A few months ago, back when I was in counseling, I learned several things about depression. The symptoms and mentalities associated with this disorder, all things I was completely ignorant to. According to my counselor (and my doctor, and pretty much any other professional who examined me) I've been going through depression for several years now. Several years. Several years and I never even had a clue what was wrong with me until a few months ago. I know more now, about the symptoms and how to deal with them. However, this is still all so sudden. I mean, I've had depression for several years without even knowing it and it had shaped how I think, whether I knew it or not. Even after all I've learned these past few months it's just not that simple trying to shake the mentalities I've been developing over the course of several years. Case in point, my pain. One of the reasons I think my depression got so bad in the first place was because I never told anyone my feelings. My stresses, my pains, my emotions, I kept it all inside all these years. After all, I can't bother my friends and family with my insignificant problems. For years I've been telling myself my feeling a little sad was nothing compared to what my friends were going through. How could I honestly look anyone in the eye and say "I feel bad today, please help me", when I have friends dealing with chronic illness, homelessness, mental disorders, abuse, debt, addiction, injuries, unemployment and other real problems? For years I told myself to just get over my problems, others have it far worse. I ignored and suppressed my feelings until after a while I just stopped caring. About myself, about fixing my problems, my life, my health, about everything. Then I reached the breaking point. Then I had no choice but to seek help. Then I found out about depression. I know now that I shouldn't devalue my own problems just because someone else has it worse. I know now that depression can often be a neurological disorder with no clear cause. I know now that depression can have me switching between a laughing party animal one day and feeling lethargic and hopeless the next. But still, despite knowing all this, I still find myself belittling my problems and feelings in the face of my friends struggles like I've done for years. I need to break this conditioned mindset.
But it will take some time. Time that I fear is running out.
I know people out there will listen, no matter what the voices in my head say.