When my first therapist told me that I had depression I didn’t believe her. I had too many things to be thankful for and happy about to be depressed. Frankly, I thought that I was too busy for depression, as if it was something that those who suffer get to choose.
I left her office with a spring in my step doubting everything that she’d told me. There was no way a one hour session told her that I was depressed and I refused to listen.
I went off to college and I never saw her again.
I spent the next six months inexplicably sad. There were times that I’d miss weeks of class just because I couldn’t get out of bed. I’d cancel plans that I was really excited about because there was something telling me I didn’t deserve to go. I found comfort in food and alcohol but never in friends and family.
Still, I refused to believe that I was depressed.
Depression just didn’t look like me. To me, depression looked like someone struggling to pay their bills every month, someone who couldn’t afford to eat, someone who just lost their job or got kicked out of college. Depression looked like someone who had suffered abuse, a person with no one to lean on. I didn’t fit that mold, but still it took hours to get out of bed every day and even more to shower and leave my dorm room.
There are so many narratives that tell you that your depression is not real that it’s all in your head, that you aren’t really suffering because of how good you have it on the outside. But depression doesn’t pick attack based on looks or socioeconomic status there’s no rhyme or reason, it just is.
It’s been five years since I was first told that I suffer from depression and each year it looks different. There’s no right or wrong way to be depressed. Some days it looks like me staying in bed for 12 hours, other days it’s me turning off my phone so I don’t have to talk to anyone.
What I wish people would understand is that people with depression don’t need messages of “it gets better,” sometimes, we just need someone to listen.
I don’t want to be held or coddled through this. I want to be respected. I want to be talked to like an adult. I want a chance to speak, really speak. I want to answer a phone call and know that I’m going to get to talk about me, my issues, what I’m dealing with sometimes.
That doesn’t make me selfish, it makes me honest.
Author: Brittany King
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