Even though I’ve talked about my struggle with mental health in the past I’ve always avoided the darker subject, stomach depression. Mainly because I never wanted to be put in that box and I also didn’t want to accept it. What do I have to be depressed about? That’s the kind of reaction I got from people the times I did mention the way I was feeling.
On the outset they were right, viagra dosage there are so many other people in the world who have it worse than me, I am lucky and blessed in so many ways – I don’t have a reason to feel depressed, do I? Shouldn’t I just get over it and be grateful for what I do have? These were the thoughts that would be attacking my already messed up mind, that just added to my guilt and feelings of low self worth. I’ve been scared to speak out & allow myself to accept the depression label because I felt like people would think it’s attention seeking or that I’m ungrateful for the things I do have.
What I’ve realised is, depression doesn’t care if you have a supportive family, it doesn’t care if you have an amazing career, a happy relationship or a strong friendship group.
You can have the best life in the world & be depressed. You can have the worst life in the worst & be depressed. There is no set formula that results in this illness. You might have had something awful or traumatic happen in your life that led to depression. Your mental health may have led to depression. I know for me, it was my OCD which caused me to isolate myself so much which eventually led me to suffer with it. However when you look into why my mental health problems started, there is no specific reason. There’s no major trigger, no traumatic event. I had a happy home life, a loving family. I want anyone else who is struggling to know that it’s ok to admit you are suffering, that you have the right to acknowledge it. To say that you can’t be sad because someone else may have it worse is like saying you can’t be happy because someone else may have it better. If we’re fighting a constant battle with our own minds, surely we our feelings of unhappiness are valid? As with any mental illness, just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
Depression is literally forgetting what happiness feels like. The day I accepted that I was suffering from depression was the day I really sat down and analysed my feelings but found I couldn’t – because I didn’t have any. I didn’t feel sad. I didn’t feel scared. I didn’t feel anything. Just numb. Nothing. Empty. It was like my body had turned off the “feelings” switch and I was just existing.
Only my very close friends had an idea of how I really felt, and they only knew 10% of how bad it was. That’s when the isolation starts. You can’t bear to be around anyone in a social setting because you need to sit with your thoughts. You have this intense need to “dwell”. Which is probably the worst thing you can actually do. This gives power to our negative thoughts. We’re not sharing them, we’re not saying them out loud, they are stuck in our minds, building up more strength. We isolate ourselves, feeding the thoughts because there is no one around to challenge them. They are too consuming to be able to focus on anything else in the real world. It’s like being stuck in your own bubble, not in an egotistical way but you’re just trapped and can’t find a way out. I didn’t want to socialise because I actually couldn’t be bothered to talk. I had no energy, nothing to bring to the conversation.
I know it’s hard to believe when you are feeling at your lowest but I’m writing this to let anyone affected know that it does get better. You might not ever be 100% “cured” but there are ways to manage your thoughts that will eventually make you feel happiness again. For me, it was starting a journey towards loving myself enough to know that I don’t deserve to feel like this. Caring about myself enough to be healthy and have good people around me. Believing that I am worth the time and energy I’ve put into my career and relationships. Knowing that I deserve that love I’m trying to give everyone else. Asking for help when I really need it is a big one! It doesn’t mean you’ve failed or you’re not a strong person. The opposite actually, it means that you know your own worth and you’ve decided that you’re strong enough to make the changes you know you need to make to grow and heal.
Written by Suzan Yasemin Selçuk
My mental health platform is @crazycreativecool if you guys wanted to check it out!