By Ellen Cleary
I resent depression for cropping up and stealing from me those moments which should have been my happiest. It doesn’t pick its days. It’s there when you have a free day and when you don’t.
For a long time, I even wondered whether I had it at all. I would find the courage to confide in someone and they’d tell me “Don’t worry about it, everyone has down days” – but when you look back on your week and realise the majority of it has been days where you feel an enormous sense of emptiness and you struggled to get washed and dressed, you may start to realise that you have a problem.
The first time I went to the doctor’s, I was hoping they would prescribe me something, but instead I was recommended to talk to someone else. It seemed to me that unless you said you were having daily suicidal thoughts, a doctor would be a bit of a loss.
I then wondered if taking pills would really change me. What if being like this was just part of my personality? What if I secretly wanted to be depressed and was scared to be anything different?
What if I became reliant on them just to feel anything at all?
Now I take Citalopram everyday and have done for the last six months. I hid it from my parents at first because I didn’t want them to worry about me and I thought they’d think I was too young to be putting these things in my body. Things are slowly getting better, but every now and then I feel it come back. That is the worst part for me, because I can see that I have so many great things in my life now – a supportive family and boyfriend, a job I like – but I still can’t be happy. I sometimes wonder whether I am better or whether I’ve just become a lot better at covering it up. I struggle with the injustice of it.
Having depression is a long and slow process and for all the progress you make, it can be snatched from you and you can feel like you’re back at square one the very next day. In the end, all anyone really wants is to truly be happy. That’s what I want, too. I still have faith that I really can be.