Hey there. This is my first myTake, so I thought I'd make it about something that hits very close to home.
You're Not in Control:
First off, I suffer from clinical depression. I always thought it was a possibility, but I was not diagnosed until I attempted to commit suicide. Now, I'm one of those people that can take a joke, but sometimes when I see comments that reference depression or suicide in a playful or joking matter, it takes everything to hold my tongue.
See, some people do and some people don't understand that depression is a real mental illness that actually affects what goes on in your brain. And no, it doesn't always mean you're constantly sad or full of self-pity. Half the time, you don't feel anything. Sometimes, you feel anxious, guilty, angry, hopeless, etc. When I made my attempt, I didn't feel sad. I felt nothing. It was like I was taken over by the Imp of the Perverse.
Depression can also take quite a toll on your daily life. Yes, sometimes this means you don't want to get out of bed all day, or you haven't had the urge to eat in days and your body has convinced you that you are not hungry. Sometimes, an episode can simply mean you don't have the energy to take that morning jog. My more serious episodes prevent me from feeling any type of happiness for periods of time, no matter what is occuring.
But people with depression can be crazy good at hiding how they truly feel. We can force ourselves to smile, pretend to be having fun, take risks, and perform at the same level as everyone else. The day before my attempt, I'd had the time of my life at a close friends birthday party. I literally felt like I was on top of the world, which could have been a sign that something was wrong.
Another thing is that depression can be completely random. Sometimes it's triggered, sometimes it's not. When I'm in the middle of an episode, literally anything negative, no matter how slight, can send me in a downward spiral. And I'm talking little, seemingly stupid things, like having typed a paragraph in a document and it not saving. And on any other day, I would be able to brush it off, but when I'm having an episode, it's like I'm no longer in control.
The worst part is half the time I don't know why I feel the way I feel.
Happiness Isn't Always a Choice:
As much as people might try to drill it in that you have to choose to be happy, it isn't that simple. It's a real internal battle that's so hard to win. Sure, some life choices may make you happier, but when you have depression, sometimes you become physically incapable of feeling joy. It's like a wall has formed, and so in even the happiest situations, like my boyfriend surprising me with flowers, I might still be upset on the inside.
I'm Still a Functioning Human Being:
So after everything that I've previously stated, the next point I'm going to make is that it's easy to prevent people from seeing those parts of you. It's sooo easy to play it off as being tired, or lie about something else happening, or to laugh at jokes your best friend told, excuse yourself to the bathroom, and cry your heart out. But I'll still go to school, work my butt off, socialize, crush on the cute boy in class, get straight A's, go to dance practice, text my friends after school, and do everything that everyone else is doing. It's not like people see me and go "Oh yeah, she's got depression." In fact, my best friend and my mom are the only people that know because of my attempt. But to everyone else, I'm perfectly fine. It can be so hard, but I don't let anyone know.
Anyway, thanks for reading! Sorry if I kind of ramble at times, but this was a spur of the moment thing. I probably didn't get everything I wanted to say out, but if you have any questions for me I'd be glad to answer them. Or if you just want to talk, that's cool too.
Also! I was going to post this anonymously, but I think this is helping me come to terms with the fact that this is my reality, so I'm choosing to be brave.