Before I started my therapy in the psychosomatic hospital where I still am right now, I went to school and on one of my last days, we talked about the topic depression. I could have killed everyone in the classroom. Depression is when you’re sad all the time, the teacher explained. And sometimes you don’t feel anything at all. And a student responded, then I have depression too! The class laughed and others agreed with him. Why is depression even an illness?, someone asked. We’re all sad sometimes. And I felt the urge to scream. When I think back, I know I should’ve stood up and tell them what it really means to be suffering from depression.
I would have said:
Do you wanna know what it’s like with depression? It’s like drowning. Expect you can see everyone around you breathing. You’re in a huge dark ocean and you’re struggling and struggling so hard, but no matter how hard you try, you just can’t reach the surface. You cannot swim. And while you’re drowning, you try to scream, but you can’t because only water fills your lungs. And you’re suffering down there and nobody can see anything. They just see the ocean’s still surface. Not what lies underneath. When you’re suffering from depression, it’s not just sadness. That’s not what it feels like. It’s living with a constant pain, the water in the ocean, that pulls you down every single day. And you try so hard, but you just can’t fight it. Sometimes you think it gets better, but it just takes a break. And then it comes back and it crashes down like a wave and makes you lose the floor under your feet. You can take pills and numb the pain, but it won’t fade away.
But I couldn’t. I just sat there, dying inside.