This mostly a further reply to Emma's post. It's also therapeutic to write about this experience. This is a serious downer post and I would skip it if I were you.
Late in 2008 I went through a period where I was seriously depressed and thought about taking my own life.
Things had become rather overwhelming. I certainly had general anxiety about where I was in life. My own fears and anxieties had kept me from enrolling in College that fall. I didn't like my job. I didn't like that my hours had been cut either. I didn't like that I was still living at home. I felt separated from my friends.
It was worst at night. During the day I could at least distract myself a bit. The Computer and XBox would go off. It would get really quiet and dark. That's when negative thoughts would become most overwhelming. I had a hard time falling asleep, but once I got to sleep hours longer than normal. The worst was being depressed about being depressed.
One day I just stopped going to work. I mean I made up some lousy excuse about losing my voice, but I basically just quit going. I spent a lot of money. I bought people Christmas presents that were considerably more expensive than the budget.
Eventually, My Parents found out that I had quit going to work and I was kind of prodded into telling them how bad I was feeling about myself. I went to a therapist and got antidepressants from. The pills had a positive effect on my quickly. They aren't supposed to work quickly though so I think it was mostly just the psychological effect of what the pill was supposed to do.
I don't know exactly what go me through that period. I mean it wasn't terrible all the time. I could distract myself a little bit during the day. I felt better while doing reckless things like spending a lot of money. Of course, there were the people I care about. I mean I didn't really feel like I was worthy of being cared about, but somewhere I knew people did. The positive things were small and definitely not constant, but they were enough for me to delay taking the further step.
The night before everything came out, I overcame my anxiety and desire to just lay in bed and went to a friend's Christmas party. I actually felt happy there. I stayed there until 3am. I had even convinced myself that I would go back to work the next day. Then I got home, laid in my bed and I was right back to where I was.
I'd like to think I'm a lot less likely to go through another episode that is as severe as that one was. Looking back on what happened to me, I know I don't want to allow myself to fall into that despair again. I work on making sure the voices in my head that tell me to be happy and to not worry so much about things just strong as the darker ones. It's not always a perfect balance. I still have nervous breakdowns periodically. I suffer generalized anxiety. I don't really have panic attacks though. My anxiety manifests itself in loss of appetite and nausea. When it gets bad I will barely eat for days and when I do I feel like I'm always about to throw it up.
I really work at keeping my mind strong enough to keep me from going over that cliff again. I've accepted that some of these mental issues are put of who I am. They aren't all of me, but I know they can consume me entirely if I let them. I feel like it's a bit like the Imperious Curse. You can can give into it if you don't pay attention, but if you're in tune with what's going on you can fight it off with great mental effort.
Thanks for reading