My Experience With Depression


Danielle Bardelang, Contributing Writer, Altoona PA

Many of us have dealt with depression in ways we tend not to talk about. It feels as if you are being attacked by someone, but that someone is the person you want or used to be. This person entangles your mind so much that you’d rather do nothing instead of working on making your dreams come true.

 Let me tell you a personal story:

Throughout elementary school I did everything in my power to become the girl I dreamed of being. I worked hard to excel in my studies and extracurricular activities while still enjoying time with family and friends. It wasn’t until fifth or sixth grade until everything started to change for me. I was old enough to understand what the bullies were saying. I learned that some lives are cut short and that no matter how close you can get to someone there will always come a day that they will have to leave.  When my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer, she told me that she would live to see me graduate elementary school. She fought and fought hard, but she died the summer before I graduated elementary school. I also lost my best friend. This changed everything for me. The pain of losing a loved one, the experience of students my age vilifying me, and family issues changed me. I became the shy girl that didn’t participate in class and didn’t really care what she did with her life. Life became hard and trying to become myself again made it even harder. I thought that if I busied myself, I wouldn’t have enough time to think about what people were saying about me or dwell on something that was irrelevant. I joined so many groups and clubs that I overwhelmed myself even more. It took me three years to understand that it wasn’t the distraction I needed. It was the time to talk to someone about how I felt that made me who I really am.

At first, I thought that I could handle it myself. All I needed to do was get through this rough patch and it would be gone forever. However, it turned out that, no matter what I did, that cloud continued to hang over me. I could tell something in me had changed, but I didn’t know how to change myself. Baton twirling became my outlet, but at times I became so stressed with it I turned to writing. When writing wasn’t working, I turned to art. I kept thinking that distracting myself from one thing would distract me from it all.

While writing, I found that I only conveyed my feelings. It became a way to let things go without putting a burden on anyone else. When I had the chance to talk to a counselor, I realized that I sometimes need to talk about what was going on and other times I need someone to make me think about something else for a little bit. After I clear I learned a lot about myself. I learned that not everyone can see the real me, and that some see right through me and can read my feelings better than I can.

To this day, some people have no clue what I’ve gone through. Sometimes, that’s a good thing. Other times, I wish that some people knew so that some situations might be different. There are days that I wish someone could see life through my eyes just so they could experience life differently, but I still would never wish depression on anyone, even my worst enemy.

Depression is a difficult thing to go through. The elevation and demotion of your emotions can cause you to feel in ways no one can dream of feeling. Life can get tough, but if you seriously feel that something in your life has changed or that you are becoming someone you are not, the first thing you can do is admit that there is something wrong. Admitting to yourself that there is something different going on is half of the battle, but most tend to think that they are fine and it will just pass over. This may be true in some cases, but there’s always a possibility that it is not going to happen that way.  Because depression is medically diagnosed, so the next thing you can do is ask for help. Parents, siblings, teachers, and counselors are just a few of the people you can go to.

There is a lot that goes on in your life. There shouldn’t be anyone, anything, or any feeling to keep you from reaching your potential. There comes a time when you realize that your purpose in life is much more than what you expected. Whether you are ready or not, life goes on.