‘In the chamber of secrets lies a deceptive past, crawling with rotting maggots who chomp on the flesh of humanity, organs crushed, pulsating under a weather-beaten palm, a trail of intestinal residue tracing the outskirts of the castle, trapped ghouls unite as one, an army of lost souls dragging the living into its purgatorial fold, in the chamber of secrets there is no way out, a corrosive key no longer in use, dripping with acid, a maven of ravenous flames gorging on the aura of life’
A Poetic Explanation of Depression
Depression is like a raw hunger gnawing at all sensibilities, depriving you of oxygen. You can’t breathe your organs are inflamed, your thoughts are heavy and acute pain cripples the shell that you call your body until you are lost to the point of no return. In the abyss that you call home words become a gunshot and the things that made you happy no longer have a lasting impact, all positivity erased. Depression is debilihating but united we can confront the demons.
Depression is a secret caught in a web, a false smile covering a lifetime of salty tears. Fatigued you climb into the seat of life, slumped over the pile of secrets you have amassed. You remove all mirrors plagued by living demons of the past, the villians who told you that you were never good enough, who crushed you like a beetle in the palm of their hand, hellbent on destroying what little self-confidence you had.
The Warning Signs
Until recently I would have laughed if you had told me I was depressed, still caught in a shadow of a happier past. I was caught in a fantasy world where the insensity of my emotions were mistaken for being ‘attuned to feeling’ when the reality was darker. Even now when I tell my story, I am doubted ‘ you are just having an off day’ they declare holding me in their pitying stare. Don’t pity me I am not a victim nor am I woman stuck in an ‘over imaginative’ brain. I am battle scarred true but I cherish these scars because within the lacerations is the key to recovery.
So what are the warning signs?
– An acute sense of loneliness, feeling hopeless and helpless
– Poor self-esteem and lack of self-confidence
– Negative thoughts about life & yourself
– Incessantly exhausted even if you have slept
– Find it difficult to not become short-tempered/aggressive or irritable in stressful situations or feel that you cannot deal with stress effectively
– Concentration is weak unable to control negativity
– Engaging in reckless behaviour or becoming withdrawn
– Losing interest in activities/friends/family or feeling like you have to put on a mask to face the world
All of these signs and more may signal that you are suffering from depression and if you feel suicidal please seek help immediately don’t leave it to fate to decide.
Reject the Norm
I will be the first to admit that I am proud and unable to accept help even when it costs me my health but no matter how long it takes for you to admit you have depression always seek advice. Alot of my depression stems from being abused and bullied-I was forced into believing the mirror was a foe rather than a friend, a stain upon humanity. Now I know that there must be some truth in when people tell me I am beautiful because who are we to define beauty when it is all in the eye of the beholder. Growing up I wished I had big lips and eyes, straight hair and blue or green eyes an ideal that was fed to me by media propoganda. The media perpetuates the ‘Aryan’ ideal and in turn makes us self-conscious by being different. Don’t reject your difference, embrace it and challenge misconceptions about depression.
It is only now that I have begun to speak out about depression and I feel relieved that I am no longer alone in the struggle to combat depression. There will always be a small part of me that loathes the woman in the mirror but I will fight that inner voice and speak out for the uncoventional beauties. My hair is not perfect, my teeth aren’t straight and my eyes are too small by Western standards but I will no longer accept their belief of a perfect woman. For I am unique and proud to be different and that is something we should all aspire to.
Seeking Medical Help
It takes courage to seek help but you are not in it alone, our society has created a support network that can aid you through the highs and lows of depression.
1.The first step is defining what causes your depression, what are the triggers and the emotions that accompany your negative thoughts.
2. Secondly tell your doctor who will talk you through some outlets that can be used to channel your depression in a safer more carthartic way. These include counselling, aromotherapy, taking up a new hobby or even self-love mantras to feel more positive.
3. Medication is an obvious remedy but be warned that it can have negative side effects and speaking from personal experience I find it far more useful to write rather than take pills. Each person will find something different to cope with their pain.
4. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a form of counselling that trains your mind to think positively and reject negative thoughts. Many people who suffer from depression have cited CBT as an effective medium to express their selves through.
Don’t be like me and ignore the signs, put your pride aside and acknowledge that you need help. I wish that I had realized sooner but I live with no regrets and am happy that I am finally opening up to those who can support me through it. After all I have been through far worse so why should I let a mental illness stop me in my tracks. I am not defined by my past but the legacy I create and that is the bit of hope that I will cling onto.
Photography- Jumanna Khanom
Skirt- Miss Selfridge
Rollneck- Pretty Little Thing
Shoes- Ego Official