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I've been lurking on the forums for quite a while and finally decided to register and contribute. I'm a 25 year old male who's been living with the monster called Depression for many, many years. I've felt so alienated because of it, but come to fully appretiate the joy of talking with others who can relate and share stories of their struggles with the monster too. It's very comforting.

The monster came into my life when I was little, around 7 years old, and I guess even at that age I suppose I was already emotionally in-tune. I felt...off. Missing something inside, which I apparently said to my parents. They later told me I was one of a twin, who unfortunetly died before birth. I don't blame my mother or anything, but I've always felt...well, disconnected from the world. Stuck in my head and craving for something unknown. It wasn't until I watched a video of a twin--who felt similar feelings--that, after finding his twin brother seperated at birth, gradually began to feel better. Alive again.

It devistated me. Mine was gone, after all. Though he was never born, I can't shake the feeling like I'm missing my other half. It paralyzed me. But I continued on, hand in hand with my new friend, the monster.

I never really had a person I could openly talk to about it, and for years and years I've just held it all in, wearing a mask in everyday situations. I'm social when I want to be, but being very introverted can't really stand too much interaction. I have close friends, and generally fit in and can be friendly where ever I go. Most wouldn't even know I had a furry monster sleeping under the bed. I wear the mask, and it works.

But in the last 5 years--with college and more responsibility--I just couldn't bear it all. Wearing the mask that felt as heavy and tough as steel. Watching couples smooch in the dorms, familys cheerfully celebrating Christmas and New Years, friends joking around at dinner in reverie......I just couldn't bear it anymore. I didn't feel connected, and I still struggle with it. Lost in my head, and unable to truly let anyone in. Truly in, you know? For fear of being rejected and considered "unstable".

I've never taken medication, but for roughy 2 and half years have been working with a therapist. It's helped, but I still have mild panic attacks and difficulty staying motivated in life. But rather than keep it all in, I've realized the only way to tackle it is to find people who struggle with the monster too. In fact, maybe the monster was a gift, rather than curse in a way. The strongest people in the world are those who have fought their fare share of "monsters". So here I am, and that's my story (condensed, of course, ha).

Again, hello all, and I hope I can help others who struggle with their own monsters. You're not alone!

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