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To My Friends Who Don't Know About My Depression

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Dear Friends,

I want to tell you a story, a story of a battle I have to fight every day, a battle I do not always win.

I was at school having fun with you guys, and I began to feel it coming back — the monster that takes over my brain. “No please not again,” I thought. I tried to believe I could control it, but deep inside I knew I couldn’t.

The thoughts came back. I tried to ignore them, but it felt impossible. I tried to talk to you guys and pretend like nothing was happening. I couldn’t take it anymore. I needed to get out and cry for a while. I told you it was just a headache and it could go away with a pill. I didn’t want to tell you what was really going on because I don’t know if you’d understand. I thought you might tell me these things happen to everyone — “everyone goes through this.” I thought you would tell other people I was doing this just to get attention. I thought you would judge me. I thought you would tell me to just think of happy moments.

It doesn’t work that way with depression.

Depression is not being sad all the time; it’s living in a blackhole trying desperately to get out. I couldn’t take it anymore, so I left the classroom and laid in the nurse’s office for a while, crying and thinking why did this happen to me? Why was I so happy a few minutes ago and suddenly thinking of killing myself? My mind got fully overpowered again, as usual. I just had to cry for a while, hoping it would go away soon. Sometimes it takes just a few hours, and sometimes it takes days.

Sometimes I wish you understood and could see that I hate not being able to control it. I hate that things that seem easy for you are hard for me. For you, it seems easy to get out of bed in the morning. Every morning I battle to get up. You, for the most part, like going to school. It’s hard for me. You generally like looking at yourself in the mirror. All I see when I look is a useless human being.

And if I ever told you this little secret, the first thing you may ask is, “Why are you depressed?”

But I don’t decide if I want to be depressed; it just happens.

I wish I could break the stigma. I wish I could show this to you and you would instantly understand.

Your friend living with depression.

If you or someone you know needs help, see our suicide prevention resources.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Originally published: June 24, 2016
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