When I was 16, I suddenly went from being an outgoing teenager who enjoyed school, my friends and my family, to being unable to eat or get out of bed due to depression.
My depression came on suddenly, and I felt like it took over my life in just days. My days were consumed with feelings of overpowering guilt and hopelessness. I stopped eating and slept much of the time. I spent two weeks out of school, and it took months after starting treatment and diagnosis before I began to feel like the person I was before depression took over.
Returning to school was just as hard, when I learned that terrible rumors had been spread about my absence. I felt ashamed, guilty and afraid to tell people the real reason I was gone. Luckily, during that time I was able to talk to my Mom, who had also suffered from depression. Having someone who recognized the signs, and could tell me that what I was feeling did not mean I was crazy or broken and that there was a light at the end of the tunnel is the reason I am the person I am today.
I hope that I can be that person for somebody else, who might not see the light. I want to grab others by the hand and tell them they aren’t alone and they are fighting a battle that is winnable.
My depression will always be a part of my life, but over the last 15 years, I moved across the country to a city I love, went to college and law school, and experienced the joys and sorrows that come along with life. By creating a support network of family, friends and co-workers and seeking proper treatment, I have a life that is not controlled by depression, but rather by excitement and joy.