Depression, according to Sandra Salmans in her book Depression: Questions You Have – Answers You Need, is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person’s thoughts, behavior, feelings and sense of well-being.
Furthermore, people with a depressed mood can feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, angry, ashamed or restless. They may lose interest in activities that were once pleasurable, experience loss of appetite or overeating, have problems concentrating, remembering details or making decisions, experience relationship difficulties and may contemplate, attempt or commit suicide. Insomnia, excessive sleeping, fatigue, aches, pains, digestive problems or reduced energy may also be present.
I have been battling depression as long as I can remember. I know I have been depressed ever since 2012. That was the year I know for sure that I have it.
Prior to fully accepting my fate, I only know that what I’m experiencing was extreme sadness. I was sad all the time back then. I was sad when I’m alone. I was sad when I’m around people. I always put on a happy face even though deep inside, I am so sad. I was in denial I guess. I was still in college then and I can’t accept that I have a mental health problem.
But after graduation, there’s no denying anymore. I can’t. It got worse you see. Before, I only felt sad but after that, suicidal thoughts started creeping into my mind. I contemplated in killing myself just to end my misery. I thought of scenarios that can conveniently end my life without me suffering for long. Yeah, I went there.
I thought of slitting my wrists but that would be too painful for me. Takot din ako sa dugo and it would take a lot of time for me to die. I thought of putting a bullet in my brain but that would be traumatic for my mother even though the firearm that my father owns is legal. It would be a lot of paperwork. Legal documents will be presented and I don’t want to burden my family with that. A lot of work that would be. Patay na nga ako tapos dadagdagan ko pa sila ng trabaho.
I thought of overdosing from pills and drugs but that’s messy too. I need prescription from a Doctor to get them and I don’t have access to one. I thought of jumping off a bridge but my body would be in bad shape afterwards. Pangit na nga ako tapos bali – bali pa ang mga buto ko. I thought of getting hit by a bus or a car but my body would also be in bad shape. Baka close casket pa ang mangyari.
I thought of scenarios but I thank God I never did act on them.
I got through most of the time because of my friends. I was in a bad place but through them, I got to see the good.
Then I got employed. I managed for a while until personal tragedies happened and I felt it again. It started to get bad last 2013.
There were times I only want to stay in bed. Walang kain, tulog, o ligo. Nakahiga lang ako, nakatulala. And somehow, I was okay with that. Malungkot ako at yun lang ang alam ko. Ayaw kong umalis sa hinihigaan ko. Gusto ko dun lang ako until i feel better.
May mga pagkakataon naman na gusto ko lang tumunganga. Umupo sa isang tabi, pagmasdan ang paligid at mag – isip ng existentialist na mga tanong. But I got through it again.
Then 2014 to 2016 happened. Ang daming problemang dumating. Nakabuo pa nga ako ng bagong habit to cope with the constant sadness I feel within me.
Sometimes, I would hop into a bus and ride it to whatever destination it would go to. I would then listen to sad songs. Minsan iiyak ako na parang tanga. Minsan sa sobrang pag – iyak wala ng luhang lumalabas. Sometimes, wala na akong maramdaman. Alam kong ineenable ko yung depression ko through the sad songs but I really don’t care. Doon lang ako nasasatisfy.
Minsan naman, sasakay ako ng jeep or van papuntang Lucban galing Lucena para makapag – isip. I would listen to sad songs also kasi medyo malayo yung pupuntahan ko. Siguro, 1 hour yung ride papunta dun. And when I get there, I would just go to the nearest 7/11 outlet, buy something to eat and drink, and walk to the nearest terminal para makauwi. I did that a lot of times.
In hindsight, para akong tanga. I know. Accepted truth ko na yan.
Depression is a real thing. It would make you feel things. It would make you feel like you’re in a deep hole; a deep and dark hole that you cannot climb out of. It would make you feel worthless. Parang sobrang baba ng self – esteem mo. Parang wala kang kayang gawin. Tatamarin kang mabuhay. Hindi ko rin kasi maipaliwanag yung nararamdaman ko. Minsan parang wala akong nararamdaman. I’m numb to what’s happening around me. Gusto ko lang humiga sa kama ko hanggang maging okay ako. Sometimes, I feel dead inside. Hindi ako makasagot sa mga conversation kasi hindi ko alam kung tama yung sasabihin ko or kung may pakialam ba ako. I don’t know how to feel sometimes. Basta, unexplainable yung feeling ng depressed ka.
Depression is a mental health issue. Yung iba, ang akala joke lang yun or madaling makaget – over. Yung makapanuod ka lang ng comedy eh okay ka na. Hindi yun ganun. We all have issues. We all have our own battles. Mine is with depression.
Depression is something you cannot fully grow out of. Pwede siyang imaintain through medication but since hindi pa siya fully accepted by society as a real thing, hindi pa available for consumption. Hindi din kasi ganun kapopular ang magkaroon ng Psychiatrist. Kapag narinig na you consulted one, baliw ka na agad. May stigma.
I am writing this as a testimony that depression is something you can have. Hindi ito kathang – isip lamang. You can get help by talking about it. Talk to your family and friends. Huwag mong solohin ang problema mong yan. Hindi ka nag – iisa dahil marami tayong nakakaexperience nito. Kapag hindi mo na kaya, sabihin mo sa mga taong nasa paligid mo. You can be depressed but you never have to be alone in dealing with it. Huwag kang susuko. There will be a lot of bad days but it will always get better. Pray to God always. And finally, suicide is never an option.
- ^ “Irritability, Anger Indicators of Complex, Severe Depression”. Retrieved from http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/810872.
- ^ “NIMH · Depression”. Retrieved from nimh.nih.gov.