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The 5 Times I Tried to Tell My Family About My Depression, and the Time They Finally Listened

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The first time I tried to tell my family I had depression, I was shot down pretty quickly. I was only 11 years old at the time. What would she know about depression? That’s what everyone thought. An 11-year-old child shouldn’t have depression, couldn’t have depression because children don’t know what true sadness is.

So with that, the topic was quickly forgotten by my family.

The second time I tried to tell my family I had depression, no one listened. It was at Thanksgiving so everyone was more preoccupied with family, decorations and food. When will they arrive? What food are we making? Please, be quiet. The holidays are coming up.

For nearly five days that Thanksgiving break, I was forced to put a smile on my face and act like I was enjoying the holidays when I felt gloomy and dark on the inside. Everything was making me more tired and sad. No one saw my internal struggle.

The third time I tried to tell my family I had depression, I was called an “attention-seeking brat.” No one believed me. I was 12 years old this time, only one year older. How can a preteen know about depression? The same excuses were used to cover up what I really felt on the inside. After being yelled at and insulted for the next 30 minutes, I gave up, closed my mouth and agreed with what they said.

Everything got worse as I continued to deny my depression. At the age of 13, I met a group of people who I should have walked away from. They introduced me into the world of danger, cigarettes, alcohol, self-harm and marijuana. You name it, we did it.

I was 13 when I started self-harming. I was 14 when I started smoking. I was 15 when I started drinking. Now, I’m not saying any of these things helped. They didn’t. They made it worse.

Never ever do what I did. The drinking, smoking, self-harm — none of it helped me. They would relieve how I felt for a little while before everything would come rushing back full force. I’d feel dead again. I wanted help. I didn’t want to live like I did at 15 any longer.

The fourth time I tried to tell my family I had depression, only one person seemed to finally listen, my brother. He looked at me longer, noticed when I got too quiet and tried to initiate some sort of funny conversation, bought me little things that meant a lot to me and was just there for me when things got tough.

While this was nice, I wanted help, but no one came. I prayed to God for months. I prayed to him for so long. I was bawling my eyes out and whispering under my breath in my bedroom at 4 a.m., just asking him for anything. Give me a sign that at least you care about me. Give me a sign it’s worth going through what I’m going through.

There was no sign. Not only did I lose the faith I had in my family, I lost the faith in the only being I thought was there for me. I gave up.

The fifth time I tried to tell my family I had depression, no one said anything. I said nothing. After a few minutes, I got up and left the room, left the house. I went to the river nearby and sat there with tears streaming down my face, wondering was it worth it. It would have been easier to just jump off that bridge.

The sixth time I told my family I had depression, my mom finally listened. She hasn’t set me up with a doctor yet, but she’s going to soon. She believes I have depression now, at least she and my brother do. I have scars I wish to never show anyone. I don’t have faith in anyone, not even myself anymore.

I’m only 17 years old and I’ve felt like I haven’t belonged in this world more than I should have ever had to feel. I’m still broken. It’s still hard. It’s still a struggle to wake up in the morning and actually get something to eat. Just because something is a struggle doesn’t mean you should give up. I guess the moral of this story is to never give up on yourself. You may not see it right now, but everything you’re going through is going to be worth it in the end. All the pain, all the struggles, all the tears and frustrations, all the endless torment, it is all worth it. You are worth it. 

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 30, 2016
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