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What My Parents Need to Know About the Depression That Stole Their Daughter

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I’m depressed. I’m not “just sad.” I’m not “in a funk,”and I most definitely won’t “get over it in a few days.” I am depressed and there is no amount of denial that will stop this from being true. No matter how badly you want it to be.

I know this is hard for you, not understanding why your child feels this way. Depression is a hard thing to discuss. It’s even harder to understand sometimes. For people who don’t have depression, it can be hard to understand why people don’t want to live anymore. They have a good life, a good family and are always smiling. Why wouldn’t they want to live? It’s not always just that.

While suicide is tied closely to depression, not everyone who has depression wants to die. In my case, it’s more that I can’t find the motivation to live the life I so desperately want. The thing with depression is even the people who are affected by it don’t always understand why. It’s like you’re being held underwater but every once in awhile, you get a big gulp of air before you’re shoved back down. It’s a cycle, one that doesn’t make any sense and one that ruins a person entirely.

Looking up depression on Google won’t help you understand what I’m feeling. When you type in “depression,” you will get a string of words, which won’t do justice to my feelings. Every website you go to will tell you the same thing. It’s an imbalance of brain chemicals that result in the feeling of dejection.

What I’m feeling is more than an imbalance of brain chemicals. Sure, that may be what causes it, but I’m not sitting here feeling solely sad because of it. Of course, I’m feeling sadness but also anger, guilt, hopelessness, rejection and so many other things that make every day a challenge.

I wake up each morning and for a brief moment, I forget how last night I cried myself to sleep. Then, everything sinks in and my brain sends me back into my self-hatred. I am sick and you need to understand that. The simple action of taking cups from my room and putting them in the kitchen stresses me out. I can’t begin to explain why. The only thing I ever want to do is lay in bed and sleep, to remove myself from this world for the time being, until I can get a grasp on why I’m feeling like this.

I don’t enjoy the things I used to. So when you suggest I go out and play soccer or go for a walk, I don’t want you to take it personally when I decline. I simply don’t find joy in anything anymore, not even living. Depression has stolen who I was before, the smiling blonde girl with an attitude like her father’s and a laugh that traveled through the house. I’m not that girl right now. I’m different and I’m trying to be OK with that.

I don’t need you guys to remind me I’m different. I can feel I’m different. Every time I lose motivation, every time I distance myself and every time I lock myself in my room, I know I am different. I know you’ve noticed how I’ve changed and I can tell you’d prefer the old me to the new me. I do too.

I’m sorry I yell at you. When I get so overwhelmed with everything, I tend to attack those who I care most about. I push everyone away because in my eyes, depression is a disease I want to keep my family away from. I don’t want any of you feeling the way I do, ever.

I’m sorry I lock myself in my room all the time, leaving you alone downstairs. I can’t handle life sometimes and shutting down is the only way I know how to cope. I know you get angry when I do this but I can’t help it. I hope you can understand. I’m trying and though it doesn’t seem like much, it’s a lot for me.

I don’t always know what I need to feel better. So when you ask what you can do and I answer with, “I don’t know.” It’s not me being annoyed by your question. I truly have no clue how someone can help me when I can’t even help myself.

I love you guys. None of this is your fault.

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

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

Originally published: July 22, 2016
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