ARTICLES, HEALTHY LIVING & WELL BEING. EATING DISORDERS
Depression: Do You Know What It Feels Like?
You try to ignore the constant ringing of your alarm clock. It’s early Monday morning and you have to get up and go to school. You lay in bed for a while longer, feeling like you can’t move. Your house is empty, again.
You put on whatever you can find and barely look at yourself in the mirror as you make your way to the bus stop.
You don’t even realize the day goes by, and you barely remember what you did in class today, but somehow it’s over. You have to work tonight at the video game store, but you seriously don’t feel like going. Lately, you’ve been experiencing issues with motivation. You’re so behind in schoolwork that your teacher is starting to nag at you, and you want to care, but you just can’t anymore. You feel like it is your entire fault and you feel angry with yourself for being lazy.
Work is just as boring as school, and it passes by as if you are sitting in a deep fog. On your way home, you think about catching up on homework. When you think about how behind you are and how many assignments you never handed in, you start to feel panic and stress. When you get home, you stare at your books and realize you feel absolutely exhausted and all you want to do is curl up in a ball and go to bed. The sounds of your parents screaming at each other and throwing things keeps you up, with thoughts of self-hatred, and you have another sleepless night, as usual.
Your group of friends at school greets you the next day happily, making jokes and pushing you around. You try and smile, but you just don’t have the energy to play along. Interacting with them feels exhausting. In class, you often fall asleep or stare blankly at your notebook, unaware of what is going on around you.
Friday comes around and your friends invite you out to watch a movie at one of their houses. The last thing you feel like doing is leaving the house, despite the screaming and crying, and the slamming of doors. You want to lock yourself in your room and pretend the world doesn’t exist. You tell your friends that you just don’t feel well, but they beg you until you give in and agree to go. When you get there you don’t really talk much, and keep to yourself on the couch; you barely remember what movie you even watched.
Peers begin to notice and it is difficult to speak your mind…
Your older sister comes to visit you at home later in the week, feeling bad that you have to live through your parents’ arguing. She notices you are not yourself, but does not know how to seriously ask you, so she says, “What’s up with you lately huh? Why are you acting so weird?” You feel totally uncomfortable and brush it off, saying you’re just tired because you stayed out the night before. It just all seems too complicated to talk about. You don’t even understand what you are feeling, so it just seems easier to say you’re okay.
Your room is a total mess and you can’t keep track of anything you need for school. Your friends are starting to act strangely around you and ask you what your problem is. You feel guilty for dragging them down and ruining their fun all the time, so you push them away even more. You start to sleep less and less, waking up in the middle of the night, thoughts racing. Everything you used to enjoy, even your video games, have no interest for you anymore. You begin to skip class more often, and today you’ve even called in sick to work, just because your body feels too heavy to get out of bed today. As you make your way to the couch, you decide to steal one of your Dad’s beers since you’re home alone anyways and you feel stressed out. You start to feel angry with yourself for skipping school again, and you start to wonder why you even exist.
An old friend becomes concerned and texts you late one night. When you reply, they notice you’re not sleeping again, and ask if you want to talk about it. You figure it’s easier to talk through text than face-to-face, so you try and put to words what you’re feeling.
“I don’t really know anything about this stuff,” they say, “and I’m not saying you have depression, but you sound kind of depressed. Maybe you should talk to someone who would know, like a doctor or counselor or something. There are lots of those help lines too.”
You don’t know how you feel about this, but since you feel like you are screaming from the inside half of the time, you figure it wouldn’t hurt to talk to someone. You start to feel anxiety about the idea of having depression, and of your parents finding out about it. You promise your friend and yourself that you will call a help line because at least it’s anonymous. It takes you days to call because of the overwhelming anxiety and stress it causes you. After your first talk, you start to feel a little less heavy.
Written by Adela Czyzewska