Miz Akwele: Depression is not sadness, at all, but I know it’s evil and it can kill

 

Depression is not a trophy, and no you are not depressed too, you’re just sad. No one admits in their immensely darkest state of this major episode that they’re actually depressed.
This is a TESTIMONY to encourage anyone going through this phase, and help others to see into the mind of the depressed. I survived it because I had to tell this story.
I decided to search for a page I tore and hid away a few months ago, rather to share with you. It’s a true story of my (so far) darkest days in all my 26 years of living.

In this episode, the world is literally a dark place. The skies aren’t beautiful and blue anymore, the smiles are 100% not genuine, and the sun… Hah! The sun always seems angry and so bright even with little daylight, so it’s a struggle to step out, and most importantly, love is seemingly seen in the highest form pretense and ingenuity. A hug from a loved one or a word like “I’m here for you” “you’ll be alright” “you’re stronger than this” “this is not you, it will pass” seems like a fleeting drop of pleasure in an ocean of indescribable pain… Uneasiness perhaps.
Within a space of 2 weeks, Ghana has experiences 2 suicidal deaths in 2 of our prestigious Universities and 1 man hanging himself barely 3 days ago under the Achimota Overhead. Facebook is sad and angry and somewhat nonjudgmental about this, but that is a natural humane response, and it’s okay, really.
“why would you want to kill yourself?”
“there’s so much to live for”
“death isn’t the best option”
“so she chose to die? How about her loved ones?”

What you need to know is, the mind of the major depressed individual is shifted as compared to the normal rational human being, so are his eyes and worldviews. When this reality shift happens, it is difficult, almost impossible for this individual to believe and even remember the reality and normality of what was real before the shift. It is easier for this individual… It was easier for me to view the realities of the new shift as real and the realities of all my actions and experiences before the shift as unreal and pretentious. So, when friends told me “you’ll be happy again” and that the situation was only temporary, rather caused me to be isolated and confused because I was convicted my new state was the real me.

Today, I realized that I would’ve healed faster if my friends hadn’t tried to take on my new person’s reality. They argued with me about it and felt I was too smart and intelligent to linger in that state and even deny the actual realities; that made me feel dumber. Eventually, my loved ones reminded me that depression causes my perspective on everything to change and that I was unable to think outside my unreal realities. That worked.
The moment you get to ask questions like “why don’t you just talk to anyone?” “don’t you know it could get worse? What are you doing about it?”, you put the subject in a rather confused state because mind you, it is a kind of reality that is real only to the subject yet appropriately unreal to the real world. So truth is, it surpasses the thought of confidentiality and trust, no friend to talk to, even fear of disbelief; it’s none of that, at all.

One of my closest friends got his mother (a pharmacist) involved… Got his mother arranging for a session with a Clinical Psychologist which I couldn’t disrespect. I had to honour it so I gave it a shot. On the first day, I argued with the therapist for about 2hrs until I started opening up. That was when I realized my reality had shifted. Gradually, I was able to sleep on my own and step out without feeling obliged to, and even open my windows for the sun rays and some light in my room.
At one of my sessions, the therapist asked, “how are you doing today?”, I responded, “I’m doing great. I’m fine, really”, and he commented, “I can see that. Your face looks clearer, your skin is glowing, your hairdo looks great and even your dressing is better”. Now, that sort of hit me hard because I started to think…

Depression is not sadness, at all, but I know it’s evil and it can kill, literally kill the mind, and the body. Although there are different types and triggers, it is what it is and must be treated right no matter the intensity of it.
My severe depression came as a relapse of medications prescribed to control a neurological disorder whose symptoms became overwhelming and halted my daily flow. Someone’s severe depression could be out of loss of a loved one or even milder.

As I write, I begin to wonder, if I’d gone… Just gone, how would my twin brother cope? It  would break me!! Being my parents’ first daughter, how would they have handled it? The FB statuses and a billion notifications I’ll never get to read of people saying how they looked up to me and were disappointed? No, I would’ve been the worst fool to have chosen to take my own life and leave behind so much pain only because I was successfully selfish enough to escape from it. No, not me.
I am particularly thankful to God, my pastor, my shepherds and loved ones who listened and made a conscious effort to tolerate and help me through it.

Love your neighbour, love your friends, love them the way they want to be loved and listen to them when they want to talk, even when they aren’t talking..

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