Feb 5, 2020
This content contains explicit and sensitive information that may not be suitable for all ages.
I’ve dealt with Major Depressive Disorder since my late teens.
I am now going on 27 and I can honestly say it has not gotten any easier.
The disorder itself has not gotten any easier, but I have learned, throughout the 10-plus years of going through it the following: What to look out for, what to do when I feel an episode coming on, and who to contact. In the countless amount of depressive episodes I have experienced, I try to remind myself that things will get better.
What gets me though, is the emptiness.
It is really hard to see that light at the end of the tunnel when you are depressed. It feels as though everything has slowed down and because of your perceptual changes, it almost seems like everything around you is a little darker. What gets me though, is the emptiness: Not feeling anything at all as if you are trapped within your own mind. Nothing excites you, nothing scares you, nothing upsets you. You feel almost nonexistent.
Although I have dealt with the continuous ups and downs and have a great understanding of what it is like living with depression, I could never grasp suicide. I could not completely understand how people with loving children, parents, etc., could go through with ending their own lives. You often hear people say that people who die by suicide are selfish for leaving their loved ones behind.
Though I never did agree with that statement, I still could never fully grasp how people take their own lives, until I experienced it myself.
In the spring of 2019, I started feeling an episode coming on. I did what I normally do and contacted my psychologist. After dealing with this for so long, I’ve learned that I need to nip it in the bud. After a few visits with her I felt much better, but during the days between my visits, I felt myself slipping faster than usual. As I drove home from work one night, for example, I had an intrusive thought about driving off the side of the road into a ditch, I didn’t act on my thoughts but I knew that something was not right with me.
As the weeks progressed, I felt myself getting worse and worse. I felt that I was losing control of myself. The depression had me convinced that I was better off dead and everyone around me were better off without me because I was a burden to everyone. The suicidal thoughts went from being weekly, to every other day, to daily, to hourly. It was getting to the point that I did not feel safe when I was home alone and found myself contacting the mental health crisis line more times than I can count.
It was during this episode that I visited the psychiatric emergency department in my city for the first time. They adjusted my medications during that initial visit and sent me on my way.
I felt myself slipping faster than usual.
I continued to work on fighting the depression but as the weeks progressed I felt as though I was losing the fight. My depression was finally going to win. Game over.
After a pretty decent day at work, I went home, had supper and got into bed with my two wonderful dogs. My boyfriend was at his brother’s house that night so I was home alone.
When I got into bed, the thoughts flooded in, out of nowhere.
“I am worthless” “This is the end” “I can’t fight anymore.”
The thoughts continued and eventually I was so far gone from reality that I impulsively took an overdose of pain medication I had leftover from a surgery. Being a nurse, I knew it was not enough to kill me, but I wanted to hurt myself. As soon as I took the medication, I messaged my boyfriend and told him that I did something bad and I didn’t know what to do. He came home instantly and from there he brought me to the hospital. It was after this incident that I ended up spending a week in the psychiatric unit until I was deemed safe enough to go home.
I am lucky to still be here today.
I am lucky to still be here today. Unfortunately, not all of us are so lucky and many people lose their fight with depression every day. I think the biggest thing everyone can do (both sufferers and non-sufferers) is to TRY to get an understanding of suicide and TALK about it.
It doesn’t need to be taboo. The more it is talked about the more people will be able to overcome this horrible disease. To this day, I still feel like people have this misconception that people who talk about suicide are attention seeking. And that, my friends, is so far from reality.
We talk about suicide because we are FIGHTING.