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Going Deeper Into Mental Health with Evelyn: Living with Depression

Evelyn Relyea, Sr. High EMC Writer

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No, it’s not just being sad. If it was being sad then we’d just say that we’re sad. Depression is recognized as a mental health issue that’s more than just being sad, so please stop saying that it is. I have depression and a lot of people wouldn’t call me a sad person.

It’s simple as to how depression can go unnoticed. You fake a smile, force a laugh, and make yourself talk to people even when you don’t want too. When you just want to isolate yourself but you stay in the crowd. Depression can make things a chore. Getting out of bed, eating, drinking, exercising, socializing, and even taking care of personal hygiene. It becomes a chore instead of an absent minded task that everybody does. Depression creates demons that nobody else can see. These demons eat away at your thoughts every single day and sometimes, fighting them doesn’t seem worth it anymore. Every day is a fight and not every fight is won.

Over the summer, there was a week where I couldn’t do anything. The only reason that I got out of bed was when my little sister needed something and I refused to block her out. But, I felt sick every time that I tried to eat so I ate as little as possible. Instead of brushing my hair, I’d just fix the braids in the morning to look a little less messy so that nobody would know that I hadn’t brushed my hair. My phone was constantly buzzing with messages, but it was a rare chance that I’d answer. The only thing that I was able to do was lay in bed and stare blankly at the TV screen. It was a week that I could not fight my demons and win. I honestly can’t remember what got me out of this funk.

It could have been the fact that I was going out to the shooting range like I had been dying to for the entire summer, which took my mind off of everything that was previously running through it. It also could have been that my best friend called me and was doing her best to just get me through the day. My best friend didn’t really mention that I was going through a depressive stage, but whenever I made an accomplishment, she’d say she was proud of me. That really helped me get through, by having a cheerleader of sorts. However even though I’m not at my lowest right now, I’m still fighting everyday to get through my depression.

People have times like this more than you could probably imagine. Depression eats away at you until you don’t have it in you to fight. Until that moment comes when you stop fighting, you keep attempting to make it through maybe just an hour if not the whole day. Depression can be invisible if you don’t know that someone has it. Someone might not notice that a friend is withdrawing themselves slowly from conversations and activities. The obvious signs of lack of sleep can be played off as they stayed up too late doing homework instead of the fact that they spent the night crying. Smiles and laughs can be forced yet a person may never notice that. The numbness and the loneliness that a person feels can’t be felt by another person, so how would anyone ever know if they aren’t told? One in eight teens have clinical depression according to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.

I go to therapy to work through my depression and so do many others. It’s one way to try to cope or fight depression. It’s awkward at first because you’ll be ranting to some complete stranger but that can be easier since they don’t know you. There’s also medication that people take. It’s all about what works best for you.

If you know someone with depression, the best thing to do is to listen. Don’t try to force them to open up but let them come to you instead. Depression can make a person feel alone even in a crowd so a reminder every once in awhile could be appreciated. Give them time and support because, even though you can’t rid them of depression, you can play a part in helping them get through it on their own. And, for those struggling with depression, there are always going to be highs and lows so don’t be deterred by the lows.

 

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