MY CLOSE FRIEND NAMED DEPRESSION( Am I better off being dead?)
I was only a few years old when I heard the screams of my mother and sisters begging my father to not give up on life.
I quickly ran to see what was happening and I saw my dad with a rope trying to hang himself.
I was quickly dragged away and this became a distant memory.
I never thought of that moment again and as I grew up, it felt like something I made up when I was younger.
I never knew that depression could be hereditary but I would come to experience way worse than I saw my father did.
At age 7, I had my first experience with sexual assault and this brought about a series of occurrences that led to what felt like an end.
I could remember how broken I felt when it happened, I had always read books and stories about what children could do if found in situations like that but when it came to my turn I did absolutely nothing, I kept quiet.
This event lead to my second, third, and fourth experiences with different forms of sexual abuse and with different men,
I had gotten to the point where I became acquainted with them and no one knew or even suspected.
Before I move forward, let me define what depression is, ” Depression is defined as a constant feeling of sadness and loss of interest, which stops you from doing your normal activities according to Better health”.
I knew this definition way too well because I practically lived it.
At age 10, I began losing interest in everything, and when I say everything I mean every single thing.
I was dissociated in school and gradually my grades started falling, and even at home I became quieter and had begun experiencing mood swings.
I do not blame my mother for not noticing, I mean, she was a single mother fending for her 4 kids, and she barely even saw me during the day.
By Center for Disease Control - Public Domain, Wikimedia
It is said that about 3.2% of children aged 3-17 years (approximately 1.9 million) have been diagnosed with depression according to the CDC in the united states and that in every 100 minutes a teen takes their life.
The undiagnosed cases were way more than those that were accounted for and I fell into that bracket.
At age 11, I decided that life wasn’t worth living and it was time to end it all, I chose suicide and I can only imagine the number of people who made the choice daily and succeeded in the act.
Approximately 1.5% of all deaths worldwide are by suicide. In a given year, this is roughly 12 per 100,000 people and I didn’t mind being part of these statistics.
I remember finding a pack of random pills that my mother kept together.
I cried, prayed, and then decided that it was time to go.
I drank all the pills.
I fell asleep and hoped to never wake up but well, I still did.
Now that I think of it, the pills would have mostly been pain killers, antibiotics, and anti-malaria medicine which might not have been able to hurt me.
Waking up, I took this as a sign that maybe I had a purpose to be alive and for a short period I experienced a little stability till everything began falling apart years later.
There are many possible causes of depression, including faulty mood regulation by the brain, changes in the brain’s neurotransmitter levels, genetic vulnerability, stressful life events like abuse, death or loss of a loved one, medications, genes, gender, medical problems, and certain medications and that twice as many women to men experienced depression.
My depression originated through abuse and it came back through abuse and even though during this time of hiatus I still experienced a lot of continuous low mood or sadness, feeling hopeless and helpless, having low self-esteem, feeling tearful, feeling irritable and intolerant of others, having no motivation or interest in things, etc.,
I never had suicidal thoughts until I met Adam.
It was my second semester in school and I just began dating him, and due to my past experiences with abuse, I made it clear that I wasn’t interested in sex before I said yes.
I came to realize that I was in an abusive relationship not long after, and in one of my visits, it resulted to rape.
I knew what had happened but because of the society I lived in, I felt like it was his right and there was no sense in leaving him at that point so I stayed.
The longer I was with him, the longest my self-esteem was broken, and my depression became stronger and stronger.
I call it my depression because it felt like a part of me at every point in the relationship.
My second and last try at suicide was after an argument with my boyfriend and after spewing certain hateful words, I swallowed some pills, broke a mirror and held a piece while telling him that I was going to end my life, he simply said to me “go ahead” and left.
I could remember calling my sister and crying and telling her how much pain I was in and how miserable I was and she said to me “ it was going to be alright”,
These words were my pillar for years to come.
After this, I looked up how to get better.
A list of suggestions was shown.
Support groups, psychotherapy, and drug treatments were some of the few top suggestions.
Antidepressants were drugs that helped with depression.
My family and friends became my support group for the reason that it was way cheaper and they were all I had.
Becoming better didn’t happen in a day or a year and it didn’t mean I didn’t have low times.
It meant that I constantly reminded myself that I had a reason to live, not because of my family but because of me.
A lot of young people are going through depression feeling like they have nothing to live for but as a survivor, I am here to tell you that it gets easier and eventually the fight becomes a journey to getting better.
Watch out for my next post-Depression; causes, risk factors, treatment and prevention.
Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed the post.
Do drop a comment on a post you will like me to write about next if you have one in mind.