My Battle With Depression
If you (or someone you know) need help or just want to talk to someone, you can get in touch with mental health facilities such as the UST Graduate School Psychotrauma Clinic, which offers free psychological services even to non-UST students.
It all started in June 2016, at the beginning of my one-month internship. I was only required to report in the office twice a week for just two hours. Most of the time, I was just alone in my dorm room so I was very bored and lonely. That's when my appetite sank and when I started losing weight.
Things got tougher for me when the school year started in August. We were required to come up with the first three chapters of our thesis in just two weeks. I didn't even have a topic in mind then. The fact that my other major subjects were so difficult didn't help either.
I realized that something was wrong with me when I spent a lot of time locked up in a bathroom cubicle, crying; when, every time I tried to work on my school requirements, my head buzzed; when I continued skipping meals and losing weight; when I spent more hours in a day asleep than awake; when it took me a week to do a one-page essay that I could've normally written in an hour; when I felt guilty for relaxing and having fun; when I got so mad at myself for being dysfunctional; and when I felt that there was no escaping the misery that I was experiencing. It was a cycle of guilt, anger, misery, and a constant state of hopelessness.
It was a cycle of guilt, anger, misery, and a constant state of hopelessness.
My breaking point was on the day my then boyfriend told me that we needed to talk. I received his text message while inside a veterinary laboratory, filming a swine autopsy. I tried to bargain. I asked if what we're going to talk about was good or bad because if it's something bad, I didn't want to hear it. But he insisted that I needed to.
Suddenly the room grew smaller and I found it hard to breathe. Tears pooled in my eyes and my classmates caught me staring into nothing. That's when they told me to take a break. The moment I left the laboratory, I removed my face mask, sank to the floor in the hallway, and started crying really hard. Good thing a friend (who's clinically diagnosed with depression) was there to comfort me. She made me open up about everything that was going wrong with me. She listened. And I listened to her story, too, afterwards. At the end of our conversation, when I already stopped weeping, she suggested a psychiatrist and her consultation hours. Suddenly I was brave enough to validate what I have been suspecting I have been going through.
But right before I was able to schedule an appointment, I saw a Facebook post telling people to refrain from describing ordinary emotions as depressed or bipolar. This is not the first time I saw a post like this; I've read a lot of posts saying that other people aren't allowed to use the word "depressed" because they don't know what it really feels like, or they haven't done a thorough study about it.
This discouraged me to have myself checked. What if my symptoms weren't enough to be called "clinical"? Does that mean that the misery I've been going through for months is nothing but an ordinary rage in emotions? Other than being rejected, I feared confirming that I do have depression. If I didn't know, if I wasn't diagnosed, I could just ignore it and shrug it off. But if I confirm it with an expert, it will be like carrying an elephant in every room I go to.
Other than being rejected, I feared confirming that I do have depression. If I didn't know, if I wasn't diagnosed, I could just ignore it and shrug it off. But if I confirm it with an expert, it will be like carrying an elephant in every room I go to.
I wasn't able to escape the stigma. Whenever I tell this story of how I got depressed, people would ask if I was clinically diagnosed. I could see the judgment in their faces whenever I say that I just knew that I was—as if it's not legitimate, as if it's some cool kids' club to have a medical record stating your right to be chronically sad. As if when you're not clinically diagnosed, your case wasn't depression at all and just some overreacting skit.
When the semester ended, I continued being a limp noodle at home. My parents scolded me for not eating and for not getting out of bed. I explained my condition but they didn't understand. It was so easy for them to call me lazy. They started taking me seriously when I started talking about my suicidal peers. I guess they got scared that I might get the same idea. But, truthfully speaking, I fear death.
They still did not acknowledge my condition for depression because to them, that's synonymous to their first-born child losing her mind. But they did make the extra effort to take me out shopping, allowing me go home past midnight, not complaining when I spend a week's worth of money in a day. It's like my parents lost their right to be parents over me because the slightest scolding might trigger me back to depression.
But I was thankful that they were patient and understanding in this sense. I hope they knew that I did those things not because I wanted to (because I know we're not rich to be living that lifestyle) but because I was trying to find happiness in anything and everything. I was trying to help myself.
Did I get over it? When 2017 came, I still found it hard to get out of bed and attend my classes. What I did was I forced myself to wake up very early and jog. I hoped that exercise would produce more happy hormones—and it somehow helped. I also focused on going easy on myself because I let myself suffer too much the past year. I worked on showing myself love and care.
