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Having Depression With No Support System

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I’ve had depression for almost five years now, and every single time I have a “bad mental health day,” it seems as if it’s gotten worse throughout the years and prolongs for a longer period of time. The feeling has almost become too familiar, and it’s times like these when I would long and wish for support — from friends, family, anyone really who can tell me it’s OK and that I will get through these difficult periods in my life.

The downside is, there usually is no one. Throughout the progression of my illness, without even realizing it, I’ve pushed many people away including those who were closest to me. I lived in my own little bubble, and sometimes it feels like everyone else is moving on when I’m just stuck in the same place I’ve been in for years. This is the debilitating part of depression — it makes you feel even more alone than you already are. During my bad days, I would lay in bed and cry all day without anyone realizing what I’d been doing. I would hide rather than confront, and when I felt better, I would try and run away from depression as though it wouldn’t catch me. Downside is, it almost always does, and the bad days do come back.

It’s hard with no one there because I can only rely on myself to push myself up. I would encourage myself to keep going and tell myself it is the depression making me feel this way. Really, I could only listen to myself for so long before I’d stop believing it.

Like the tide, the feeling comes and goes. Going through adversity on my own has enabled me to become more resilient with the things life throws at me. I’ve learned not to rely on others for inner fulfillment but rather find the strength inside me to overcome challenges. It’s a tough battle every day living with depression. It’s a hidden illness where many people don’t realize how much you’re in pain. I often draw on faith and “higher powers” to help me get through a mildly bad day with the thought that it will someday pass.

I think those with mental illnesses, including myself, are highly undervalued. People underestimate what we go through internally every minute of every day. It’s important to remember that to get to the place where you are now, it has taken sacrifice, strength, motivation, and resilience. What may seem like a giant step to you may seem like a small step for everyone else, but celebrate it anyway. For me, I take comfort in the fact that I have already gone through so much because it makes every challenge I go through now not feel as hard.

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Thinkstock photo by isaxar

Originally published: May 16, 2017
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