(A Letter I Wish I Received To Warn Me About My Depression)
I know right now life seems easy and you enjoy your life, but I need to let you know that you need to prepare for a big and dark storm that is coming your way at the age of 18.
Please appreciate being able to wake up every morning and being excited about life.
Appreciate that you are happy, joyful, curious, optimistic and hopeful because this will all be changing.
Your natural ability to be social and make friends will suddenly disappear and you will have no desire to talk on the phone incessantly like you currently do.
Psychiatrists, medications, psychologists, suicidal ideation, self-help books, loneliness, doubt, fear, isolation and extreme sadness will be your new familiar and constants.
You will try many different anti-depressants and experience many various side effects that go along with them.
This is all very expensive and all very annoying because you told the healthcare companies that you suffered from Depression so they denied your claim to insure you.
Aside from all of this major stress, confusion and darkness, society will begin to look down on you and judge you in a very harsh way.
You may be labeled “crazy” or “insane” and if anyone finds out you take medication they will tease you that you need “crazy pills.”
There is a really bad stigma involving mental illness and there is more judgment than compassion.
Since you never learned about it in elementary school, junior high or high school you won’t know how to articulate what is happening.
Your natural tendency will be to carry blame, self-doubt, insecurity and a very big desire to disappear.
But don’t give up.
Despite this major turn of events in your life you will become a different person, yes, but you will become a stronger person because of this.
You will be braver than you ever could have imagined yourself to be and you can start to speak about your mental illness so that others who suffer know they are not alone.
Everyone in life is handed a set of cards with some good decks and some bad decks.
This deck of depression is a scary, unforgiving, self-hating and lonely but if you can just trust that one day you will get on the right set of med, have the right doctor and have enough people in your support net to make you remember how loved you are, you will be just fine.
Your Older Self