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Depression: Things Get Better

Monday, September 25, 2017

The following article was written by a PBA student with the goal of creating greater insight on depression.

As high schoolers we are very prone to stress and overall unhappiness with our lives and the cards that we have been dealt. Depression is not uncommon for people, yet reaching out for help is something that can be very difficult for those of us who are less open to expressing thoughts and the pain that is marring us beneath the surface. I’d like to share my personal experience with depression thus far.

Throughout my school experience I’ve transferred to four different schools. Personally, my now-diagnosed depression is something that internally I have had to battle with my entire life thus far, which is not an exaggeration by any means of the word. As a young boy I always felt down on myself; seemingly every other day would be one where I’d either had a bad day or felt bad about something internally. I would sleep every day and stay up all night and think, “What did I do wrong? Who am I? Why can’t I be comfortable with who I am?”

My bad habits obviously didn’t go well for me in my early years until I was able to realize that this wasn’t just a passing feeling, but a problem that I needed help to solve. For a long time I tried to find what made me happy. Was it a relationship? Changing schools? Working a job? Buying stuff to keep my mind occupied? All of this worked -- temporarily, that is. Eventually all of that happiness was gone and I was left at square one. This was hard on me obviously, but my family had it the hardest. On top of everything that was going on with their personal lives they had to help me figure out what I was going through. The only problem was there wasn’t one, or so I thought. Eventually my family and I went to a therapist who diagnosed me with clinical depression.

Clinical depression is not your everyday blues, or as the National Institute of Mental Health puts it, “Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working.” Everything can be great for a person suffering from depression, even if they don’t have something troublesome going on in their day to day life, they can still find themselves doleful. The symptoms show themselves differently depending on age and gender.

Everybody is treated differently but I was referred to a psychiatrist. A psychiatrist is a physician who specializes in psychiatry, the branch of medicine devoted to the diagnosis, prevention, study, and treatment of mental disorders.

I am not writing this to make you sad about life or feel hopeless, on the contrary actually, you just have to love yourself today. If you dwell on the why’s in life you will never progress. A good philosophy is to keep moving forward and to be comfortable in your own skin. And to other high schoolers out there who aren’t experiencing depression, just don’t be mean -- you never know what is going on inside someone’s head on a given day. You can’t go behind the scenes of someone's life and see what they've been through. Please do not be afraid to talk to a psychiatrist if you are feeling this way. Remember, depression is not a sign of weakness, it’s human.