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According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Depression is defined as “a serious medical condition in which a person feels very sad, hopeless, and unimportant and often is unable to live in a normal way.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, Depression “is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems”.

As some of you may or may not know, I was diagnosed with severe depression at the end of last year. It is a hard feeling and state to describe, but it is my understanding that many suffer from it whether at a young age or into adulthood. I hope that my story will help those who are depressed and give insight to those who are not.

It is, in my opinion, that depression occurs differently in every person. I remember telling a good friend of mine that I was depressed to which he responded, “Oh, I understand what you’re feeling.”

I paused and replied, “No, you don’t, but thank you for being there for me.”

Depression, experienced by many, is not just a general term to describe one “feeling”. I feel like people think that this umbrella term can describe exactly what goes into a mental condition like that. I think that depression is experienced in many ways for many different reasons.

Now I am no doctor, but I know that my depression is not the same depression that some of my friends have. My depression is not something that can easily be swept under the rug or just dealt with (which is what I had done for many years). There is a breaking point. A point in which I thought to myself, “Enough. You cannot keep going through life like this.” Just like you hear about addiction, the first step for me was to admit that I had a problem. From there, I could seek help. Thankfully I am surrounded by the best of friends and a loving family so seeking help was not hard.

Depression for me, in what words I can conjure up, was: Loneliness. Paranoia. Anxiety. Over analyzation. Sadness. And so. Much. More.

I was an emotional mess. Many who knew me through high school probably never thought much of it; I was the “high functioning” type of depressed. If they could see me now, they would realize how bad it was.

I went through periods of feeling complete hatred for myself, to being anxious and paranoid about everything and everyone’s opinions, to isolating and ostracizing myself from others. Depression caused my moods to shift from 0 to 100 very quickly; it caused me to be easily triggered. One thought in my head could quickly spiral into a negative nagging thought for the rest of the day, or even couple of days. Depression was creating a toxic, dangerous headspace for myself. I did not feel safe in my own mind.

Crazy, right?!

After therapy sessions, I found the root of my depression was probably my anxiety. My fear and worry of what others thought, what may or may not happen, what would happen in the end. I over analyzed EVERYTHING to the point that it created a downward spiral. It took a while to learn to love myself; something that I could easily say and speak about, but could never achieve. Finding the little things that made me me and embracing them was the first step toward healing. It is something I am still working on, but progress is progress and I have been making it.

My depression is something that I have to constantly work on. My self-esteem, my confidence, my trust, my expectations, my mind all are things that will nag at me consistently. It is only when I can learn to silence the negative, toxic thoughts that I can fully live at my full potential.

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