As I look back now, I think it all stemmed from the isolation and loneliness I felt ever since my schooling days. Jealousy and resentment from those around me led to me feeling so very alone. I found myself having only a handful of friends and hardly anyone I could truly trust because the backstabbing and bickering behind my back kept going on for years. In fact, it never stopped and kept getting worse as the years passed on so I just became more and more withdrawn. It felt like I was in a constant battle of me against the world. It was really exhausting but I kept going for my parents, especially for my mom because of all the sacrifices she had made for me. Having said this, I don’t think many actually knew the battle I was facing within me as I managed it very well outwardly. I masked all these difficult emotions with smiles and laughter, and by constantly trying to be ‘the class clown’ & by making others laugh. At home though, I would have moments of meltdowns and breakdowns, bouts of anger, moments of self harm, thoughts of suicide, etc.
However, I didn’t know anything about Depression at this point and thought it was just a teenage phase every teenager goes through. It was only when I went to university and started studying Psychology in Nottingham University did I realize that what I went through back then was in fact a form of Clinical Depression and that I was still going through it somehow. I was later officially diagnosed with Severe Clinical Depression by a Psychiatrist during the second year of my undergraduate degree. That was when my road to getting better and mentally healthier began.
I don’t think Clinical Depression is something you actually “overcome”. I think you just learn to cope with it and try to focus on the positives as much as possible. For me, I manage my symptoms with medication and also by trying to keep myself occupied. I also try to socialize with others as much as I can, be it physically or virtually, as that really helps me a lot. It’s a constant battle and it is never a linear process. You always have to put in the work and effort or else it’s very easy to fall into the dark hole again. I still have moments where I do fall but I don’t beat myself up about it. I allow myself those moments of despair and then pick myself up again the next day. It’s a vicious cycle and it can seem exhausting at times but the key is to not give up. Which I know can be really hard but not impossible!!
Reach out. Seek professional help if you think you may need it. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Always know that it is okay to feel down and depressed because we are only human. Just don’t let yourself stay in that zone for too long. Give yourself time to fall and then pick yourself up again and keep going. Also, remember to take it one day at a time. Don’t look too far ahead as it can seem too overwhelming if you do so. ‘Little by Little, Day by Day’. ‘Que Sera Sera’. So, just LIVE.
Written by - Nadeera Vasu