I’ve written before about my depression, but I’ve never shared my full story. I want this post to be a story about how kids can accurately tell you what’s wrong with them, and that depression is no less of a pain to your mental health because you’re younger.
If you want to continue reading, go ahead. I will warn that there are going to be some dark topics brought up in the post, so if that’s not for you, check out the rest of my blog.
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When It Began
I remember clearly the first time someone actually brought up depression to me. It was my best friend at the time. We were in 5th or 6th grade, making me around 10-11. We were writing notes back and forth between each other during class and I mentioned how I felt like crying all the time. I remember her response so clearly:
Her: “I think you have the D word”
Me: “What’s the D word?”
It made me realize that wanting to cry all the time wasn’t okay. It made a lot of things come together, but at the time, my home life wasn’t the best. My parents fought a lot, and I was scared a lot. I wrote a post about some of the things I learned from being raised by my parents and that barely covers things.
There was a moment around then where I thought I was going insane. I was grounded. For most people, grounding isn’t that bad. It’s for a week or two and you can’t do a few things. My grounding was different. It was… like solitary confinement. I couldn’t do anything. It’s easier for me to list the things I could do than those I couldn’t. I could read my school books, sleep, and eat. That was it. Oh, and it always started out as a 3 month span. I don’t think it ever made it to 3 months because my mother would plead my case or it was forgotten about.
So needless to say my home life wasn’t the greatest. Because of this I didn’t have much luck with school either. I was bullied a lot, but mostly by the girls. The guys would have their jabs every so often, but the main portion of my torment came from the girls in my class. Girls are clique-y to no end, especially at that age. I wasn’t part of those cliques.
The peak was during one day in class. I can’t remember the exact moment that caused the reaction, but I responded to a note saying not to expect me in class the next day. I think it was an empty threat. As empty a threat as someone who really didn’t want to exist and was afraid of dying and upsetting my parents could be.
I was then called down to the nurse’s office where I was questioned by a school psychiatrist. I denied everything. Despite being so depressed, being so sick, I wasn’t allowed to mention anything to anyone. My parents didn’t want to believe I was depressed. My mother even told me such. I even remember my dad making fun of me when I got home from school that day, calling me his “psycho daughter”.
I don’t think he knew how to handle a child child. He’s much better and surprisingly understanding as an adult now.
It wasn’t until I was in college that I finally got help, and even then, the help I got was only in the form of therapy. I can’t remember the frequency.
While it felt nice to be able to talk to someone about my problems, the depression, and now anxiety I had been plagued with for years was still going untreated. The most common sentence I was told when growing up was “calm down” because my anxiety would have me go overboard when anything altered from the norm.
I finally got some help later that year when I went home for my first summer. I was able to see a psychiatrist, but no therapist at this time. I was finally being medicated, and I was heavily medicated. But I needed it.
However, my medications needed to be adjusted a few times. I remember calling my mother because I had misplaced an assignment and I was freaking out. I freaked out so much I just fell to the floor crying because I couldn’t find a paper… that was misplaced in my backpack… I needed more help.
It wasn’t until I graduated from college that I was able to see someone who offered both psychiatric and therapeutic care. Unfortunately, he seemed to be in his 70s or 80s when I saw him, and was very out of touch of the problems I was facing, such as unemployment and the inability to find a job. I knew I had to change doctors for the sake of my mental health when I called his office during a lunch break because I was having suicidal thoughts for the first time in years. The reception/secretary asked if I could wait a week for my next appointment.
I finally found a good combination of therapy and psychiatry after that. That lasted for a year or so until both were offered jobs in a hospital with better house/closer to home/etc.
That landed me where I am now. I love my therapist, she’s a lovely woman and very understanding. But she’s also able to tell me when she thinks I’m doing something that might be hurting myself. My psychiatrist is a different story. She’s very by the book. Very. And she’s not open to the idea of CBD as an option of extra help, despite how helpful it’s been for me. I understand her concern, and I’ll be having a good think about changing doctors with my therapist soon. Not every doctor is good for every person. Sometimes we outgrow doctors.
Related: Mile High Cure CBD Gummies: Review
Now and the Future
If you’ve read anything on my blog, you might know that this hasn’t been an easy journey. I had a moment a few years ago where I felt the depression coming back. My world was starting to crumble internally again. But it wasn’t actually depression. Not really anyway. I was having depression symptoms caused my hypothyroidism that I go over in more detail in my post When Depression Isn’t Really Depression.
I haven’t had much of a hiccup more than needing to add more medication to my daily routine that I talk about dealing with the same and guilt of needing to be more medicated in my post Adding Medication to your Depression Care is NOT a Bad Thing. Because needing help isn’t something to be ashamed of.
I’m setting boundaries I was afraid of doing for years, I’m productive not and my blog has goals! Life feels great and it’s taken decades of trying and pleading and finally being medicated that got me to where I am today.
I want this to be a story that others can read and know they aren’t alone. I want parents to read this and realize that even if you think your child is “too young” for something as serious as depression, they very well can need help, especially if there is a family history of mental health problems.
I know this is an abridged version of things, but it’s about as much as I’m comfortable sharing, along with what I can actually remember. The stress of my childhood has me blocked out a lot of it. And it’s a lot easier to remember the bad times than the good times.
So in closing, I want you to know that there’s no shame in needing help, no matter how old you are.
Have you had an experience with depression? Would you like to share your story? Let me know in the comments!