rain passing through at clearing in the woods

Depression was my Shadow

It followed me everywhere. Trying to outrun it or fight it felt impossible. At first, it crept in slowly. I didn’t realize it was there until it had taken its full unbearable form.  It became like an entity that had taken over my body and mind. My thoughts weren’t mine anymore. Depression had turned me into a person that I didn’t recognize. It took my identity. All I could see was the depression and anxiety. I began to forget what it was like not having it around.

I struggled to remember what it was like to feel happy and content. All I felt was deep sadness, fear, dread, worthless, and dismay. It was an all-encompassing endless sadness that felt crippling and heavy on my shoulders. It was like I was in chains and having to carry a boulder up a never-ending mountain. No matter how hard I tried, I could never seem to move forward. 

I felt trapped in my mind, which now felt like my own personal hell. I wished I could just stop thinking, but I was relentlessly bombarded with dark and disturbing thoughts.  I couldn’t see the sun through the fog. I felt stuck and alone in a state of limbo. I knew that some of my thoughts weren’t real, and I desperately tried to brush them off, but these horrendous thoughts kept returning, stronger than ever. It was a continuous loop. I would try to ignore my thoughts and feelings and tell myself that I was okay, that I should be happy, I didn’t have a reason to be unhappy. Then, when the thoughts returned, I would feel anxious about these thoughts and worried, why was I having them? I would work myself into a state of despair and misery. I started to feel insane.

 I was under attack. It was like my mind wanted to get a reaction out of me so, it continued to antagonize me with these thoughts. I wanted to punch my brain for being such as asshole. If depression was a person, I would have beaten and tortured it repeatedly.

I feared being alone with my thoughts, and at the same time, I was scared to talk to anyone about my mental state as I felt like the most mental person in the world, and If I spoke to anyone, I would be locked up. I was fearful of what a doctor or psychiatrist would say. I didn’t want to be told whether I had Bipolar, OCD, PTSD, Anxiety etc. Regardless, I did a lot of self-diagnosing thanks to Dr Google, and I felt that I had all these afflictions.

I was delusional. I wanted to bury my head in the sand and not acknowledge my mental state in the hope that I would wake up my depression would disappear. I thought that I could cope and treat it by myself. I tried exercising, writing in journals, meditating, saying positive affirmations etc. I tried to come up with reasons why I was depressed, so I could fix it. Unfortunately, these actions didn’t alleviate my depression, and my sadness worsened.

I would have a nervous breakdown at least once a week. My thinking and concentration were clouded, and I would collapse into hysterical, uncontrollable tears. There was no reasoning with me. I developed sleep insomnia. Even at night, I had no respite from my anxiety and depression. There was no end to this torment, and I felt that nothing would get better. I became so negative and angry about the state of my life. 

Simple tasks became a struggle to complete. It felt like the world was against me. It was as if dark shades were covering my eyes, which stopped me from seeing the good in my life. I couldn’t cope with daily living. All I wanted to do was curl up in a corner and block out the world.

My parents sought to get me help. I had various appointments with a psychologist. I felt better while talking with my psychologist, however, once I left my counselling session and returned to my daily tasks, I struggled to apply my psychologist’s treatments to my life, and my depression would reappear.

I spoke with a variety of doctors. However, most times, I walked away with no treatment. Doctors were reluctant to try medication as I was still an adolescent. I was also against taking prescriptions as I believed that by taking medication, I was a failure. I couldn’t fathom why I had depression and why I couldn’t treat it on my own. I was my own worst enemy.

There were many times I couldn’t see a way out of my pain. I felt so alone, even when I was with people. I was continuously replaying incidents in my mind. I felt embarrassed, humiliated, stupid, worthless, and disheartened when thinking about my past events.

Depression had taken away my quality of life. It felt unending and torturous, and I was fearful that it wouldn’t improve. There were many times I cried out in moments of deep sadness, wishing that it would all end.  I never acted on those dark thoughts, but I just wanted someone to know how bad I felt. Deep down, I never wanted it to end. I just wanted my life to get better. Even in my darkest moments of despair, I knew that there was love and good in my life, and I wasn’t going to give up on that. I knew what happiness and content felt like, and I was determined to feel happy again.

I battled with depression and anxiety for 10 years, from the age of 11 to 21 until finally receiving treatment from my psychiatrist.  My depression and anxiety wouldn’t have been so severe if I had asked for help sooner. If exercising, meditating etc., is enough for you to control your anxiety or depression, then continue with what works. However, requiring medication doesn’t mean you are weak or a failure. Quite the opposite, rather than letting depression call the shots and run rampant, you’re stepping up to the fight with added back up and putting depression back in its cage.


It gets better with help. Then After a while, you begin seeing the love, beauty and good in life.

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