feels like to be the girl with depression.
Except for her — for me — it’s not one day, it’s months, and even years. Yes, your prescription medication can help, but it may never dull the voices. The only way to fight them of is by believing in myself that I can do this. I will fight them, and I will win!
You’ve probably noticed someone living with depression “snaps out” a lot or behaves badly. Don’t get mad at them too quickly. Try to understand what they’re going through. Try to think of how what upset them and made them react the way they did.
The stronger the monster is, the more delicate we become. We don’t want to be like this, but we are. We need you to help us through it.
If you have a friend with depression, tell them you love them. I find these three simple words fight off the monster living inside more than anything else.
And if you’re the one struggling with depression I want you to know whoever you are, I love you, and I know you have what it takes to silence that monster. You will do it one day.
If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.
Image via Thinkstock.