Surprisingly, I rarely get into feeling depressed since 2017. I don't know what happened but I'm thankful that I can recognize hope again. I'm thankful that I can feel happiness without guilt again. I'm thankful that I'm slowly turning into myself again.
Things will get better.
To those who are still battling with depression, I know there's nothing I could say to make you feel lighter. But know that even if it's hard to believe, things will get better.
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Hi. These are just my thoughts that I put into words during this quarantine. I also miss the beach so much so I'm attaching the photo I took during my last beach trip. Thanks and stay safe! ???? ----
Lately, it has been a roller coaster ride of emotions. You were happy and then you just found yourself feeling empty and lost the next day. Sometimes, it occurs all at once. All the aversion and the doubts, the frustration, the feeling of not feeling anything but sadness. It's all gonna drown you. And it's not gonna be easy. You're gonna question all that you're doing- if in any case, you're achieving anything or if you're succeeding with the path that you take. You wonder if you're now heading to the right direction or still lost and wandering. We all fight these kind of thoughts and struggles.
In life, you can never be happy and content at all times. All the broken pieces will remain to be broken. You're still gonna breakdown at some point; you're still gonna cry. But don't be hopeless. Even though life is throwing you with so many reasons to give up, please fight. Don't be hopeless. I'm gonna agree with you, if you'll say "it's not easy" But none of the things that are worthwhile in life is ever easy.
I wish you well.
I know that right now, things are not okay. There's a deadly virus. You lost your job. You have no money and you have to pay your bills. You suddenly broke up with your boyfriend. You can't figure out what's going on. It's like you're facing blank walls and you're lost in a different world.
You are sad, confused and totally scared. But dear, you don't have to keep it all inside. You can talk about it. Telling your fears and troubles is not a bad thing. It's never wrong to be honest. It maybe frightening at first but it will make you feel better. Don't be afraid to ask for help. It took me a while to learn this. It was a complete struggle and I forced myself to believe that I was okay even if I was not.
For many years, I kept everything to myself. And it was very difficult to fight my battles alone. I even reached the point when I wanted to give up because I was already tired of all the fears, pains, rejections and disappointments. Until I have learned to accept that sometimes, things don't go our way. And it's okay to fail, to cry, to be different, to get angry, to feel negative emotions because it makes us human. Admitting that you're not okay and knowing that it's okay is your first step to healing.
You don't have to be perfect. You have nothing to prove to anyone. Your mistakes and failures do not make you any less. And if you're going through a hard time, talk to people you trust. Remember that your feeling is valid, no matter what it is. So, don't be afraid to show your emotions. Nothing is wrong with that. That's what I did and it really helped me a lot. Think of the things that make you happy. Do them all over again. Choose to relax and appreciate everything that you have. And don't forget to pray. Life is beautiful, so, always take care of yourself.
By: Jairus Gabriel A. Cardinoza
With the world suffering by crisis and chaos today, where everyone of us seems to be caged, may be in our home, in our thoughts, with our regrets, or even with someone whom we can never have, while sulking in our house with our home works and household choirs, there are those idle moments when I stop and stare into oblivion, I can’t help but to think about those moments where we are the happiest, or we are the most sad, we have our own highlights of our life, either our downfall or shortcomings, sometimes our triumphs, but how about those moments caught in between but played as much as important episode to those we remember the most?
Sometimes you can’t help but to think about those moments in between. We think that our life is built by big moments, but little do we realized how little they play in our lives, we barely even consider the little things, that made a huge impact in our lives, maybe it wasn’t about the medal you’ve got from winning an essay contest, but the stranger who let you borrow his/her pen because you forgot yours at home, maybe it wasn’t the brand new watch that your parents gave you as a present but the person that you saved unconsciously, asking you what time is it because he/she was worried he/she might be late for the class.
Admit it, or not, we have all took those moments for granted, those moments when everything is in between. In times like this, where a crisis is on the midst, our mind often wanders elsewhere, there will always be that moments that the silence of our room will be filled by the cacophonies of our thoughts that strangle us in the subtle ways. The only solace we could find in this misery is sometimes our memories, not the big ones but those moments we once thought idle, who would have guess that the last time you drink your favorite coffee was a month ago, or the comfort of your favorite street you passed after school, hoping you could meet the person you want to talked to accidentally, the way you rush to the favorite fast food chain after a tiring day, hoping for a cone of ice cream, our life will always be built by these moments.
