Despite Studying Psychology, I Couldn’t Talk About My Depression
Maybe I was scared of those eyes that regarded me as a sad little person; maybe I was scared of judgment.
As a student of Psychology, I have always been vocal about mental illnesses and the impact they have on our day-to-day lives. I’ve witnessed my loved ones change under the terrors of depression, but I’ve also seen my friends actively seeking help and indulging in therapy.
It gives me a sense of satisfaction to see the world moving on from the whole ‘Shush, it’ll pass!’ idea when it comes to dealing with depression. This will benefit generations to come as at least a conversation has begun.
But in my case, even after studying Psychology and theoretically knowing depression, I could not really figure out what exactly was happening.
While I had the courage to speak up to the world on how ‘It was all okay and normal and natural!’ I failed to realise the changes that were grasping my soul and turning it into something that left me less than content with who I was.
These were changes that I was constantly observing and I could best describe them as a ‘prolonged sadness’.
I Let Myself Sulk From Within
I could not afford to be one of those ‘depressed’ individuals who would sulk in corners and complain about life, because obviously, society largely accepts the extroverted, the happy-go-lucky and the cheerful.
I regarded myself as a braveheart, and this was the time where I really had to fight with my feelings, my inhibitions, and majorly, myself.
I believed that an honest struggle always yielded desired results, and even if it was something like depression, (well no, I can’t really have depression!) I thought I could control it. It’s just a feeling, right?
All I needed to do was to ‘get over myself’ and concentrate on the larger than life things that the world had in store for me. Well, my struggle against ‘prolonged sadness’ stopped me from sulking in corners, but it encouraged me to sulk within myself, turning me from a vocal straightforward individual to a beacon of hypocrisy, leading me a step closer to self-destruction.
I Couldn’t Acknowledge my Depression
For months, I was filled up with feelings of despair and worthlessness. My every day routine would constitute waking up with absolutely no purpose whatsoever. Finding it a bit and later a lot harder to get out of bed. Eating at irregular timings and sometimes binge eating on pizzas.
My parents started complaining about my recently acquired lethargic nature. My friends complained over every plan that I cancelled last minute, and eventually gave up when they found my excuses no longer plausible.
The catch was when I stopped eating Theobroma brownies that I would initially travel miles for, put a halt to watching the Harry Potter series that earlier made me believe in an alternate universe, succumbed to numbness in interviews even when I envisioned myself to be an orator, and most importantly, stopped composing poems when earlier it would be my only mode of expression.
I did not pay attention to these changes in my behaviour because they did not appear in one go. They emerged one-by-one and initially seemed to be something too small to ponder about, but only later accumulated into something more severe.
I always believed in facing my problems in silence, and this problem, I thought, should be no different.
I Wish I Had Opened Up Earlier
There is a clear distinction between sadness and depression that has been well illustrated in every medical book or website. Depression is typically a very uneasy feeling. It’s the feeling of never being able to smile again, and a very strong urge to give up. I felt like I was crying for help but nobody could hear me. I felt lonely, and this loneliness was eating me up from inside.
I concluded that I was suffering from depression only when I opened up to two of my friends about this ‘deranged’ condition that I was facing, who later on compelled me to visit a therapist.
It was after a few sessions with my therapist that I realised I wasn’t going cuckoo in the head, I was facing a condition that required medical attention, and it could always be brought under control. Majorly, I required care.
While I realised that there were a good number of times where I became reckless and went off beam, my biggest mistake was to keep every symptom and every feeling to myself.
Maybe, I Feared Being Judged
Learning Psychology acquaints you with mental illnesses and how you need to go about them, however, I still couldn’t draw a conclusion on what was really happening to me.
Maybe, I feared those eyes that regarded me as a sad little person; maybe I was scared of judgment.
But keeping everything inside me only generated a volatile volcano. I felt as if this feeling was fixated in my stomach, causing pain to my whole body.
Talking, as I now realise, really, really helps. It shoves an exit to all the unwanted accumulations that traumatise your mind and body. It brings a sense of calm that makes the world a beautiful place all over again.
Fighting with my own feelings was not easy, especially when I had pre-set notions of how nobody would understand me.
However, when I opened up to my friends about my condition, they extended some extremely warm support towards me. They never assured to help me get out of it, but they promised to be there with me through it.
It was then, as I refused to bottle up my feelings, that I was gifted a ray of hope.
(The author is a Post Graduate in Psychology with majors in Human Resources Management. She’s inclined towards writing and oration, and aspires to be a successful trainer in the near future.)
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