My Mental Health Journey in Surviving from Depression

The deepest fear we have, ‘the fear beneath all fears,’ is the fear of not measuring up, the fear of judgment. It’s this fear that creates the stress and depression of everyday life-Tullian Tchividjian.

One cold night, lying on my bed with a mobile phone in one hand and the other wiping tears down my face, I found myself typing this 4-word phrase “how to commit suicide” on Google search. I clicked the link of the first one in the selection and read it. After reading the page, I checked the other link and another then another.

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I could no longer remember what happened after that phase in my life. All I know now based on my mother’s story was that I ended up in a hospital bed where I spent 3 months of my life in coma. My chaotic mental health journey in surviving from depression had just begun.

Hopelessness, helplessness, lack of appetite, easily irritated by simple problems, anything and nothing seems to be interesting anymore; these were just few of the feelings I had back then. I thought that I didn’t deserve to live; that I had no reason to live. To describe it in simpler words, it was an extreme feeling of emptiness inside, not of sadness. I felt like I was handcuffed underwater with no way to survive.  My journey in surviving from this shattering depression was a total wreck in my case not because depression is hard to handle but because I was not willing to take care of it right away. I thought it would just go away. It took me a while to finally realize that I had to seek medical advice from this psychological concern. My friend suggest me to attend some relationship counselling sessions to get out of depression.

Living with depression is like living in ambiguity; it is devastating in my own personal experience. Many of those who suffer from depression commit suicide just like me. It is because we fail to act or determine the issue or chose to be quiet…..or it could also because most people with depression perceive it as something that should not be taken seriously. According to an American foundation for suicide prevention, over half the population of those who commit suicide suffer from depression. Statistics from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that it affects a quarter of the total number of Americans from 18 years old and above. World Health Organization (WHO) says that the primary cause of disability is unmistakably depression. So, to better understand myself and to be able to deal with the problem, I had to know what depression was and find out how to overcome it. I did my own online researching. The Mayo Clinic defines depression as a disorder causing a persistent feeling of extreme loneliness and lack of interest. It also affects the way you feel, think, and behave which leads to different problems emotionally and physically.

As I learn more about depression I started to be pretty much convinced that I am suffering from such so to give myself a chance to live a better life with my family and friends, I started seeing a doctor who confirmed that I am indeed suffering from major type depression. The first thing my doctor did was to trace down when it all begun and the find out through various tests what’s sustaining my depression. Depression vary from person to person the same way that solutions differ. This is probably the reason why we need to seek help from people in the medical field but one thing is for sure, we all need someone who will listen. This is the time when we need the support of people socially, emotionally, and mentally and I am so glad that I have those kind of people around me.

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My Doctor had helped me a lot in many ways. She had showed me how to be more open with people I trust; we discussed about the possibilities that would happen if I keep on hurting myself by being “alone” and not wanting to ever communicate with anyone. So, I asked myself, “Am I really helping myself by simply walking away with my own problem?”  My mother was so concerned especially right after my hospitalization. She said “God is good, she gave you another life” and was always asking me to seek medical help during the times that I was not ready. My father was always ready to send me “somewhere else” but I have constantly and firmly rejected where. I would normally say “it is ONLY for people who are mentally ill”.  It was because I didn’t know I had problem or maybe I thought of it as a normal thing. I didn’t know that there is such thing as major depression; neither did I know that it would cause aberration if left untreated.  All I knew is that I didn’t know the reason why I was feeling so alone and empty—that I didn’t have the appetite to eat even when I was so hungry. I remember a time when I was shocked to see myself in a whole body mirror one day as I found out how I actually looked. I was ugly—thin and confused. And that was the verge of my discovery of my own deadly depression. I started to investigate myself and my actions.

Sharing my depression reasons with my friend

So I began confiding my innermost feelings to someone else. During the process of conveying my thoughts and feelings to my most trusted person, I still had doubts but in the long run, I finally felt loved and respected.  Through this stage, I still have doubts and fears, panic and worries. I know in my heart that with my doctor’s advice and prescription as well as my willingness to overcome my disorder, I will endure this mental health journey; it may not be as easy as one would normally think but it’s worth struggling for.

The key in recovering fast from depression is early detection which is something that I pushed aside when I was in the brink of breakdown.  Few of the struggles I have to deal with during my journey is that I may be a burden to someone as I ask for someone’s time to listen to me; that I am not a people-person and it would drain all my energy to speak to someone else; and the annoying thought that I would look weak when I seek someone for help. All of these thoughts are from a negative mindset (which is I discovered as symptoms of depression too).  Although anti-depressant helps me a lot to live a normal life, realizing we are designed to live with one another and help each other in times of trouble was also another thing that is constantly helping me.  Recovering from major type of depression or any types of depression does not end after we start feeling better. Living a life of positivity and building supportive relationships would eliminate the chances of suffering from depression ever again. It is also important that we know how to manage ourselves emotionally, physically, mentally, and socially to lessen stress. Know yourself fully and practice the skill of balancing your emotions. If there is someone who would break you into tinier pieces, it is you. If there is someone who can fix yourself, it is also you.

I still feel lost and empty inside at times, but the feeling of worthlessness subsided and I no longer remember a day of asking myself “how to kill oneself?” I learned to manage my depression, comprehended that it should never be tolerated and for me it is an achievement.