Before going into details about how I made significant process overcoming my depression, it is important that I first address where my depression came from. By discussing my background, it will be quite clear where I am coming from when discussing how to overcome depression. Without proper context, any of the solutions I had found won’t make sense, and may be the distinguishing factor between my problems and a readers problems.
YEAR 6 – The Beginning
Technically, my depression began in year 6, prior to high school beginning in year 7. At this point I didn’t even realise I was entering depression, so little can be said in terms of melodramatics. I didn’t experience a large scale catalytic event which sent me into a spiral of terror and pain. Rather, it was a slow, gradual decline into what would later turn into an internal hell. Perhaps it is popular to have a climactic event which changes things forever, but the boring, real details are, I don’t. Still, it is significant to talk about this period of time as I now know that there were things to look out for when being reflective on your overall mood. This part of the blog has proved more difficult than the rest to write, namely because the year is filled with other memories. Seeing beyond the established memories in your brain to look for other details is much harder than I thought, and seems to resemble re-watching a movie for clues, only this kind of movie can be changed and distorted by your memory. But I will say what I can, and perhaps revisit this section later to add more.
Generally speaking, in Primary School I was the same as the other students, bursting with energy and I had an open mind which consumed, engaged and embraced everything which I came across with a kind of endless hunger. In the past years I had had one or two small bullying issues, but nothing which caused a major disruption of my life. There was a kind of unconsciousness about it, where things like that never stuck longer than they needed to. Over the course of the year, however, this began to change. The unconsciousness I described began to degrade, and a more conscious, exaggeratedly worried state of mind began to emerge as my ‘voice’ when thinking and speaking. The further I went, the more I started to think too much, worry over small things, and hold onto things I otherwise should have otherwise ignored. To translate all this, at the start of the year, my brain was quite healthy, as the year went on, and my mood slowly lowered over time, I began to think too much. This was the perfect platform for me to fall into depression.
Another factor which, while I cannot say with any sense of certainty is true (but may have also played a part) was also the way my body changed as I got older. As we grow older and our bodies change, perhaps my depression, as a chemical deficiency, kicked in earlier than me and my family were aware. Overall the more I think about year 5 and 6 of primary school, the less the events in particular seem relevant. Things happened, of course, and some were good and some were bad. Ultimately, due to how I was changing, I ended up very hurt. Being hurt emotionally is similar to being hurt physically – everything is magnified. You don’t want anything to get near the wound, so you bandage it up and protect it from harm. If the wound is hurt somehow, it hurts even more than it would on any other part of your body. Likewise, the same thing happens emotionally. What people do and say become magnified. Compliments and praise even hurt, much like applying medicine to a wound would. Feeling this way, I plunged deeper and deeper into depression, with no real method of dealing with the problems I was facing and sorting out the emotions running through my head and heart.
To sum up this entry;
I entered depression over a long period of time.
I experienced a general decline in my mood over the course of the year.
I started to think too much, become too worried and hold on to things that I didn’t need to hold on to.
I didn’t have any skills to manage these new emotions and problems.
I feel it is important to be mindful of your thoughts and emotions at all points in your life, lest you fall back into depression, or a very severe low point. This is common sense advice, but it needs to be said, because it is something even people without depression need to do. I’ll give a brief example.
Currently I have just returned from Shanghai, China, where I completed a goal I had set over three years ago. Upon entering University, it dawned on me that I should really try to study overseas, now that overseas exchange as a language student was accessible to me. I will explain this at length in a much later blog post, but for all intensive purposes, more happened on the way than I had initially anticipated, and by far I have had the best 4 years of my life to date. That’s all over now. I’m back in Sydney, and there’s nothing left of those goals to achieve. It’s all blank. There is a natural low point here where after completing a major goal that nothing will follow, as it takes time for different aspects of life to build their own momentum, which is perfectly normal. This was a very distressing experience in the past, going through highs and lows, but it isn’t now. By understanding the ups and downs that your life will inevitably follow, it is much easier to cope with the pressures that you face on a day to day basis. It is also easier to come to grips with the major parts of those ups and downs. Prior to coming home, a boring and blank life was something I had predicted, and is unsurprisingly my reality now. With a bit of foresight, and by being mindful of your current circumstances and emotions, it is much easier to deal with problems which may occur in the future.
In the next entry, next Tuesday, I will discuss my entry into depression. What happened, what I experienced, and how it became clear to me that I had entered depression.