Headshots

I’m not talking about fancy portrait photos or a sweet kill in CoD.

I’m talking about the feeling of complete lack of control over your emotions that makes your head pound and feel like it’s going to burst. You want to smash your skull against a thick brick wall just to ease the pressure. Every word out of your mouth tastes sour, not what you meant to say. You can’t see anymore because either you’re crying too hard, or you just can’t focus.

I’ll be frank (as I generally am) and try to avoid melodrama. I’m depressed. Legitimately, full-blown, diagnosed-with, major depressive disorder. I’m currently taking medication to treat the suicidal ideation, anxiety, mood swings (no, I’m not bipolar), and overall lack of interest in life. One day I hope to no longer need that medication, because I strongly believe that there are other ways to treat psychological disorders that do not benefit corrupt pharmaceutical companies.

I’m writing about this because I need to put the thoughts down into permanent words that will remain, even if years from now I forget how I’m feeling in this moment.

In the worst moments of my depressive episodes (that’s what it’s called when you have extreme bouts of depression, which could be spaced over months or years, as opposed to dysthymia, which is characterized by feelings of depression over a long period of time, but with less severe symptoms. Sorry, I’ll stop teaching and just talk) I have to remind myself that I’m not alone. I mean, the map says something, right?

Age-standardised disability-adjusted life year...

Age-standardised disability-adjusted life year (DALY) rates from Unipolar depressive disorders by country (per 100,000 inhabitants). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How do I deal with it? Reading mostly. I let myself drift into a different world and see through another’s eyes. I’ve started exercising more (believe me, kickboxing does wonders for releasing tension). I’ve found ways to talk about my issues with others instead of just holding them in until my head wants to burst. Like I said, I take medication – two different pills as a matter of fact – but that’s not always reliable. I utilize the counseling center at my university for free counseling (both group and individual). Sometimes nothing works, and those are the days that I really need support from others.

What’s so unfortunate about our society is that much like our understanding of cultures different from our own, America is sorely lacking in understanding mental disorders. When you get a degree in psychology, this is one of the first things they teach you. What America needs is an education. But you already knew that…

If you suffer from depression, I know what you’re feeling on a day-to-day basis. I know that feeling of guilt you get when you consider injuring yourself, or worse. Just thinking about it can be crippling to the point that you don’t think that there’s any way you could possibly climb out of the hole you’ve fallen into. Not jumped, fallen. It’s NOT YOUR FAULT. Maybe I risk sounding like a broken record, but I don’t care. It’s important that you drill that into your head. Your neurons are firing incorrectly, period. Got that?

But the next thing I’m going to say might be hard to swallow. You need to get help. For your safety, the safety of your friends, family, the safety of the future that you CAN achieve. Period. If you don’t think that there’s anyone out there that can help, the first thing you can do is email me. I’m not licensed as I psychiatrist, so I can’t help you in that way, but what I can do is commiserate AND point you in the right direction.

I got through this, and even though it’s an uphill battle, so can you.

If you’re a friend of someone who you know, or even suspect, is suffering in any of the ways I’ve described, get them help. Do it, it’s important. Even contact me at the bottom of this post if you’d like.

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

%d bloggers like this: