context for this post is that i've struggled with depression for most of my life. i wasn't in a position to do anything about it before, up until very recently, because it was never just the only problems i had going on. there was always some other Serious Issue slammed into eight other things that i had to work my way around every day in order to actually function.
a lot has happened these past two years. i have stabler relationships, i have friends who i like (i just can't really talk to them about any of these issues because they've never experienced long lasting significant mental health issues and have personally told me that while they are here for me, they don't understand and have no frame of reference to understand what i'm going through).
most of the things that i've had to deal with these past six or seven years- extreme mood swings, crushing apathy towards anything, loss of interest in activities and eating etc. have mostly died down into what i would call normal levels that almost everyone experiences in their life. they're manageable i guess for lack of better words.
the only downside was that it meant that the week long (sometimes even months long) depressive episodes and sudden onsets of debilitating depression (its just depression in it's severe bland dictionary meaning. severe feelings of despondency and despair. i don't have any other way of explaining it) have gone from being pushed to the side lines in order to deal with other stuff, to front and centre of my life now.
i cry on the commute back and forth between my classes. two weeks ago the feelings of depression that i'd been crushing down all week suddenly peaked and i skipped my last two classes because i genuinely did not feel up to it mentally or able to concentrate or focus because of how bad i felt and how depressed i was.
i wish i was exaggerating in order to make a coherent and simple case of 'yeah here is proof that i have debilitation depression that affects my life 24/7' but i'm not, when i say that every day i have to fight down the majority of me that goes 'avoid your friends hide out in the bathrooms during intervals and breaks until you are normal and capable of human interaction again' even if i know in my head that being around my friends will make me feel better and that seeing them will remind me that no matter how stupid things are for me mentally right now that they're there. sometimes i win and sometimes i don't.
it feels like an uphill battle where none of the lessons i learn (being with friends is good. don't isolate yourself) get retained or remembered through idk brain muscle memory or anything. this is the best that i've been in years, if only because i've managed to keep it at a 'one step forward two steps back herculean effort to take another one step forward to balance things again' cycle.
but i know its only going to get harder and more intense for me at school next year because of the increase in workload and just the general insanity of stress and uni applications and important exams that determine your future and decisions that i'm making this year that are supposed to be plans for the next five years of my life.
right now feels like the only opportunity i'll have to take some kind of action (medication lmao) and get used to all the side effects, while the academic stakes are still relatively manageable even if it makes me cry sometimes. i guess for me it was always the money that made feel about getting diagnosed and the leftover remains of when i was more seriously mentally ill (being alive is a waste of money complex hahaha).
the counsellor i've been seeing for the past three or something years tried to broach the topic of possible diagnosis for depression just in my opinion it mgiht be wrong just let me say my opinion and you can disagree this is based off of what i know from seeing you semi regularly for these last few years two weeks ago (same day i missed those last two classes lmao) but i shot them down because there's really no pathway after getting diagnosed, at least not for me, that doesn't end in medication.
i've been friends with a few people who were diagnosed with major depressive disorder among other depression disorders, all of which took medication. we've fallen out of contact due to the past year of lockdown and pandemic etc but i still remember talking to them about the side effects of medication and whether it was really worth it because they were still in pain they were still struggling even on medication.
talking to them made me realize that they were right and that it could only get worse if treatment wasn't taken. some potentially severe side effects are worth not feeling like hell and being obstructed by your own mind every day of your life.
the only issue is my parents, who despite knowing almost zero if not absolutely nothing about depression and other mental health issues (genuine quote from one of them was 'i know nothing about this and i don't understand and i don't need you to explain it to me. medication has terrible side effects that will ruin your life) yet still manage to have hardline anti-medication, for lack of better words, views because of their percieved horrific life ruining side effects.