Written by: Mariam El Ansary
A lot of different thoughts will come to your mind when you hear this word. Perhaps eating chocolate, ice-cream, or maybe not eating at all, crying all day long and wanting to stay in bed, not wanting to see or talk to anyone. Losing a friend. A fight with your parents. A heartbreak.
Well that’s all true, however depression is just much more than only sadness. It’s long sleepless nights of overthinking and internal battles that never come to an end. None of the voices that are fighting inside your head seem to win; they just keep fighting to tear you apart. They leave you confused, not knowing how or what to feel!
Depression never comes alone; it just never leaves its friends anxiety, self-harm, and eating disorders behind. Yet if you’re lucky enough, it might invite them all to join that party it hosted in your mind.
Sadly, people just don’t understand when depression hits home. No matter how hard they try, they just don’t and never will understand how difficult it actually is. The ugly truth is that depression is a mask, a mask that changes you into someone different, someone that no one recognizes, not even you. Like it or not, at this point, you can’t blame people for hating you or getting mad that you changed because somehow you don’t like yourself that much either. There are people who show compassion and try to sympathize, and others who accuse you for your actions and give you a hard time for your eating disorder and self-harm. But at the end of the day, no one knows how to fully deal with you.
Surprisingly you think that all of this is your fault. That you’re a failure. That you’re a weary load, a ball and a chain, a punishment and a responsibility for everyone around you. You feel alone, scared and trapped; trapped in your own mind drowning in your sea of thoughts with no one to save you. Oh well and that’s when you start doing things to yourself, like cutting, to escape. You believe that this is your only way out; these few minutes of calmness and comfort mean everything to you and that’s because deep down in your mind you believe that you deserve to be punished, that you deserve to feel everything bad and nothing good. You believe that there is no hope, no reason to hold on and deep inside you think that this is your way out. You attempt it many times but you fail. Great, now you feel more of a failure.
You then get the idea to tell some people all about it, but sorrowfully you don’t get the reaction you expected, the reaction you wished and waited for. Unexpectedly, the only result you get is your soul feeling even more tortured. Now you feel more trapped, living on this planet as an invisible human being, not knowing where to go or what to do anymore. Living without a purpose or goals just because you believe that you will never achieve them anyway, not even in a million years.
Quick note: Just because the word depression is commonly used these days instead of the word sadness doesn’t mean they are the same; they are not and never will be! As a start you need to know and understand the difference clearly before you underestimate or make fun of someone’s mental illness. Believe it or not your judgement means a lot to them; you can’t imagine what it does to them on the inside.
Going out, going to school/college, a sleepover, anywhere actually, all you can think about is depression; what people think of you, what people say about you, and how will this affect you. A lot of people suffer in silence. They choose to pretend to be okay, to wear a smile that hides it all, a mask that hides their fears. They choose to laugh louder to hide their tears. They just choose to fake being okay, while it’s okay not to be okay. So don’t judge people. Don’t encourage them to gain or lose weight because maybe just maybe they have an eating disorder, and after all we don’t know what these people are secretly going through.
Maybe this will change the way you act around people or maybe not, but actually it doesn’t really matter anymore. Just keep it in mind to watch out what to say to those around you even if they seem perfectly okay to you. I believe that here in Egypt we need to spread more awareness about mental illness as it’s not taken seriously.
To anyone who’s reading this and to anyone who’s suffering in silence, know that you are a fighter. You aren’t alone; we’re in this together. Yes it does get better, and no human being deserves to suffer in silence. Speak up; it’s not your fault. And again it’s okay not to be okay.
This is me. This is you. This is us. I didn’t choose this. You didn’t choose this. We didn’t choose this. This happened to me. This happened to you. This happened to us and we will learn to deal with it in a country that stigmatizes mental illness.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
#mental_illness #awareness #depression