Admitting Illness

For a long time, you’ve denied who you are. You’ve denied that there was something seriously wrong with the way your mind works because you were scared to face reality. This whole time, you kept telling people and yourself, “I’m not depressed, I just get like that sometimes,” when in fact you are. You think about wanting to die, mainly because you feel like your life isn’t worth it.

You can’t control your emotions. You got through episodes of sadness and apparent happiness. You cry in settings you shouldn’t and for reasons that you’ve conjured up. You’ve avoided getting to know people because they’re all just going to leave and hurt you like the demons of your past. You tucked everything away, internalizing all the trauma you dealt with as a child. Now, the dam has broke and is flooding the person who you are.

Profound early losses, such as the death of a parent or the withdrawal of a loved one’s affection, may resonate throughout life, eventually expressing themselves as depression. When an individual is unaware of the wellspring of his or her illness, he or she can’t easily move past the depression. Moreover, unless the person gains a conscious understanding of the source of the condition, later losses or disappointments may trigger its return.

What causes depression? By Harvard Health

Worse, you hate yourself for all this. You think that this should be controllable that you’re wrong for feeling this way, that perhaps you should just get over it. You’re unhinging at the seams, trying to keep your sanity together and it scares everyone you know. You don’t want them to worry, so you rationalize that it’s better if you didn’t exist in the first place.

It’s not your fault.

What happened to you as a child wasn’t your fault. Your parents divorced. Someone you trusted was psychologically and physically abusive, neglectful, and selfish. You didn’t want to understand what happened to you because it made you feel uncomfortable and ashamed, so instead of talking about it, you cut off everyone. You reduced yourself to a shell of a person, hiding all the painful events deep inside your brain because what else were you supposed to do to protect yourself? Still now, so many years later, you tell yourself affirmations, you say the words aloud, but you don’t believe them. You’re damaged.

Millions of Americans suffer from some form of depression every year, making it one of the most common mental disorders in the country.

Major Depression (Unipolar Depression) By Arnold Lieber, MD

You’re not alone.

Do the things you really don’t feel like doing. Get outside and talk to strangers. Tell yourself you’re worthy. Put a smile on your face. Exercise. Write in a journal. Be creative. And let yourself heal. It takes time. There will be moments, like maybe right now, that it seems like you’re not getting anywhere. Sometimes, you still feel like you can’t control your emotions, but all those years you denied your mental illness changed the chemistry of your brain. Seek and accept help for you and the people you love. Small progress is progress. Each day you get out of bed is each day you grow stronger. One day, it’ll be part of your past.  

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