Depression

I got really depressed starting when I figured out my mother was abusive. I had been somewhat depressed before because things were hard at home and I did everything I could to avoid processing them. But when I finally started too, it was really hard. I tried to piece together a whole lifetime of an unhappy home life and deal with all the anger. I realized I was depressed when I never wanted to do anything. But I was really scared to admit it because it felt like a death sentence. I thought by admitting it I would be stuck in it. So I kept pretending I was okay.
After I moved to England with my dad and sister, knowing I did not plan on ever having contact with my mum again, I spent a huge amount of time crying and just feeling miserable. I not only had to deal with processing the abuse and recognizing it’s effects on me but I also had basically just lost a parent.
After I had spent a month being so unhappy, I admitted that I was depressed. But I didn’t know what to do about it. Sometimes I felt that there wasn’t even anything worth doing about it because happiness couldn’t possibly feel any better (it’s a weird mindset).
Being on a gap year and living in a new country with no friends (outside my family) and no contact with people my own age (they all are off at university), I spent a huge amount of time home by myself. I didn’t want to leave the house or do anything and that only made me more unhappy, which made taking action even harder. It’s a really horrible cycle that you work yourself into.
But my dad and I knew something needed to change and I had to be brave. So, I started volunteering everyday at a charity shop. As time passed, I started to feel little twinges of excitement on my walk there. It helped a lot to be with people and have a purpose.
At the same time, I found a really helpful depression reading: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/dealing-with-depression.htm. It talked about how depression is really hard but with lots of little pushes, it’s possible to get better. I found the section on negative thought processes especially useful to stay in a healthier frame of mind. So, I read it every morning and reminded myself of the different parts throughout the day. I believe that this also made a significant difference in my recovery.
The other thing that I believe really brought me back was getting into my first choice university. It reminded me that good things really can happen, even if in the past there have been tons of disappointments.
So, by January of this year, I felt all better. I get excited about things, feel hope for the future, and am interested in activities. And, because I overcame something so huge and conquered many small fears along the way, I am much more confident than I ever could have imagined. It’s really amazing to be better and in a certain way I’m grateful that things got so bad or I might not have pushed myself so hard to get well.
What I suggest to anyone else dealing with depression is first to admit to it. Having depression does not mean that you are depression. It is not a perminant aspect of your identity just because you have it at some point. It’s just like a haze that will lift. But you need to recognize it’s there to get better. Then, I suggest using the reading I mentioned earlier. It gives tons of coping strategies and advice. I think that if you implement all of it’s suggestions, you could get better. And obviously in some cases medicine is necessary and that’s perfectly fine. Everyone’s path is different and all that really matters is that you take the steps you need to heal.

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