Living With The Darkness: Understanding Depression

Take an ordinary plastic shopping bag. Put it around your hand and try texting your best friend or taking a sip of your water. Now imagine feeling this film between your bones and muscles—infused in every part of your being.

Welcome to life with depression.

In the following video, Kevin Breel addresses an issue that society is tight-lipped about: depression—like so many others, he personally struggles with it.

Depression is taking a life every thirtieth second of every minute of every day. In the time it takes to watch Breel’s lecture, 23 lives are lost, watching it twice brings the total to 46.

Depression is commonly misconceived as being upset when bad things happen in life—no, that is sadness. Depression is being sad without cause. For many people, depression is difficult to admit.

I, Kayla Marie Onstott, struggle with depression.

This specific lecture spoke volumes to my fight against the sickness. Depression is prominent in my family and I fall victim to the fears associated with the stigma.

The darkness seeps into my soul and engulfs me to the point where I am lost.

Depression PicSleep is the only reasonable means of escape—I slip away for hours and allow my mind to reset. It becomes a struggle to get up afterwards because inevitably the shadows will come creeping back.

The sickness is as paralyzing as any blow to the central nervous system. It creates a film between you and the world you are in. I have sunk to levels so low that if I speak, and no one responds, I question whether I woke up in the morning or if I am a ghost who hasn’t caught on yet. I fear speaking to avoid questioning my existence as a result of a lack of response.

One of the common misunderstandings about depression is that acknowledgement is the cure. Once depression is acknowledged, you are expected to be “fine”, or rather, aware of every aspect of your life that depression effects—and how to counterbalance it.

DepressedWhen I feel depressed, friends and family urge me to go do something “fun” and to “get out of my head.” This is the most ridiculous thing I have heard—depression cannot be cured by environmental changes. Immersing myself in “fun” activities only intensifies the darkness. I am simply unable to feel elated from the interaction. It just intensifies the hold depression has on me.

My struggle with depression has taught me to cherish every moment of happiness I can gather—not taking it for granted. I actively seek positivity from every moment of life because those memories are my arsenal against the darkness. It helps me strive to bring happiness to others—you never know when a smile, or a kind word, can bring a dawn to someone’s perpetual night.

With this, I ask you: Do you or someone you know struggle with depression? How will you choose to soldier against the sickness?

Kayla O.

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8 thoughts on “Living With The Darkness: Understanding Depression

  1. Wow Kayla!
    Your blog really hit home with me. I loved the blog. I like how detailed you were when you spoke about depression. It made me, and probably others look at it very differently. The video was a nice touch and it also drew me into the blog itself. Not many people look at it that way, not many people know that it’s not just sadness, but that it affects your whole life. Another good thing was your introduction right away I wanted to read more. I think your blog is amazing and you don’t need to change anything.

    Willie S.

    • I am so glad you found it insightful, Willie! Knowing that I have reached even just one person allows me to complete my goal. I understand that depression can be hard to understand for those who do not suffer from it. Hey, it’s still difficult for many people who do suffer from it to understand it too.
      Thank you for your response!

  2. I, too, struggle with depression, and this explained exactly how I feel on certain days. Great job, Kayla. Keep fighting.

  3. Hey Kayla!
    The detail you used to tell about your depression was very insightful and helped me understand how you’re feeling. I hadn’t realized how big of a problem depression can be everyday and that it’s always there. This made me think about how interacting with people can be life changing. I’ll think twice about my actions and words next time I see someone who looks down.

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    C. Payne

    • Hi Courtney!
      I’m so glad I was able to enlighten you to the struggles that people with depression and I wrestle with. I am excited that you have decided to make a conscious effort to improve the affect you have on others. You already seem like such a positive person, so I am sure it comes naturally to you already.
      Love hearing from you!
      Kayla O.

  4. Wow Kayla, nicely written! Within the first sentence I was hooked. The addition of the video helped drive your point home. You really helped me to understand what living with depression is like.

  5. Kayla,

    Thank you for sharing this post with all of us. Many people don’t understand on just how hard it is to admit to having depression and to talk about it. You are one strong girl! As well as your descriptive words being a major bonus for this post I was also intrigued by the video you added. This post with certainly gain some different views on depression and for that I thank you.

    -Anna C.

  6. Pingback: The Other One: I am a Twin, But I am Not My Sister | McPherson College Rhetoric I Blog

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