Personal Essay on Living With Depression
I was diagnosed with depression; I remember it vividly only being eleven years old. I was so young, full of life, not understanding my life was going to change dramatically. I was at the doctor’s office and the doctor came up with a diagnosis, “It appears there is a chemical imbalance in your brain.” My head was spinning, and I was reeling; my life was thrown for a loop.
Through this heart-wrenching experience called depression, I found that mental health had a dramatic impact on my life. Depression is essentially a curse that is planted in your head and you cannot get rid of the curse no matter how hard you try. You can manage it and live a joyful life despite having it, but it will never completely be eradicated from a person’s head. That being said, it is an ongoing problem that has impacted the lives of millions including myself.
The areas of life that are considered crucial and important are love, relationships, and life itself. Life is a difficult concept to describe, but yet, it is something that is ongoing and it involves constant living. People get up, they eat food, they converse with each other… ETC. Throughout this process, people are always thinking and making decisions. Depression alters almost all major decisions and areas of life that are considered significant. I had no idea that one phenomenon could change my life forever.
I deal with living life the way it is meant to be lived but I have so many bumps in the road. The most basic tasks are strenuous. For example, it can even be difficult to get out of bed. Sometimes I wake up and I see no point in starting the day at all. This impacts my outlook on life. I also do not have energy most of the time so I come off as lazy. The truth is I am just emotionally drained and I have difficulty facing living. Depression sometimes makes people feel like life is useless and sometimes that is how I feel. I question what my purpose is and if my existence is a waste of space or if I am living life completely wrong. Fear has power over me and it is hard to get past it. I have ambition, but it can be hard to see a bright future. For instance, I have a life goal of becoming a teacher. Through the process of becoming an educator, I have had many hardships. There were points when I thought about giving up my hopes and dreams of becoming a teacher because the challenges were too much for me to handle mentally. It’s hard to have goals when life constantly throws you for a loop and you cannot put up a fight. I desperately want my future to be successful and live life to the fullest, but predicting the future can be risky. Overthinking is a huge issue that I face along with my depression and I find myself caught in the future and the past. My depression makes my thoughts negative and melancholy even if the memory is not necessarily bad. My thoughts tend to ignore the good as well, even though I did not lead a life of misery. I also tend to predict that I will only have unfortunate events happen, despite it being unrealistic or warped. I have goals, but depression can make accomplishing anything in life seem like a dilemma.
The challenges I face have an impact on everyday life such as relationships. It’s hard to maintain relationships with people enough as it is; adding depression to the mix makes it feel impossible. A common issue that people face is dealing with an illness or health issue that someone else they know does not have. There is no exception when it comes to depression. People who do not have it do not have a realistic understanding of what it is like. They have no way of seeing what is inside another person’s mind. It is a constant frustration. It feels like there is a barrier of understanding between me and my own dad. My dad is a loving, caring, all-out wonderful guy, but he has yet to understand my struggles. Explaining something that cannot be seen or understood is painful. I cry a lot and it’s obvious that life is cruel to me, but he has no idea. Whenever I try to explain it to him my mind goes blank and my words do not resonate with him. I resent him because he refuses to do the research to truly understand me. It hurts to feel misunderstood. He views me and my depression as a burden and I feel like it impacts our relationship as a whole. Sometimes he will try to understand me, but he will do it in the least helpful way. He says certain phrases that I find offensive to people struggling with mental issues. Some examples are “stop crying”, “just be happy”, and the worst one of all “Cheer up”. I have told him so many times that it makes it worse, but he still does not understand how much those words hurt. I also find it hard to connect with people and make meaningful friendships. I have friends, but I have severe trust issues due to events in the past with people. My depression makes it hard to trust that people have the right intentions even when they do. My way of thinking is warped and negative so it is hard to have faith and trust in people. Due to this, I feel lonely and inadequate.
I feel like the way I view the world is wrong in a sense. I do not have much hope, I give up on trying certain experiences, I cower in fear, and I feel like there is something wrong with me. I feel lost in this world like I am stuck in a maze of problems and I cannot even find the starting point to get out. The smallest problem that presents itself becomes a giant conundrum that I cannot mentally handle. As I have gotten older I have been able to get the necessary help needed, but depression is still, unfortunately, a part of me that will never go away. Mental health is a real issue that affects daily life for people just like me.