There will always be something in between, that stiches two extremes into a one fine art, between love and pain, there is learning, the midnight always reminds us that yesterday is over but there is always a tomorrow waiting for us to rise, between our dreams and our failures, there is hope, the wisest person sometimes understand that life is a prism, it can blind us with all the colors and wonders of its side, but there is one source of light that made all those colors possible. Take a chance to be that light, that sees not only the parts that we hide, nor the highlights of our lives but those moments of everything in between.
TITLE: Good night
It was the morning of May 5; I went to the ICU to take the morning shift. I peeked from the sliding door and saw a female doctor and 3 nurses probably making their rounds. Half asleep, I entered the room not realizing what was happening. I sat in front of my grandma’s bed, waiting for the doctors to leave. My aunt was crying from the corner of the room, I thought that perhaps my grandma was deteriorating. Then the monitor on the upper left part of the bed kept beeping, then the lady in white coat announced “time of death 8:50”.
Everything froze, I didn’t understand a thing. I saw my aunt hug our grandma so tight, shaking out of grief and desperation. I sat there frozen and speechless, it was so surreal I thought it was a dream. My sister who was sitting beside me took a few heavy steps towards grandma’s bed. She hugged our grandma and whispered words lost in between her sobs.
When it was my time, I held her right hand, the hand I used to wipe and hold. It wasn’t cold, it was still warm, soft and wrinkly. The bruises from countless injections she endured. I pressed her hand trying to wake her up, more tears rolled when she wouldn’t respond. “Inang! Agriing kan a, bigaten!” (Granma wake up, it’s morning already) I wrapped my hands around her, she’s the same Inang I used to hug but this time she isn’t hugging me back. I tried to wake her up a couple more times more desperate than the last. I wanted to see those little eyes open again and look at me. I wanted her to ask me “apaya nakkong?” (why my dear?) once more. How about calling me miss Universe when she forgets my name. I loved her and will love her even if she calls me the wrong name.
I still remember the night she held my hands so tight she said “ haan nak panpanawan a, ta nu matay nak ket haan ko nga maymaysa.” (Please don’t leave me so that if I die, I will not be alone “I hope I fulfilled my promise to her I hope she didn’t die lonely but happy. The room was enveloped with grief engraved in the cries we made but in the middle of the room, there she lies. She laid still, she looked so serene and peaceful. It looked like she was having a good nap. It was the first time in years that I saw her sleep so tight.
After all the restless nights she can finally sleep. I wiped my tears as I marvel the way she looked. It was a painful but beautiful sight. I wanted her to wake up but how could I ask that if she looked so peaceful now? After all the pain she endured she is finally resting. I couldn’t ask her to come back when I know she’s in a better place. She is free now, free from pain and suffering. I stop waking her up and held her hand tightly, in between my cries I bid goodbye. To my dearest Inang Nani, go on find the light. I know Tatang and Tito are waiting for your arrival. Rest well Inang, Good night.
Loneliness that Turned into Beautiful Solitude
Are you one of those many people who experienced loneliness? The moment where you do not have someone else to rely on. Have you experienced it? Going home with a lot of thoughts running in your mind but no one was there to listen. Have you ever felt bad for yourself? In realizing that you were the only one left. When every one else was leaving. When most people around you have chosen others over you. Have you experienced the pain? The pain of being alone? A lot of people are afraid to be alone for various reasons. Some people says that they are just used to something that there is always someone out there for them. Someone who is always there. Someone who is always ready to accompany them in all. Someone who is always willing to stay. Stays in your best and most especially at your worst. While others simply do not have the courage to face the world of loneliness. I, experienced the pain of loneliness but gained a lot of benefit from it.
Living alone is not a simple thing for me to do but for me to survive and acquire proper education, I have to. I have to learn to live alone. In living alone, I had face a lot of difficulties. I encountered a lot of problems that were made to be fixed by many but was able to get it fixed by myself. Yes it was hard, it is hard. It was never easy to begin with. There will be times or days that it can make you drain and cause you countless sleepless nights. Yes, it is painful. But we have to realize that in loneliness, we can also find peace in ourselves. The "YOU". The genuine "YOU".
People are so afraid to experience loneliness. Most of us do not realize that with so much fear of being alone, we started to forget that good things come from being alone. As time pass by, I got used in solving problems by myself, I learned to live alone, I saw the "beauty of loneliness" that's how my loneliness slowly turned into beautiful solitude. As time passes by, I realized that there are a lot of good things that you can get in being alone. So, for those who are reading this, I hope you guys learn to appreciate the beauty of being alone.