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The vicious ways of my chemically imbalanced brain

It’s been over two years since I’ve been diagnosed with major depressive disorder by a health professional, and I’m still learning how to live with it.

I remember sitting in the doctor’s office waiting for my health results, and hearing the words I’ll never forget: “You’re showing symptoms of depression.”

I sat there in silence for a good minute trying to process the news, but it wasn’t a complete shocker. Oddly enough, I was relieved to hear the answer to what was interfering with my day-to-day life.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is a common illness and has currently affected approximately 280 million people worldwide.

So, without hesitation, I accepted the treatment options of therapy and antidepressants.

In 2019, approximately 66% of adults over the age of 18 struggling with major depressive disorder received treatment, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

To this day, I’m still on antidepressants and they’ve helped me combat the feelings of worthlessness and my waves of sadness.

But, I’ll admit that there are times when I don’t want to get out of bed, and it’s discouraging because it interrupts my healing process. I call those my “bad days.”

All the progress I’ve made over the years starts to feel like it just went down the drain. I feel like I’m going backward.

It’s frustrating to live with depression even when you think you’ve defeated it for good. The feeling of optimism is inexplicable, but it feels great being in control of your mental state.

Then, out of nowhere, my depressive episodes hit me like a truck.

A depressive episode is a period of depression that can last for two weeks where an individual experiences a “low mood or loss of interest in most activities,” according to Ada Health.

From feeling the symptoms of sluggishness to irritability, depression is like a black hole reeling you in to stay in bed all day in order to feel “safe” when you’re actually avoiding tasks.

The severity of a depressive episode varies within each diagnosed individual and without the appropriate treatment, the risk of experiencing further episodes may become higher.

Even today, I have to remind myself to not be so discouraged because of unexpected depressive episodes. They don’t get to erase all my self-progress throughout the years.

There will be days where I feel better about myself than others, and it’s okay to take it easy.

Healing from mental illness is a tedious process, but it’s a journey I’m willing to continue in order to become a strong-minded individual.

It will get better. I will get better.

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