How a young woman conquered depression

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My world gets cloudy. When it does, I know it's going to be a bad day.

It seems everyone around me just doesn't care. I am always alone and no one knows the way I feel. I can't think straight and I just want to put my headphones on and close the world out around me. It's morning and I just can't get up. However, I force myself to get up and go to school. Once I am there, I sit down and put my head on the desk. The teacher keeps talking during his lecture but all that I hear is, "Blah, blah, blah".

The next class comes around. I don't feel like going, so I don't. I decide to sit at my locker and put my headphones on. I then start to write suicide notes to my friends and family.

No one knows this but me. Nothing but death is going through my head. Why should I live? What's my purpose? No one cares for me and, even if they did, they wouldn't want to intervene. These thoughts go through my head and I don't know how to stop them.

I reach out to the only person that sees me not being myself, that person being my teacher.

He was the only one I could go and talk to because it seemed to me, at that point, my parents were too busy to care. I would talk to my teacher every day about what was going on in my life. When things got bad, he was there to talk to. He wouldn't tell me what to do; he would guide me into doing the right thing for myself.

It seemed my body took over. I still tried to reach out to my teacher but he couldn't do much more because he was a teacher and not qualified to go further. I reached out to another teacher, but she didn't know what to do. So, I gave up.

It all happened on this one night, the one night that changed my life.

I was going to commit suicide. I had the date, time, and place all planned. Nothing was going to stop me. I had thoughts of suicide before but this time I hit rock bottom. I did not know why. I was settled on killing myself. But my teacher knew what I was going to do and did something about it.

My mother found out and my suicide attempt was foiled. My male teacher had advised me to seek out a professional counselor. However, I was unable to find a suitable counselor to help me. A visit to my family doctor changed everything. I was diagnosed as having depression.

I am now on medication and things are slowly changing for the better. My relationship with my mother and family has improved greatly. After that day, everything changed, including the relationship with my mother. I started to understand what was going through my body.

What I was going through is common among many teenagers and young adults such as myself. I realized I needed to believe in myself. Now, many of you may be confused about what I am talking about so I will explain.

What I speak of is a disease called depression. Few know about it, or can admit they have it because, in today's society, having depression means being "mental".

Depression, like AIDS, is a disease, but not as well known. Now, if I may, I would like to use the word "fugi" for "disease". This is a word my teacher made up because I did not like the word "disease". The fact that people will not admit they have or had depression scares me. I have and still am going through depression. The one difference between depression and AIDS is that depression will eventually go away and right now there is no cure for AIDS. But depression can be cured and this is what I am trying to provide awareness of.

No one should ever be ashamed of having depression. I was a victim of being ashamed and wanted no one to know, but I was being selfish. People need to be able to express their thoughts and feelings so they can help themselves. More lives can be saved if more people are educated on depression.

The fugi doesn't just affect your body; it affects family and the friends around you. Everyone around you that isn't a professional doesn't know how to help. This is because of the lack of education on depression. When a person says, "Oh, I am depressed," people will just ignore it. But it is a thing to take seriously.

If people take too long to take it seriously a life can be lost. I was taken seriously and I am proud to be alive and living in this world. It hurts me to think so many teenagers and even adults out there are suffering from depression and no one is helping them. Even if it is a teacher you can reach out to, as I did, then do it, but remember teachers can only do so much. They have boundaries they need to follow, so seeking a professional may be the best way. However, if you need someone to talk to, someone you trust, and that person is a teacher or a friend, take that opportunity to do so. Remember: no one should ever be ashamed of having this fugi. It is curable, and you can live a great life.

If it seems right now no one cares, no one will understand, and that your life sucks, then the time is now to go and find that person to talk to. If you have a great relationship with your mother, father, or siblings, then take that gift you have and talk to them about the way you feel. You may not think they are helping but those 10 minutes of talking about how you feel and what is going on in your life will change the next 10, 20, or as many years as you have ahead of you, to fix this fugi of yours.

This all takes time. I was told this over and over and hated it, "Don't worry Trish. This will get better; it just takes time." This is what I heard all the time. I never believed it until now. Things are better and it has been a year. Things will keep getting better and I know they will because I will allow my life to be better.

When you suffer from depression, there is no way it will go away and will get better on its own. That is just the way the brain functions. Depression isn't caused by an event; it is caused by a chemical imbalance in your brain. You cannot get better unless you help yourself.

Now, I am not a professional but I am a patient and I know what you are going through. Life just doesn't seem fair. (I was once told, "If life was fair, then life would be boring").

Today, I am on medication and am helping myself. I know the person I am and the person I can become. I have a great relationship with my family and friends. It seems that what happened didn't really happen. But, in reality, it did and will stick with me forever. There is no sense thinking about it because it is in the past and I want to know about the future.

Now, I want to live because life is joyous and full of opportunities waiting for me. I am grateful for all the people who have come and gone in my life. Even though I no longer talk to my teacher that helped me, he still stays in my heart as a person who made a difference in my life.

Anyone can make a difference in your life if you let them. Do not let depression take over your life. Do not be ashamed of having it. Speak out and tell people you aren't at your best. They will help you, even though you don't think they will.

I never knew so many people cared for me as they do. You will find out how many people care if you just reach out to them. You need to go to someone and tell them, "I think something is wrong with me. Can I talk to you?"

You have a lot of meaning in life. If you end it, you end a lot of other people's lives. Don't do this to yourself and let depression take over. You are intelligent and use it to your ability. Now go, make a difference in your life and don't let your body take over.