This is a bit long so if anyone wants they can skip to the last 3 small paragraphs at the end.
I have been depressed most of my life. I was feeling especially awful one day last year after I read a news article about depression in children, I looked it up further and burst into tears because some of the most horrible extreme examples it listed were "oh my god, that's me". The worst was that it gave an example of a 4-year old boy who died after deliberately running in front of a car, as he lay dying they asked him what happened and he said he wanted to die, they asked him why he would want to die and he said he felt like his parents didn't love him. I had tried to kill myself many times even as a little kid so that really resonated with me and helped me understand how I really needed to do something to help myself.
Not like I was imagining being rejected or being abnormal, I would literally have other children beat me up for being ugly or being small even though I hadn't done so much as say anything to them, and my mom was one of those sickos who would find any excuse to punish her children or permanently take away something they liked just so she could see them cry and make herself feel powerful. She ended up being so bad that she would refuse to buy any food, let flies get into the crumbs and powder left in the emptied containers of food and then demand we eat the maggot-infested dust before she buy any new food. There were no other schools to transfer to and no foster home to go to since we lived in the countryside. Definitely not any love coming from the family and definitely lots of hate coming from strangers and schoolmates.
I read about depression and manic depression and bipolar and anxiety most of the afternoon after I read the childhood depression article, and all I did was cry and cry, turns out I had recently experienced or was experiencing all of the symptoms on the little checklists and all those little checklists told me "wow you have severe depression, contact a doctor immediately" and "you have severe anxiety, please discuss this with your doctor".
I think I was on the Zoloft website at one point that day. They had a little icon of a beanbag person or something, the beanbag was sad and had little rainclouds but then it became happy and started playing with a ladybug and following a butterfly and stuff and I was like "yay little beanbag!". I actually stopped crying for the first time in hours by seeing the happy beanbag and the cute little animals all being happy. I wanted to call the doctor to ask about getting the pills being promoted by the little beanbag but the doctor had closed for the day by then. I just watched some more happy beanbag ads and felt better. Then I looked up some kitty pictures and felt happier. I went and bought a little stuffed kitty on the way home and put it on my desk the next day. Now whenever I am super upset I go look at kitty pictures and/or buy a kitty for myself and put it on my coffee table at home. That's my trick for cheering myself up.
All the kitties in the world couldn't fix my anxiety issues. From all those bad things that would happen my whole life growing up, I was literally terrified of every person I would see. I live really far away from where I grew up but I was still afraid that the people in my new location would want to hurt me, even after living around here for 5 years with no problems. It's a really big city in a sprawling urban area so of course that's ridiculous, but anyways. I would never talk to anyone unless it was someone who worked for the store I was in, because store workers aren't allowed to be mean and like 90% of the time they aren't mean to you. I would sit around for hours and wait until it was after 11pm or later to go to the grocery store just so there wouldn't be anyone else shopping there. I never went out and did anything except go to the store and I hated that. All I wanted to do was hide at home, and when I wasn't at home all I did was worry about people hating me or yelling at me. I took a second job where I worked the night shift in an office where nobody else worked the night shift, and was glad to be all alone.
Then I got crohn's. I missed a whole month of my second job while the doctors were trying to figure out what was wrong with me. They laid me off at my second job. I had a meltdown and wanted to die more than anything. My 2nd job boss sarcastically told me to go work at Target when I was like dude the day after I finally get a diagnosis and medication you fire me, what gives. I was about to go searching for some bridge to jump off of when I was like well let me go to the Target, maybe I can just barely get by with the money I'd make there and not lose everything I own. I'm sure they won't hire me though or everyone will be mean to me.
I went to the Target. They were totally thrilled to have someone over 18 want to work there at night, most of the night workers are young kids. I figured well, that's the managers, I'm sure all the workers will hate me. Nope, they literally have so many different kinds of people there that nobody each other. There are small people and tall people. Fat and thin, old and young. Several "sick" people too, people with cancer, people with visible skin diseases, and even people with amputated limbs. I was like wow, I can't believe everyone is nice to each other and I don't even hear anyone making fun of someone's health problems behind their back. Now not only am I not afraid to talk to people who work for stores where I shop, I am not afraid of other shoppers either since I have people in my life that talk to me and treat me nicely.
Sometimes people don't understand why or how I can be sick. I try to tell them my immune system kills germs and viruses, and then gets confused and tries to kill my organs too. If anyone doesn't understand that, I tell them it's like I have the flu AND food poisoning every day from my organs being messed up, and that sometimes all my medicines help and I do not feel quite so sick, but it will never go away. Everyone gets that
I never did get around to getting those antidepressants. All it took for me was a bunch of kitties for whenever I get sad and a bunch of nice people to make me feel accepted. I still get sad and still have anxiety but then I just find kitty items and pictures or think of all the people who will hope I feel better, offer me advice, or -a big thank you to this forum- tell me I'm not a weirdo and my crohn's problems are ok to have. When I feel like I am sick and will be stuck that way, I tell myself maybe I'll make a good guinea pig for a clinical trial so that maybe my sickness will help other people one day, and that helps.
Sorry for anyone whose eyes have fallen out from reading all that, I hope any part of my story proves useful or helpful to anyone else out there who is feeling depressed. That is my journey from always frightened and/or suicidal to mostly happy and mostly unafraid.