Some things in life just don’t make sense. Depression is one of them.
The first time I can distinctly remember feeling “depressed” was in December 2010. It was Christmas Eve, and I was at my grandparent’s house, waiting to open their presents like my family always does on Christmas Eve. I remember feeling…hollow. Empty. As if there was no joy in the world anymore. I wasn’t excited about opening presents. I wasn’t excited about seeing my little sister’s expression when she opened hers. I felt lifeless and without emotion. My throat felt tight and I felt like crying.
At the time, I chalked it up to growing up – of course I’m not that excited about presents anymore, the joy is about being with family now that you’re older. But I didn’t feel any Christmas spirit. I didn’t feel anything at all.
It wouldn’t be until two years later that I would be diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. I remember being unable to keep the feelings inside me any longer. I couldn’t hide every time I cried. My brain felt like it was slowing down more every day. I was unable to keep up with homework. I was unable to be happy about anything. I began cutting myself to feel better. I finally confided in a teacher, who took me to the guidance counsellor, and together they called my dad and then helped me over the rest of the school year.
A lot of people think depression is something you can kind of control. They mistake it for an emotion. Depression isn’t just about being sad. It’s a state of mind that affects your whole being, every day. It’s brain chemistry gone wrong. It’s not controllable, it’s an illness, and unfortunately, it doesn’t care how many good things you have in your life that ‘should’ make you happy. It just overwhelms you until it’s all you can see.