It’s easy to get depressed when there are others around you who are calling you names, bullying you, and crank calling you all the time. It’s easy to get depressed when there are life events from earlier in life that somehow got glossed over and are still waiting for some attention, like the death of a parent or when a close friend moves away. And it’s easy to get depressed if you don’t have the support you need when you need it.
Add all of these events together and you might be so depressed, suicide starts becoming an option. You might begin to have thoughts and ideas about taking your life. You might even begin to look around for something to kill yourself with.
Those are the kind of thoughts Joseph began to have during high school. Those are the types of experiences he had during middle and high school, which led to a very heavy inner experience.
During middle school, he was picked on and chased by a group of boys who, when they caught up to him, bullied and attacked him. It only got worse in high school. He was one of those nerdy looking boys with braces and goggle looking glasses. His hair was parted down the middle and because he was often made fun of, he walked around school in the shadows. It got really bad when his sister and her daughter came to live with his family. His sister was often emotionally abusive and it only added to the inner heaviness he felt.
Joseph describes his depression during that time like this:
“As time went by, my depression deepened. I felt like the world was slowly fading away. My body was slow and heavy as if I was walking on the bottom of a pool. Just lifting up my hand to write my name was a chore that required much concentration. When I spoke, I felt like my words had to break down walls, and even then I couldn’t properly relate to anyone. Everything lost meaning. It’s like I was watching the world on the silver screen while I sat in the back row.”
Finally, Joseph contacted a former teacher. He shared all his feelings and thoughts. He went through some of the experiences that made his heaviness so bad. His teacher really listened, and the two of them continued to talk for more few days. But his suicidal thoughts didn’t stop. He eventually agreed to go to the counseling center and talk about his teen depression with a mental health professional.
However, on the day he went to the counseling center, he almost lost his life. He looked up at a tall building and saw himself jumping through with an explosion of glass. Then, as he was crossing the street, he stopped in the middle of the road waiting for a car to plow him over. No cars came.
As he sat in the counseling center waiting room, he realized that if a car had come, he would be dead. Tears welled up in his eyes because he saw how suicidal he really was. He shared his experience to the counselor and to his teacher who accompanied him that day. The three of them decided that he would spend three days at a hospital because he was a danger to himself.
“When I was let out, I remember walking out the front doors and stepping into the emerald city. Everything was beautiful, from the sun shining off the buildings to the sleek black of the street. It was all new and clean to me, almost like I saw it for the first time, and I was happy to be alive.”
But Joseph’s walk with depression didn’t end there. He continued to go to counseling, even when he started to experience a relapse of depression again. Counseling helped his make the connection that his heaviness and teen depression was actually related to earlier events in his life, like when he accidentally broke someone’s arm. He was able to make a link between the experiences in his life and his teen depression. He was able to heal himself. He was able to see that the day he freed himself from his depression was the day he spoke to his teacher.
In the end, Joseph says:
“I am thankful I didn’t kill myself because now I know that I would have missed something beautiful. No one is meant to die so young.”
*If you are feeling suicidal or depressed, talk to a teacher, parent, or an adult you trust. Getting help could save your life!
Taraszka, J. (June 30, 2013). My Struggle with Depression. LA Youth.com. Retrieved on July 9, 2014 from http://www.layouth.com/my-struggle-with-depression/