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When Depression Is in Control

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I’ve written quite a lot about what the little monster in my head says to me on a daily basis. He doesn’t only talk, but he also controls my feelings and even my actions.

For those of you who don’t know, I have depression, an invisible illness that has a huge impact on my life. For me, and I’m assuming for other people who have this illness, depression is a monster living inside of my head who controls me. He talks to me. He controls my thoughts. He forces me to do things I don’t want to do. Worst of all, he’s trying to kill me.

Yes, there’s a monster inside my head trying to kill me. This may sound ridiculous to some people, but for people like me it’s reality. Every minute of every day, I’m fighting him off. I haven’t come this far to come only this far.

Let’s go into a little more detail. You know those voices inside your head? Well for me that voice is a constant negative voice speaking to me 24/7:

You’re ugly.

No one like’s you.

You have no worth.

You will never get anywhere in life.

You’re weak.

Look at you crying! Go on carry on! Keep up the good work!

The more miserable you are the better I’m doing my job!

I’ll never leave you alone. You’re stuck with me for the rest of your life.

The only way you can get rid of me is by getting rid of yourself.

Now, imagine someone telling you that every single second of every single day, never letting you go. Even when you’re sleeping, he creeps up on you and gives you nightmares. I don’t know about you, but most nights I’m afraid to go to sleep because I’m afraid of the nightmares. One way I’ve made the monster quiet is self-harming.

Today, as I look at my scarred body, I see picking up that knife the first time was a huge mistake. But that’s not all that the monster called depression does to you. It also made me delicate and sensitive, which isn’t surprising with the way it talks to you. It made me create a shell around me, to protect me from the danger of people hurting me. I became unsociable. I stay at home all day. I avoid social events. I know if my shell breaks, then the monster will break free. It’s that point when I become suicidal.

What many people don’t realize is over the years I have become so sensitive that the slightest thing can break my shell. Sometimes it can be something big like getting fired from work due to not being able to function properly or breaking up with a good friend (also due to my depression). Sometimes it can be something small like a friend getting angry at me or getting kicked out of a program because of breaking the rules.

Once my shell is broken, the monster bursts out bigger and scarier than ever before. He’s terrifying! I usually just collapse on the floor crying and shaking, while suicidal thoughts rush through my head. At this point, I can’t fight him off. He’s taking control of me. He’s trying to kill me, and part of me wants to die because I hate living like this with him.

Somehow I’ve managed to fight him off, over and over again. I’m here to tell the tale. Sometimes, I wonder if I’ll be like this for the rest of my life or if a cure for depression will eventually be found. This is the reality of people living with depression. I have tears in my eyes as I’m writing this, but I need you to know.

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. You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

Originally published: August 8, 2016
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