Depression Through the Eyes of Three Twenty-Somethings

by “Dopey,” “Happy,” and “Grumpy”

Depression affects people from all walks of life, yet few people are willing to talk about it openly. These three young women who have experienced it firsthand are here to share their stories.

“Dopey” has suffered from depression for six years and still struggles to cope:

I know what it’s like.

I know how it feels.

I am a soldier, fighting myself.

Many a night, I sit on my loveseat, staring blankly at my computer screen in front of me. My TV is white noise in my ears as I click from one website to another, seeing things I have already seen. My clock clicks past another minute, and distantly I know things I could do: sleep, read, write draw; do homework, chores, exercises—do anything! But I don’t. I sit there and go back to a website my eyes have scanned ten times already today. The sun shines through the window behind me where two adorable kittens nap and a breeze brings the smell of lilacs wafting into my room—my absolute favorite flower. Yet I take little notice.

My mind is far within myself, surrounded by both darkness and nothing at all. I’m teetering on the edge of a narrow stair, unstable in my emotions. If I fall, I’ll be unreasonable, sensitive, and inexplicably angry. I will be unable to deal with anything and turn to my unhealthy coping mechanism—turning into a lump in my room, doing nothing when there is everything to be done.

“Happy” has recovered from depression, but it once inhibited her happiness:

I am surround by a sea of people, but I feel alone.

As I came home from school, I ran to my room. I didn’t want to see or talk to anybody. I just wanted to be a rock, so I wouldn’t feel what I was feeling.

Every day that I woke up to go to school I had to ward myself. Another day I had to deal with those comments from my classmates. I was being bullied just because I was different. Being bullied at a young age caused me to be depressed for a very long time. I would go home crying every day and tell my mother what everybody was saying to me at school. She would say, “Honey you are just being sensitive, their words can’t harm you.” Their words did harm me in a way that I can’t even explain. Nobody in family understood what I was going through.

“Grumpy” suffered from depression throughout her adolescent and teen years:

Depression. Having experienced it and suffered through it myself, I know how it feels. It affects every part of your life. Family. School. Relationships. Most of all, it affects the way you think about yourself. It consumes your entire life; it swallows you whole.

This is how it affected my life: I withdrew from my family. The people closest to me, those who had known me my entire life, couldn’t save me from myself. I have a family history of depression, but it seemed like no one could possibly understand my feelings. My grades in school suffered. I had always been an “A” student, but my grades started slipping. I failed classes. This was very unlike me. I never wanted to hang out with my friends. I felt like they couldn’t possibly want to spend time with someone like me. I stopped calling them and avoided all contact, tarnishing the relationships I had with them permanently. I couldn’t hold a serious romantic relationship. I didn’t think anyone would like me for anything other than sex, so I allowed myself to be used and abused. I struggled for years, wondering if I would ever find the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.

My life was a jigsaw puzzle that I couldn’t put back together on my own. I finally sought help. I started working with a psychiatrist to find an effective combination of antidepressants and began talking to a therapist once a week. Now I feel better than I have in years. I’m close with my family again, I’m doing well in school, I actually speak to my friends on a regular basis, and I’m in a wonderful relationship. I finally finished the jigsaw puzzle. Now that all the pieces are together, I see that they make up a picture of my future. That future is looking brighter every day.

These brave women shared their stories. Don’t be afraid to share yours.


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