Lately there has been a lot of talks about depression and how people can spot the signs. People are becoming more aware of the realness of depression and almost not a month passes by that you do not hear that a friend of a friend or someone that you know killed himself.
Depression is real.
However, depression does not have 1 face only. There are no sure signs. There are no tangible and valid signs that show you that if so and so person fits the checklist, then he must be depressed. If that were the case, then most people would say "I knew he was going to kill himself eventually. I just didn't wanna deal with it." Instead, most people are shocked, dumbfounded, and in total loss when they hear that someone took their own life.
Why is that?
It is because depression comes in many faces, many forms, many little signs, and many ways. It is never just one look. It is never just one song that someone listens to again and again. It is not a look. It is not a style. It is not something that people who are suicidal conforms to.
Depressed people are not always suicidal. However, most suicides are caused by depression and the feeling of complete hopelessness. So what is depression? Why am I even talking about this? What do I know about it?
My name is Kathy and I have been depressed for almost 20 years. It started when I was 17 and has been a constant visitor in my life. When this photo was taken. I was severely depressed and this was taken September 27, 2017.
Depression never fully goes away. It hides its ugly head and then appears when you least expect it. You could be happy and have things going well for you and then it hits you and you find yourself on the bathroom floor cying because it feels like the world has ended or is about to end.
You could be okay then someone says something really hurtful and you can't get it out of your head. It just repeats itself over and over again then other words come back and you can't breathe anymore and you feel like the shittiest person on Earth. You could be laughing yesterday and today, all you can see is darkness, all you can feel is sadness, and you just don't even know why you continue to live.
It could be a word. A look. A song. The rain. A memory. The wrong touch.
The triggers differ for each person but the feeling of misery that creeps in is all too familiar. It is the same for almost anyone suffering from depression. The feeling that you don't matter ... that you are not worthy ... that if you disappear, no one would even notice ... the feeling of wanting to cease to exist ... of utter hopelessness ... it just hits you and it hits you hard.
For me, I learned to deal with my depression through creative ways. I would play sad music and sing my heart out. I would write. I would cry. I'd ask for hugs. I'd color. I'd clean. I'd pour myself into work.
What does not work is being reminded why I should not be depressed. I already know why I shouldn't be but I AM DEPRESSED. I can't help it. I do not want it. I do not love it. I wish I could throw it in the middle of the ocean and never see it again but I AM DEPRESSED and telling me how blessed I am or that I have people who love me DOES NOT HELP.
Being reminded of those things sometimes actually make me feel more depressed because I feel worse. You just belittled my depression. You just undermined how I felt. I didn't want to feel that way in the first placec and your judgement is not welcome. It does not not make things better. This is why people who are depressed won't say anything and this is the worst thing that can happen.
To those who are depressed, if you can't reach out to family or friends for fear of being shamed or they won't understand it, reach out to strangers or call a hotline.
Manila Lifeline Centre
Contact by: - Phone
Hotline: (02) 8969191
Hotline: Mobile phone: 0917 854 9191
Sometimes, talking to a complete stranger who won't judge you can work wonders. If you really feel uncomfortable talking, then write it down. It doesn't need to be a Nobel peace but just write down what is in your head as a form of release.
What is important for people who are depressed is to find a healthy way to release their thoughts. What is important for people who have family or friends who are depressed is that sometimes, they do not even need your thoughts. They just need you to listen and remind them that you love them no matter how unstable they may seem ... that they are more than their illness.
My name is Kathy. I am a single Mom to a beautiful 12 year old boy. I am the editor of an online portal that has almost 2M hits in just 2 years. I have been nominated for Top Lifestyle Blog. I give talks about parenting on TV and I have family and friends who love me and support me no matter what.
My name is Kathy and I have been depressed for the last 20 years. I am sick but I am treating myself the best way I know how and I am fighting for myself. Fight with me. Do not judge me. The world needs more love and understanding, not judgement or hate.
PS. I wrote this in the hopes of shedding more understanding on what goes on in the mind of someone depressed, someone who by society's standards should not be depressed because there are people who would kill to be in my shoes. I wrote this because if it can save even one life, then I would have served a bigger purpose in this world.
PPS. I wrote something similar back in 2011.