Reflection on depression: Amy Alkhafaji

Many people refer to depression as just another obstacle. But it is not something you can just get over; depression drains you mentally, physically, and emotionally. Depression doesn’t always hit at 2:00 a.m., sometimes it hits you at 2:00 p.m. when you’re with friends—when you’re halfway through a laugh, and you just stop. Nothing is funny anymore. The first and most important thing is to be able to talk to someone, whether you go to a friend, parent, or straight to a therapist. I waited far too long before I decided to seek professional help. I wish I’d done it sooner. It can be easy to stop reaching out for help, especially if you are having a good few months and feel like you don’t need it. You think you can control it, and then one day you can’t. I waited until my depression got to the point at which I no longer wanted to have a social life and withdrew myself from all my friends. I was okay with being detrimentally reclusive. Sometimes I would lie in bed and hope to fall asleep before I’d fall apart. However, this only made me worse. I knew I wasn’t okay, but I thought I had my depression under control—I thought it was only a phase. I believed happiness wasn’t an option for me and I grew emotionally attached to others who were going through the same things as I; that’s where I went wrong. Eventually, things got out of hand and I found myself in Carrier Clinic Mental Facility. I learned that depression isn’t always popping pills, downing whisky, or slicing veins; sometimes it’s crossing the street without looking; sometimes it’s not wearing a seat belt.

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