It all started with the thought “I’m too fat.” I couldn’t tell you exactly when it started and I can’t pinpoint exactly what triggered it but it took me years to realize that this unhealthy self-talk was the voice of a monster called depression.

My struggle with depression started small; it started with "you're not smart enough, skinny enough, strong enough." The main mantra that I repeated to myself over and over again, multiple times a day, every day of the week was "You are not enough."

Bullying in high school, my inability to fit in and my apparent lack of friends reinforced this idea that I was less than a person.

I recognize that I grew up from a place of privilege, and I try to stay humble in the face of that, but because of this privilege, I always felt like I could not talk about my unhappiness.

Depression does not discriminate

“Your parents have money,” “You sail,” “You’ve traveled the world,” all these were reasons that I shouldn’t “be allowed” to have depression. I should be extremely happy with what I have. It was never that I was unhappy with what I had, it was that I was always unhappy despite what I had. I was always told that 'I’m pretty and smart and clever and I have everything I could ever want.'

Now all this may be true, but Mental illness doesn’t discriminate. You wouldn’t tell a person who suffers from migraines that they’re too smart to let a little migraine bring them down.

Chronic depression can be debilitating and difficult to manage, the same way a Type I diabetic may have difficulty keeping their diabetes under control. They didn’t ask to have their insulin spike sporadically, and I didn’t ask to have crying spells if I walked into a crowded room.

My depression has taken many forms in the five-ish years that it has been manifesting.

My most common warning sign was crying spells. I would just Feel hopelessly sad, and small things like a 79 on an exam would send me down a spiral. I would sit on the floor and cry for hours, telling myself every little detail that was wrong with me.

I would plan my suicide and think about how much my parents would hate me if I killed myself.

That was what stopped me every time I neared suicide, the fact that as much as my parents disliked me for the terrible daughter I thought I was, they would despise me for the inconvenience of having to deal with my death. It w went through days of social withdrawal, extreme procrastination and denying myself food because I “didn’t deserve it”. All the while, I knew my depression was worsening, but I was ungrateful for being depressed and I wasn’t worthy enough to deserve help.

Not seeking help for depression can have devastating consequences

Not talking about my depression in its early stages has been one of the most self-destructing things I’ve ever done. If you’ve suffered from major depression then you know that I have done a lot of things to tear myself down.

It’s still difficult to admit to myself that I need to seek help. It’s hard for me to actively talk about my depression and be honest about how I feel. Learning to accept myself is something I’m always struggling with, but I know it will take time.

If you feel like you are struggling, I urge you to speak up about it. Speaking up doesn’t have to mean writing an article like I did, it could mean telling a friend you feel sad, it could be seeking out a counselor at your school or work, or it could even mean just drawing or painting or journaling. Just give your depression an outlet, something to flow into, or else it will destroy you.