I hate hospitals. They smell like death and tears all mixed together with tile flooring. I was checked into the emergency room where they held me for a period of about an hour. I was wearing these scrubs that made it look like I was a prison inmate. A nurse came in and talked to me about my feelings and what was going on in my life. I began to unload everything that I was feeling and other things that I had not even told my parents about. The nurse pulled my parents out of the room and they talked privately. I began to think how stupid I was for even attempting to take my own life. I felt even more stupid for telling people that I had tried and then expected them to keep it a secret.
When the nurse and my parents returned, they came to the conclusion that I had depression, but it was a very serious case. They decided that I should be enrolled in an out patient care facility called Clara’s House. My parents said that they would need to think about it more. My answer was an emphatic no. I was not going to be put in a facility where people who had actual brain issues went to. I refused to go, my parents wanted me to go, so we compromised and I was now enrolled in this program.
I was identified as one of the most high functioning ones in the facility, and because of that, I was hated by all the other clients because they knew I would get out the fastest out of all of them. There were kids in there that had schizophrenia, PTSD, and all kinds of mental illness. I started to realize really quick that I didn’t belong there. As time went on however, I started helping the kids there with some of their issues. And then came the day that they helped me with mine.
I would show up later than usual to the facility because I had tennis practice right away in the morning. One day I was running a lot later than I would have liked to. I got in and started heading to the room where my feelings group was held. I walked into the room and everyone was crying. My mind immediately went back to the days in high school when I would see my friends in tears at school after Anthony had passed. I became angry very quick. I knew that my life was a constant pattern and that things truly never would get better. But these were tears of a different story. These were not tears of joy, but they weren’t tears of sadness either. I assessed the conversations being had and I realized that everyone was telling their story of how they ended up in this facility. I realized that these were tears of just pent up emotions that were held back for too long finally reaching the surface.
Everyone went around the room and shared their experience. When it came to me, I fell silent. I thought to myself, “Why am I here? What happened in my life that would cause me to feel this? What is my story going to contribute to this discussion?” At this point in my life I hadn’t taken a look at what I had in my life. I was on the varsity tennis team, I had a job, a car, and most importantly a family who was there for me. I had so much and yet I let the things that happen naturally in life get me down? Who was I to say that I had depression? What did I have to be depressed for? Tears began to fill my eyes as I looked at my peers sitting around the table. I choked on my words but I was finally able to say “I don’t belong here with you all.” Everyone laughed. I told them my experience with the loss of my friends. It was then that I realized that I didn’t have depression, I was grieving, but my grieving turned into self pity, and self pity turned into deadly thoughts of ending my own life. I lacked knowledge of resiliency. Within a week I had graduated the program and was back into my normal high school.
When I returned I had noticed something different about my school. The line to the counselors office was longer than it usually was. People in my classes were suddenly more open about their personal lives. Once a week there was a motivational speaker who talked about mental illnesses. As time went on more and more of my classmates admitted that they were depressed and suffered from anxiety disorders. These were kids who I thought had their lives sorted out. I found myself combating with students who would make these claims. I was called ignorant, and people told me that I never knew what it was like to be in their position. They weren’t wrong, but I had the experiences of mental illness that they didn’t have. I didn’t even have a mental illness but I was in the thick of it all. That’s when I came to realize how commercialized the industry of mental health is, and how they take advantage of younger generations into spending thousands of dollars on their facilities and for teens to get help.
Which lead me to the conclusion I have now. The depression rate is not as high as you would like to believe. With that said, to the individual who was told that they had depression, there is a very high chance that you were misdiagnosed and that you do not have depression. My challenge to you when you read these posts is to change my mind.