I had a companion; one who stuck with me like my own shadow. Who seemed to be very concerned for me, so much, that they actually destroyed my appetite, made me go through sleepless nights, made me think that happiness was not meant for me and whenever by chance I felt a bit of happiness, the fear of being blue again took that moment away. My companion consumed my mind with negative, undesirable, damaging and destructive thoughts, it provoked me to act upon those thoughts. Just like that it made me distant and abandon my friends, my family and all the people I loved. It was so possessive that it isolated me from everyone else as if I was seized and could never be freed. Doing anything productive, going anywhere or meeting new people, even making it to school was tiresome, picking myself up and doing all that required some superhuman strength. Big gatherings, big events, interaction with people terrified me, made me a total introvert. People scared me, the fear that they’ll judge me because of my relationship with my companion used to eat me up from the inside. My companion stimulated and smashed my ability to concentrate, I started losing my memory. It made me question everything even my own existence and all these times it just stayed there with me, being my only companion. Sometimes, it would surprise me with a random uninvited visit just to check on me for no reason. Ae times I felt like I couldn’t breathe, I could feel my whole body getting wet in sweats. I felt as if I was drowning in my own fears and thoughts. I felt as if I was choking. I wasn’t angry. I wasn’t sad. Maybe I was just frustrated and confused with my own existence. I tried fighting with it. Why? Maybe because I never wanted my companion to define me, to mold me into something I wasn’t but it was so big, so powerful, it had grown its roots into me whenever I tried to fight it, going down was always easy than coming back up. I was totally possessed by my companion.

I almost forgot to introduce you to my companion,
Its name is “Depression”.

Almost everyone feels down and sad from time to time like failing an exam, losing a good job, having a fight with your mother or your best friend, a winter night, sometimes even a rainy day makes you feel down or sad. Sometimes there’s no reason at all the sadness it just pops out of the blue and vanishes like the feeling was never there in the first place. Depression is different, feeling a bit sad or down from time to time isn’t depression. Depression is a mental disorder it doesn’t leave just because you want it to. Depression is like a darkness that creeps over you and fills you up from the inside, it drains all your emotions, it takes everything from you leaving you feeling hollow and numb. It’s not sadness or anger, its hopelessness. Imagine yourself walking on a road not seeing any colures. Walking outside on a rainy day and not even feeling a single drop of water. Being with someone but feeling completely alone at the same time. It’s like feeling alone in a room full of people you love. It’s not a bad mood it’s not a sad feeling it’s a mental disorder that leaves you with a feeling of emptiness severe despondency hopelessness, anxiousness. A person who is depressed faces a feeling of guilt, worthlessness, and helplessness. It is an illness that involves the body, mood and thoughts and it affects the way a person eats sleeps or thinks. Symptoms of depression mainly include intense feelings of guilt, recurrent thoughts of suicide, slow speech and body movement, inability to function well at school, jobs or at home and having a loss of interest in the things you used to love.

People with depression cannot merely put themselves together and get better without treatment the symptoms can last for weeks, months and even years. The depressed mind often losses perspective and sometimes advocates permanent solutions to intense emotional pain, so most important of all if you know anyone with depression stop telling them that there’s always someone worse off than them, or they should let this go, or they don’t want to get out of this phase, don’t tell them to stop feeling sorry for themselves. Because it won’t help it will only make it worse for the person who’s struggling through this disorder the least you can do is just be with them talk to them in the most polite way you so you make them feel worthy and loved tell them you’re there to help them and they are not in this thing alone. Because maybe a single word of sweetness might stop them from ending their lives. Be there for them. Hold them. Surprise them. Tell them they are not what depression hs made them. Tell them you’re here for them and be there for them. Show them love show them care. Listen to their never-ending rants. Just listen.
There are several causes of being depressed like some tragic life event, childhood trauma, being abused or assaulted, being diagnosed with a life-threatening condition, or it can be genetically caused. Some people have noticeable changes in their brains with depression. Even though this potential cause isn’t understood, it does suggest that depression starts with the functioning of the brain. Similarly, some psychiatrists look at brain chemistry with cases of depression. Neurotransmitters in the brain specifically serotonin, dopamine, or norepinephrine affect feelings of happiness and pleasure and may be out of balance in people with depression. Antidepressants work to balance these neurotransmitters, mainly serotonin. Changes in hormone production or functioning could also lead to the onset of depressive states. Depression comes from sadness and complexities. For me, the main cause of depression was our society, the society, the environment we live in. For example if a child scores a bad percentage in his result he is called dull, stupid by the society just because he can’t score a result more than 70%, if a teenager guy cries because he feels sad our own society starts mocking him with the statement “men don’t cry” I mean aren’t they human? Don’t they feel sad? And can’t a person be bad in studies? Maybe he excels in something else. But no our society will never appreciate that instead, it will make you feel bad about whatever you do because of some old-fashioned thinking.

A person who has depression face it all and make his or her life difficult to a huge extent but is afraid to talk about it. why? It is the association of shame attached to it. Why do we take depression as a social stigma? Why is it so hard to tell someone that I feel insecure or I feel hopeless? Because you don’t want to be made fun of, you do not want to be isolated, God Forbid, you do not want to fall outside the restrictive definition of being “normal”. The NIMH estimates that in the United States, 16 million adults had at least one major depressive episode in 2012. That’s 6.9 percent of the population. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression and It is a leading cause of disability. Wretchedness or depression is more than simply feeling “down. Help the ones who spent their whole life in this torture. Be with them. Help them.
At the end I’ll just quote a famous saying for the people going through depression:
“A pearl is a beautiful thing that is produced by an injured life. It is the tear [that results] from the injury of the oyster. The treasure of our being in this world is also produced by an injured life. If we had not been wounded, if we had not been injured, then we will not produce the pearl.”
— Stephan Hoeller
STAY STRONG

written by: Maheera Shafiq

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