What does depression look like?

  • *Long answer ahead*

    Depression for me at least (can’t speak for everyone who’s struggled with it) looks like this: ps: I know I look ugly don’t judge. I was depressed. Btw I just wanted to say that I have bipolar disorder so when I’m depressed it’s considered bipolar depression

    When the top 2 photos were taken I started going on a downward spiral (this was toward the end of 2018). I started binge drinking and getting in bed with random guys on dating sites and stayed up all night and slept all day. During that time I was having problems with my POS ex. My ex and I were casually dating for 5 years. He always encouraged me to sleep around with other people since he’s always busy, the whole 5 years he kept giving me mixed signals and just lead me on. I was wanting something more serious with him since the beginning and he knew that but he decided to be a prick.

    When the 2 bottom photos were taken my ex of 5 years ghosted me on November 14th 2018 messaging me saying “yeah I gotta go. thanks for everything, it was entertaining.”

    Imagine waking up to a heartbreaking text out of nowhere with no warning or closure AND being on your period while also dealing with depression from relationship issues, having trouble finding and maintaining healthy relationships, money issues, not having health insurance to go to any doctors, dealing with family drama, not having any friends, worrying about a pregnancy and STD scare, almost getting myself into an abusive relationship (good thing I dodged a bullet), worrying about my younger sister who was in an abusive relationship at the time in another country (she eventually got out of her abusive relationship safely and is now back home) etc……

    I eventually found out months later that he had a girlfriend the whole time (literally the whole 5 years). I ugly cried for 4 days straight when I saw his breakup text from the time I woke up in the morning till I eventually cried myself to sleep every night and I continued to cry on and off for the next 2–3 months after he left.

    I was devastated twice. I was devastated more when he initially left because I didn’t get any closure and I obviously still had feelings for him plus I had a feeling that he had someone else but, he kept lying to me the whole time saying there was no one else. He lied to me about a lot of things. The second time I was not only devastated but I was more pissed off than anything. I felt sick to my stomach when I found out. With all of that going on I ended up going to a psychiatric ward in January of this year and again in March but the time I went in March was for a different reason (had nothing to do with my ex).

    The only good thing I have gotten out of my breakup was a new relationship. My now current boyfriend ended up messaging me within the EXACT same week my POS ex left me. I remember at first I didn’t want a relationship but we both agreed to take things slow and we both ended up falling in love with each other. He stopped me from going further on my downward spiral. He’s been living with me for the past 9 months and he treats me way better than how my ex treated me. He moved in with my family and I in January and we both plan on getting our own place and getting married one day.

    These are just some of our pictures. The first 3 that are shown were from our dates before he moved in, the 4th one that’s shown was from my 21st birthday and the last 2 were from Valentine’s Day. I remember I was so happy that I wanted to take a picture of what he got me.

    He’s the love my life and he makes me so happy. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with him. I’m so happy that he’ll be my future husband one day. He makes me feel alive.

    Edit: when I’m depressed I don’t eat, I have trouble sleeping and sometimes I sleep too much, I don’t take care of my personal hygiene, all I do is cry and feel numb, I stop caring and no longer show interest in the things I normally enjoy, I feel dead, I become self destructive, and even become suicidal sometimes etc…. But I’m in a better place now. I’m a lot happier. I consider my ex leaving a blessing in disguise and a lesson learned.

    Edit 2: this was just one of my many depressive episodes.

    Another depressive episode I had I would consider one of my worst. I think the last severe depressive episode I’ve had was when I was 17. When I was 17 I had a mixed bipolar episode that featured more depression than mania and I ended up acting on my suicidal thoughts and overdosed on Trazodone (one of my psychiatric medications) without telling anyone. I took the whole bottle. Normally I ALWAYS tell someone when I’m feeling suicidal but at that time my illness was very severe and became treatment resistant. I was so tired of being in and out of psychiatric wards. Before my suicide attempt I had I think 6 hospitalizations so far. And I lost hope.

    Before my suicide attempt I was struggling with my grades. I remember I had to transfer from the school I was zoned for (colonial high school) to a school that was farther away and was meant for children with mental illness and learning disabilities (Hospital homebound: Esteem Academy). When I transferred schools the other students started making up rumors about me.

