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From Our Readers: What It's Like Living with Depression

It's different from sadness.
PHOTO Sony Pictures Classics ART Clare Magno

What is it like living with depression?

Simple, it is never easy. Depression is so different from sadness. I wish people know the differenct between the two. Many peopl are experiencing depression and yet we are not yet aware about this. Mental health needs attention, we should raise our awareness and help where we could. We should open our hearts and minds about depression.

When you're living with depression, you want to shut people away from you and yet there's this feeling inside that you don't want to be left behind or you don't want to be alone. I know, its complicated. But isn't the mind really complicated as it is?

When you're living with depression, you have a difficulty in concentrating. Your thoughts would sometimes drown you with sad memories. When you're living with depression, you feel tired or restless even though you are not doing anything. You feel irritable and you sometimes, you just don't know why.

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When you're living with depression, you over eat or you lose your appetite. When you're living with depression, you feel hopeless and you feel bad about yourself. When you're living with depression, you lose interest in the things that once made you happy. When you're living with depression, you sometimes think of just ending everything in a blink of an eye.

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Living with depression is a difficult thing. But, always remember that "there's always a rainbow, after the rain". Don't lose hope. Get some help. Speak up about what you are feeling. Tell your family, tell your best friend. Enjoy life. Open yourself to new possibilities.

And don't forget to breathe.

Are you going through depression or anything you think you can't handle? There's a safe space for you to talk about what you're going through. Call 804-HOPE (4673).

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Sometimes we cannot tell anyone what we feel, and think. It's hard especially when you do not want anyone around you to worry. Why not turn your feelings and thoughts into something creative, like a poem? That's what I did several years ago while going through some hard times during my college years.

Here's a sample:

"Pressure"

College has started.

I was excited since then.

Meeting new people,

And creating more friends.

Different schedules every semester,

Sometimes overload, sometimes not.

New classmates every subject,

Some may be friends, some may not.

But the excitement disappears

When the pressure gets in.

Stress finds its way

To ruin my system.

Countless sleepless nights

Countless cramming days

When exams are getting nearer

You’ll maybe experience those.

For an average student like me

It’s so hard to settle things.

Though you tried your best,

Still you feel being a failure.

Sometimes giving up became a choice;

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Sometimes dropping became an idea.

But what‘s with those ideas?

They’ll never be an option.

The feeling that you want to stop,

The same feeling that you want to finish.

They are all stuck in your mind,

Like you’re giving up but cannot.//

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Have you been on this kind of state as well? If yes, I hope you find healing from this. Yes, nothing in this world seems easy but we can still find a way out and deal with our feelings in every creative way we can. Fighting!

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When everything around you suddenly turns dark, the first thing we'd prolly do, as humans, is to find and grab anything that is closest and nearest to us. We'll hold onto them for as long as we can, trying to collect ourselves and gather courage to adjust our eyesights to the pitch black environment that's consuming us minute by minute. And then you'd hear nothing. Your sense of hearing would somehow go off after not seeing anything for quite awhile. You'll let loose. Cry. Panic. You'll be exhausted for fighting your way out. Then just when you're about to stop and give up, you're no longer afraid. There's only this deafening silence and pithole of darkness that's gonna eat you up alive. And surprisingly, you'll make a home out of it.

You'll make a home out of the darkness that when a ray of light suddenly hits you, you'll try to avoid it. You'll try to cover your eyes. You'll try to cover your ears from the voices trying to help you get out of it. You'll try to hide because your mind and body will go against your will to come out and live. Because the darkness that used to scare you, now comforts you in a way you thought has helped you survived life. And you'll try to live. Day by day. In the darkness. Not knowing where to go. Not knowing where to start. Not knowing who is with you. You will try to live until the darkness that once surrounds you is now within you. And everyday, it's gonna be a cycle of subtle torture. But let me tell you a secret. The darkness won't make you whole.

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You'll be broken. And in those hair-like cracks, the light will stubbornly fight its way through until it warms you up. Until you realize to check the switch and turn it on. Until you allow other people to help you find your way back in the light. Until you realize you're ready to live in light again. There's a light at the end of this long and dreading tunnel. The only question that matters: will you let them in?

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