I survived. So can you – Kisah Joan Snow

I’ve lived with depression for 3 years, only to be clinically diagnosed after 2 years living with it unknowlingly. It happened when I started my university years and at the early stage of that dark phase, I thought I was sad because I didn’t make it to med school and I was trying my best to like a different branch of science.

A transition from Biology to Physics. I turned to a counselor provided by the university once, the counselor said that I was stress. I knew that but, I felt there were something darker than that. I’ve coped everyday just to survive the classes, assignments, projects and even self-care. Everyday was grey, literally. I smiled all the time but, deep down, I was drowning. I thought I was stressed and I kept going anyway. My CGPA was slipping. I was on a scholarship and when they found out I failed to keep my grades up, they cut my allowances. It was another blow for me since I worked hard for the scholarship to ease my parents’ financial burden.

It was very dark place I was in. I didn’t tell my family about what I’m going through because I didn’t want them to worry, although the letter reached my parents. I had several breakdowns per week. My breakdowns include crying uncontrollably without any trigger, feeling gloomy all the time and worst of all, I couldn’t function to do daily tasks. I stayed in my bed a lot and it was a huge effort to even have a shower. I felt like I was slipping away. Doing tasks from day to day, was like just time passing by without yourself in it; your body was doing the work, your mind was on something else, you were soulless. I couldn’t feel anything and everything just withered. Everything was blank and dull. I also realized I was binge-eating and sometimes, I didn’t eat at all. I tried hard on my assignments and exams. Worst thing was, I had trouble remembering facts despite I studied and I had a hard time focusing.

I didn’t realize I was getting worse until one day, I suddenly felt death was a peaceful option for me. At that time, I brushed off the thoughts and acknowledge that everybody dies and if it’s your time, it’s your time. I was that pessimistic about life. The thought was just a thought until I was walking out from my lecturer’s room on 3rd floor and heading to the stairs. I don’t remember what I was doing but, I do remember asking myself, “What happens if I jump?”, while looking down to the ground floor from the 3rd floor stairs. It didn’t scare me but, it seemed to be a something that I can do. I snapped out of and continued going down to class. I reminded myself “Don’t be stupid, you wouldn’t want God to reject you, would you?

Think of all the effort you’ve done to get here today” – that was my motivation to not do what I was thinking. It was the thin fine line that held me back from doing it. After all this realization, I changed bit by bit – I read health articles about my condition. That was when I know I have depression. I told my sibling about it, she told me, “Everyone can be in depressed state but, to actually know you have one (clinically depressed), get a diagnosis”.

Going to the psyche ward was a taboo and I was guilty at charge of the stigma, I had those. To avoid going there, I worked out, tried to eat well and beat that lethargy feeling. I thought I was doing well for a week until I had another breakdown. But I praised myself as my effort was working because my breakdown intervals were getting longer. From few days to a week. I thought I can beat this until I got beat down again by external factors. The thought of death was becoming more comforting.

Honestly, I couldn’t take it anymore and decided to seek help from the professional. I was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety. I was prescribed with Luvox and the dosage increased within 4 months due to I wasn’t getting any better, my anxiety got worse. I visited campus clinic and private clinic frequently – just to make sure I’m okay. I once went to the hospital (at 3am) due to diffuculty of breathing. My test results; X-Ray, blood test, ECG – all normal. I was embarassed, honestly, because I thought I was going to suffocate (my heart was going to stop beating, all sorts of ideas), it was debilitating.

But the nurses were understanding of my condition. I was registered for work therapy, counselling sessions, and had monthly appointment with the psychiatrist. My grades were low but, I didn’t care anymore. I wanted to get better. I skipped classes to go to therapy and I only informed my supervisor and few close friends about my condition, so that they know why I was always absent in class. But little do I know, I was becoming comfortable with the drugs. Again, I was slipping away but, this time, being too comfortable with the drugs. I didn’t realize it until my mom asked me to get sober. I was reluctant at first, argued that it was my ticket to get better. But what made me thinking was, she said she felt like she was losing me. I felt that too. I decided to cut cold-turkey (abruptly stop the prescription) in which I know it is not recommended. But I’d rather deal with the withdrawal symptoms than losing myself.

I began detoxing and started being a vegan/vegetarian. It was a bit scary when dealing with the withdrawal symptoms but, I kept going because I still want to be around with my family. I don’t want to be the reason behind their tears and I don’t to be the one who left their hearts broken. I’m lucky because I have a family that supports me but, what about those who don’t?

Depression is not something you can turn a blind eye on and it’s hard for those who experience it because it’s invisible. I hate the stigma, honestly. Just because it’s invisible doesn’t mean it’s not there, just like oxygen. I was once asked, “Why are you depressed? You have God.”. I replied internally, “You think I want this?”, but I remained silent and hoped she never experience what I’ve been through. Sometimes, we just got there. Sometimes, we don’t know how and why. And that is okay. I hope everyone out there, battling the invisible monster(s), I hope you guys win.

Hang on, don’t call it quits yet. It’s true about a saying; if you commit suicide, you don’t take the pain away, you just transferred it to someone else. So don’t put that rope around your neck yet. I know you feel lonely, helpless, drowning inside and nobody seem to care, but I’m a living proof that you can live this out too. Care about yourself, you’re not useless, you’re just a learner. Every master was once a beginner. Believe in yourself. Keep fighting. Keep yourself a goal; leave a legacy, not a tragedy. Thanks for reading.

Nota penting: Sekali lagi kami ingatkan. Jika anda mempunyai simptom-simptom diatas seperti rasa hidup tidak bernilai, hilang minat kepada perkara yang disukai sebelum ini, mempunyai fikiran untuk membunuh diri dan simptom-simptom lain, kami nasihatkan anda untuk berjumpa dengan doktor bagi mendapat rawatan yang sepatutnya

Pertubuhan bukan kerajaan yang boleh memberikan khidmat nasihat adalah MENTARI dan Befriender.

Kongsi konfesi anda di link ini https://rootofscience.com/rosconfession/pengakuan/

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