My Struggle with Major Depressive Disorder
Before you read this article:
Trigger warning: This article talks about depression, anxiety, suicide, and self-harm. If these things are triggering to you, please refrain from reading the article. Thank you.
Where It Started: 5 Years Ago
Five year ago, I was fourteen.
During March 2015, I got in to a big fight with my parents that ended up with my mom ignoring me for a whole month. She would not even look at me.
As someone that young, it was hard for me live my every day life knowing that someone I love is mad at me. I got in to thinking, "does she still love my anymore?", "does she still care about me?", and I knew that she was the one in the wrong, yet, I asked myself "what can I do to make the situation better?"
This is where it all started.
I wake up at 5:00 am for school, I get dressed, I eat and we don't speak. That became my routine. I get home at 3:00 pm, I eat dinner, we do not speak. My thoughts were my only companion during that time because all of my three siblings knew what happened between me and my mom. One was too young to comprehend what happened, one was at the seminary, and one was a nursing student - my sister.
I would stay up late everyday crying myself to sleep because I could not take the overwhelming feeling and thought that my mom does not love me anymore, that she does not care for me anymore. It was something I thought of during most of my days when I was 15. I hated going home, so instead, I go out to the mall with my friends until 7:00 pm because I thought "she does not care about me, she would not care if I get lost of get kidnapped, nothing." Whenever I get home late, she would just look at me coming in and surprise, nothing.
The overwhelming feeling of being so unloved and at the same time, being so anxious every time I was at home made me feel so unimportant. The feeling was too much that I started cutting myself at that age to release all of my sadness and just all of the emotions I was feeling. I was fourteen, turning fifteen that year.
The first time I did it, it hurt a lot but I did it so many more times until my arm was numb and there was no space for more. I started writing suicide letters, I started leaving my friendship groups slowly, I started fading.
One day, I left my suicide notes in the pages of my favorite books. That same day, I went to the hardware store to look for some rope, but it was too expensive for me. I remember it so vividly - how disappointed I was, but deep inside, I was relieved that it would not happen.
I spent my night that day looking at possible places I could hang myself and with what rope alternative until I fall asleep. Every day, I would daydream about my reconciliation with my mom; but every night I would dream of being gone, and them crying over my lifeless body.
This is Where it Got Better - But Not Really
The thing is, I was too scared to die. I would do things that harm myself but without the intention of killing myself.
Because I had dreams. I was a dreamer. My dreams were the only thing I clung to. I wished for better days, I wished for better days, better days, better days.
I remember going to school with a big gauze on my arm and my best friend in eight grade knew I was self-harming, and instead of supporting me, she said "if you want to kill yourself, slit your throat, not your wrist or arms" and then left. It broke me even more hearing it from her, but I stayed with her because she is a strong woman and being with her makes me forget about my problems for a while. With her, I could breathe freely again, without the overwhelming feelings and thoughts (we're still the best of friends today).
I knew I was depressed, I knew the anxiety was bad, but I did not love myself enough to tell myself "this is not what a fourteen year old should feel. Go seek a professional help. Talk to your mom, maybe she will understand."
One night, someone woke me up from my sleep at around 11:00 pm, I woke up and noticed that my sister was not beside me - it was my mom. She directly asked me, "what's that on your arm?" she asked me repeatedly and I stayed quiet.
How would you tell the woman you love that all of these was because of how she made me feel?
How would you tell the woman you love that she caused these?
Instead of telling her the truth, I told her it is because I was stressed at school.
She cried and told me how pathetic and low of a person I am. She then proceeded to tell me the story of how harder things were for her back in the days.
I was there, listening to her, but not really listening. I was mentally absent because i do not care about your story, mom. In the end, I was the one who said sorry because, I hurt my mom.
The day after that, she started talking to me again. We pretended like nothing happened, but that was good enough for me already. Going home made me feel less anxious, but then, I noticed how dark my thoughts were, I started having constant urges to harm myself every time I feel something negative - I gave in to these urges and it became an addiction.
I am nineteen, turning twenty in a couple months.
I decided to get professional help last September of 2019, I was diagnosed with chronic depression that eventually turned to major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. I told my parents about my therapy because I needed money. My dad did not believe in anything that I said to him about my condition because he thinks I just think too much. But my mom, the one that hurt me the most and caused me the most trauma, funded my therapy and my medicines. She supports me every time I go to therapy, and she looks after my mental health.
That is good enough for me.