I have written earlier of how I trick my mind into believing things are fine. Today I’m going to write about a topic I have been evading for a while. Depression.
Depression is raw and real for me. I can’t talk about it without crying but I still try my best to spread awareness about it, because I know how it feels!
If anyone talks down about depression
and sounds condescending then I react and tell them what depression really is. My husband tells me to ignore it, but I can’t. I feel like it’s my moral responsibility to educate people about depression.
I have battled depression thrice in my life. First when my son was born premature, second about 4 years later I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and anxiety. Third when I had my stroke.
I’m not really sure how this starts. Some say it's common in the weak minded, while some say it's when you over-empathize with everything you see and hear and take it in. Some say depression happens when you overthink while again some say it comes because you’re over emotional.
For me, my first bout of depression was quite obvious, I had a premature baby and staying home while he’s in the hospital killed me.My near ones kept telling me to go out, meet friends and I’ll be fine. I did all that but nothing cured that deep sensation in the pit of my stomach.
Our neonatologist recognised my depression and advised me to meet a psychiatrist. I will forever be thankful to him for that. Because until then, honestly like people around me, I thought Psychiatrists are for mentally unstable people. It’s the first time I understood that depression is a mental illness and needs to be seen and treated just like any other illness.
My second bout of depression was severe and it hit me when my life was peaceful and “normal. But I recognized the familiar feeling of helplessness and racing heartbeats. Again my loved ones told me it’s because I’m in a new place and have no friends(We had moved to the USA). It's like how someone would feel on their first day in a new school.
But, no that was not how I was feeling. So I met a psychologist because I didn’t want to go on medication this time and wanted to learn coping mechanisms. It worked.
My third bout of depression hit me when I was discharged from the hospital after my stroke. Again, this was a life changing event and it was quite natural for the dark face of depression to creep out. But this time I didn’t go to a doctor because I was well versed with the coping mechanisms. I did not ignore its presence instead I embraced it and started living with it, knowing that it's always going to be part of my life!
Depression is the hard truth of my life. I don’t know how I got it while my husband didn’t, who has faced all of these situations with me. But ignoring it never helped me. Partying and drinking with friends to escape this, never helped me. Embracing it and seeking help, helped me. Taking medicines if necessary helped me. Researching about depression and understanding it completely helped me. Coping mechanisms helped me.
Having depression never stopped me from facing challenges in life head on. Having depression doesn’t make you weak. Depression doesn’t need to look like a certain way. We know of so many actors who’ve made us laugh while crying inside!
People around me would’ve never guessed I’m suffering from depression because I always have a smile on my face no matter what. I’m the most talkative person in the room around my friends. If you or anyone you know shows symptoms of depression, please seek help. Mental illness is not a stigma anymore. You can win this battle with depression just like any other illness. You are strong, and you got this!