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Something To Say
SOS. Saving Our Students. My school's group for fighting depression and suicide. What nobody knows is that I've been fighting it since the seventh grade.
Our club organizer, a French 2 teacher, asked us to think about what depression really is. Most answers were the same.
"When a person is really sad."
"Everyone gets sad. But it's, like, hopelessness, too."
I can tell them they're right. But it's so much more than that.
Depression isn’t easy to describe. You can’t explain what it really is. You can only say how you feel and even then it’s unclear. It‘s this pain that won’t go away. You want to talk about it, but you can’t. You want people to know that you’re going through hell but you can’t. It’s indescribable loneliness, frustration and anger and hopelessness mixed with nights of no sleep and days of no appetite.
It's regret and going over a million things you want to say or could have said. Hostility and the feeling of being misunderstood; territory you can't navigate. Sadness is fleeting, depression is a weight that rests on your shoulders as you try to smile because you know that's what people want to see.
When people hear about depression, there are hundreds of sympathetic patrons, but even more of the glare of scrutinizing people saying, "It's all in their head. They don't need medicine. It's their own fault."
This is the worst thing to hear. You shrink down to an inch, hearing people you may have trusted believe you caused it and could have stopped it.
I used to fear the scrutinizing. Now I look them in the face and rise eight feet taller. I dare them to say something.
"I know who I am. I am not sick. I am different. I am my own person. I am me."
So stand my and watch as I pop a Zoloft or Prozac in my mouth. I am saving myself.
"So do you think, in today's society, many teens would come out as being depressed?" Our group leader asks.
There's a short silence as everyone mulls it over in their head.
I raise my hand. I have something to tell everybody.