I was 19 when I was first diagnosed with Clinical Depression and was in my second year of University. At the time I didn’t quite understand what was happening to me; I was feeling isolated from everyone and the world around me. This gradual feeling kept on getting worse, where I no longer enjoyed anything that life had to offer. I kept thinking to myself that this was meant to be the best time of my life; everyone around me were enjoying their time at university except me.
These feelings eventually got much more intense over time. I stopped going out and wanted to shut myself away from the world. I kept feeling guilty of why I was feeling like this and tried to ignore it. Eventually it got too much and I started feeling suicidal.
I remember the doctor asking me my symptoms and if anything traumatic had happened to me. I was in tears, shaking my head and truly believed that I was a burden to everyone. It was a relief when I was diagnosed with depression in one way – there was a name to what I had, although I didn’t know anything about it at the time. At 19 and bewildered by this diagnosis, I was determined that I would not go on antidepressants and that I would face this alone and try to battle it.
Fast forward 12 years, and I am still battling but have recently learnt that you cannot fight depression: it’s exhausting! Plus, you will lose. After all this time, I have learnt to surrender to it. This is not something that will go away for me, but I now know (and I have learnt some very hard lessons) that it can be controlled.