A Day In A Life Of Chronic Depression

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Chronic depression isn’t just being sad or crying all the time. Sometimes it’s being so numb you can’t feel anything at all. It’s sleeping in, having a messy room, isolating yourself and sometimes having anxiety. It’s feeling like no one can understand you. It’s having mood swings and not enjoying the things you once found exciting.

I have had chronic depression since I was 15 and I can see first-hand it is much more than just feeling sad more often than normal. There is a chemical imbalance in my brain. “There is not enough serotonin transferring in your receptors,” my psychiatrist used to say. I have been on anti-depressants since then, and have had to go to therapy sessions once a week.

Trauma has made my depression surface, and my brain’s chemical imbalance has caused me to fall into a deeper state – chronic depression. When I was 15, I was sexually assaulted. This was very hard for me to overcome and for many years I have suffered in silence.

I disassociated myself from the world. I think this was my brain’s way of protecting me. If I can’t feel anything then I can’t feel the pain. I would stay in my room for the majority of the time and I didn’t want to be around my family at all. Then I began to self- harm by starving and cutting myself. It was a way to release my constant frustration. Finally, I got the help I needed through therapy. I found out what triggered me and how it wasn’t my fault.

The way my brain reacts to pain and trauma is out of my control. However, I can take steps to change my old habits into healthy ones.  By taking anti-depressants, it was a start.

I realized that when I don’t take them properly, or when I feel like I don’t need them, I fall down the rabbit hole all over again. I get messier, I start to distant myself, and I start to get progressively more on edge and frustrated. The things that I used to love, like writing, dancing, and singing, aren’t fun anymore.

It’s extremely hard to manage but with the supportive family and friends that I have, I never get too far over the dark edge. Sometimes I can act totally fine and normal. I can laugh, and  I can hang out with my friends, but on the inside, I am suffering. I start to think about how much I regret going out.

I start to think about how long can I fake my laughs. How long can I keep up this act? It’s like I am two different people. There is me and there is my depression. There is never enough room for both of us, so one usually takes over the other. The tug-of-war never ends.

I’ve learned that I can’t get rid of that part of myself. I have to befriend it. I have to get to know what made her so upset and I have to figure out how to heal her. It is much more than pills and therapy, those are just tools. It’s a constant mental effort for survival. Sometimes I don’t want to survive. Sometimes I don’t want to make friends with my depression and I want to let it win. Then I think of my sister, my mother, and my father.

They are people that have loved me through everything and have been to the ends of the earth with me. I realize it is not fair to give up so easily.  If they love me that much, I owe it to them to find the will to love myself.