Depression surfaced for me in high school. When I was a freshman, I developed crippling anxiety, which went hand in hand with depression. I felt like all my friends hated me and that I was annoying. Gradually, I drifted apart from friends I had been close with since childhood. Eventually, I was in this hole I dug myself and began to lose my identity. All the activities I used to enjoy seemed boring. I slept more and shut myself in my room all day.
Luckily, my parents noticed a deep change in my attitude. I was no longer my happy-go-lucky self. They sat me down and told me how my family had an extensive history of mental illness. At first, I was afraid and tried to calm myself down by saying there was no way I had depression, or any mental illness, even though I knew things were getting rough.
At the doctor’s office a few weeks later, I finally let it all out. I was diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder, social anxiety (a subset of that), and Depression. Basically, my cycle of mental health was this. Step 1: Be distant because of my anxiety. Step 2: Feel lonely. Step 3: Get angry at myself for being lonely. Step 4: Get depressed and start hating myself.
It was an endless cycle. But therapy helped tremendously. I was able to set goals for myself, little baby steps. It took every ounce of courage to ask a friend if they wanted to hang out, even more for an acquaintance. I’m still struggling today but I’m about to go on medication and I know one day, I’ll finally be free of my own brain. If Depression failed at anything, it’s making me hopeless. I still have hope, and so much of it. And it’s going to get better.