Part 2: Inside the Mind of a Youth Facing Depression: Recovery

image: Laura Smith “How Fun”
Continuation of Part 1:Inside the Mind of a Youth Facing Depression”
Note: This essay was authored by a local student to document a personal experience with depression. The writer, with parental support, was able to access professional help. Significantly, the author felt they could not share this experience openly, fearing stigma.   

Eventually I learned to realize that every morning I woke up should feel like a blessing and not a curse.  My doctor said I was ready to go off of the medication and begin facing the world on my own, no matter how scary that may be.  Therapy continued and I learned more about myself every week.  I gained the tools and knowledge to be able to help save myself in the future, should things ever get this bad again.  At this point, I could finally look ahead and actually see a future; a future that had never looked better.

I became more aware of myself.  I learned everything I needed to do to prevent myself from falling into another depression.  I threw myself into activities.  I made myself go out every day and every night just to be around people and keep myself occupied.  As uncomfortable as it was at first to expose myself to the outside world and to all the people I had hid from for so long, I knew that it was for the best.  I knew that it was necessary for me to stay busy so I wouldn’t be alone with my thoughts and feelings, because they would eat me alive.  I put up a fight every single day, and even though it took so much out of me, I eventually felt more comfortable being around people again, and always doing something.  I rekindled all the relationships I had lost when the depression had hit the hardest, and realized the importance of having a strong support system.  I did everything in my power to stay safe, healthy, and happy.

This battle against depression took an immense toll on me and almost beat the fight out of me.  But it left me with a new set of values.  Since then I’ve gained an understanding of myself and of others that I never had before.  I realized how necessary it is for everyone to have a support system; a group of people who will always be there to pull you out of the water when you find yourself drowning.  My experience helped me realize that other people are going through the same things that I did, however they may try to hide it.  They hide their secrets and pain because it’s easier than calling out for help.  I vowed to always reach out to those in need because I know what it feels like to go through all of this alone.  These bonds formed by helping others are those most critical to humanity.