Living with depression

Ruby Zhang, Staff Writer

I am a student at Santa Rosa Junior College, and I suffer from depression.

Sometimes when I tell people that I have depression, they withdraw. They wonder why a 20-year-old woman who appears happy most days could suffer from this illness.

My depression is not caused by a single incident of distress, such as a breakup. Clinical depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, according to mental health researchers at Harvard University. People with depression can feel sad and have very low energy even if they don’t have something to feel “sad” about.

When I’m in the depths of depression, it feels like a dark cloud covers my world. It feels like my depression is extracting and drying the sunshine and oxygen inside my body. I want to escape from it, but it’s difficult. Moreover, it feels like no matter how hard I try, things will never get better. Even when I try to think about overcoming it, it feels like everything will remain the same.

When I’m faced with a big decision I feel like depression is dragging my legs and controlling my life. And when I try to escape it stays with me every single moment.

Sometimes I feel it’s a burden I can’t carry. One difficult night, I told my roommate I felt terrified that I would hurt myself. She didn’t say anything, hugged me and we cried together. She stayed with me through the whole night. It was my darkest moment, but I still didn’t want to give up and leave my family and friends.

After that night, I realized how serious my situation was. The next day I decided to ask for help and went to the student psychological services at SRJC. But I found they don’t always understand how I feel.

So I also decided to talk with people I trust, my friends. When I want to give up, my friends are the angels next to me, taking care of me. “Hey Ruby, you are the best! “Hey Ruby, I think you are better than the best!”

Of course I know it’s sometimes hard for me to keep moving, and it’s difficult to change. But I love my friends and family so I want to keep moving forward. I know they love me. I know they care about me. And I know they hope that I can be happy. For this, I decide to go on.

To people with depression: I know you might also feel that it’s impossible to overcome your feelings. But know there are people who will stand with you and support you. It’s all right not to be strong all the time, but you deserve sunshine. Someday, it will shine in your world, you just need to trust that.

Even though counseling wasn’t helpful yet, I am still looking for help. If you need professional help, go to student health services in Plover Hall on the main campus, or to the Call Building in Petaluma. Or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.