At the age of 14 I was recovering from extreme depression and suicidal urges, only to have my anxiety medication cause vivid hallucinations and urges to self-harm and kill myself. After a few months my parents decided to send me to a residential treatment center in Utah, where I stayed for 7 months.
While I was there, I met a variety of kids my age—there were a few beautiful, kind, intelligent 13-year-old girls with scars lining their arms and an extreme aversion to food. Several 16 and 17 year olds who had been in treatment for 2 years and relapsed into drugs and depression so many times that they had decided not to care before they had even started living. And one of my best friends, a hyper, funny girl who bounced between joy and suicide.
One thing I have learned from my experience is that a certain sentiment was shared between myself and many of the other teenagers: the depression hadn’t seemed like the problem. It was just a natural symptom of the hellhole that is life. The only escape is to stop eating and concentrate on the hunger instead of the numbness, then that isn’t enough and you have to dig a razor into your skin, and finally it’s staring at a knife across the room and wishing for darkness.
But DEPRESSION IS NOT REAL LIFE!
Don’t let it get so far, I swear. If you even THINK that you’re depressed, talk to someone! Anyone!