    Dealing with failing grades, bullying, an emotionally toxic and very dysfunctional family, chronic loneliness and depression that kept getting worse, deep childhood trauma, my Mom’s divorce, already having a diagnosed mental illness, the thought of once having an abusive and neglectful father, a neglectful and toxic mother, dealing with my POS ex at the time (I had known my ex for a year already at the time. He was the same ex who took advantage of me for 5 years) etc….. everything just kept adding up and got too much. I was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder a year prior when I was 16 so my diagnosis was still fairly new and I was still trying to identify my triggers and warning signs of an episode.

    Around March of 2016 me and my younger sister stayed home from school because we had an appointment to get our eyes examined that day. We were sleeping in because it wasn’t time yet to get ready to go to the doctor.

    I ended up staying up the whole night prior crying, thinking about my life and seriously thinking about suicide. When the sun rose I made up my mind and wrote my suicide note, messaged my POS ex (the ex of 5 years) at the time telling him goodbye and that I was sorry and loved him after finding out he was looking for a relationship on a dating site and he just blocked me, I then took an entire bottle of Trazodone. I think seeing him on the dating site supposedly looking for a relationship along with other things I was dealing with plus with how he reacted just pushed me off the edge. I was not only heartbroken that day but my spirit was broken from everything else. After taking the whole bottle I briefly thought about taking a second bottle of Trazodone that was unfinished and had about 10–15 pills left in it but decided not to because I thought an entire bottle of 30 pills would be enough to kill me.

    I remember after taking the whole bottle I thought I would just die peacefully in my sleep. But I was wrong. I did feel very relaxed but my heart started beating erratically fast and my breathing started slowing down to the point I didn’t feel like I needed to anymore. I started thinking about my younger sister and how I didn’t want to leave her behind etc… I guess my survival instincts kicked in because I also started panicking. I remember I walked into the living room sobbing and begged my family to call 911 and that I was dying because I took a whole bottle of Trazodone.

    My family proceeded to yell at me. My mom yelled at me and I guess she didn’t believe me or something because she told me to go get the empty bottle from my room and show her. I tried telling her that I felt like I was going to pass out and die and that I felt like I couldn’t walk but she made me get up anyway. I only got as far as the hallway and I collapsed and hit my head really hard (we have hardwood flooring). My family yelled at me even more.

    At this point I think it’s been about 15 minutes or so since I took the whole bottle. I waited about 10 or so minutes before my survival instincts kicked in and roughly about 5 or so minutes before collapsing and my mom finding the empty bottle. When I collapsed my sister and uncle woke up. My mom called 911 and it took them about 5–10 minutes to arrive. I remember the police and fire department came along with an ambulance. The whole time I was lying there on the floor barely breathing and very sleepy, I was also close to having a seizure. With my family berating me. I was just thinking about how what I did was a mistake, part of me was wishing I didn’t tell anyone, part of me was pissed off and disappointed at myself for chickening out, part of me didn’t really want to die. I just wanted everything to be okay. I wanted to stop hurting. The whole time though, I was terrified and deeply hurt for how my family and how the paramedics reacted.

    My family seemed pissed off at me and didn’t really show any compassion. The paramedics didn’t show any compassion at all. I remember over hearing them talk to each other and all they did was complain because they were sick of always coming to our address (my grandparents also live with us and whenever my grandpa falls he’s hard to lift because he’s a stroke victim). I also over heard them say people who overdose are stupid and how the mentally ill and suicidal are stupid and just waste their time etc….

    In the ambulance I looked at the heart monitor and my pulse was around 180 BPM they also told the hospital and said I had acute respiratory failure.

    At the hospital they had me drink activated charcoal, did blood work, gave me an anti-convulsant, gave me oxygen since I couldn’t breathe on my own and gave me IV fluids because poison control said I didn’t need my stomach pumped. I remember there was a bunch of doctors and nurses surrounding me and asking questions but by the time I got to the hospital I couldn’t really speak because I was so drugged and very sleepy. It was very hard for me to talk to the paramedics because my speech was slurred.

    Before I passed out I looked over and saw my sister who was sobbing. Then I saw my mom and a camera flash went off. Idk why but she decided to take a picture of me. Like why would a mother want to take a picture of her child who is practically dying??? like why of all situations would you wanna take a picture??

    Anyways this is the picture she decided to take.

    When I woke up briefly I was in another hospital that had more advanced equipment. I was also on suicide watch and the room I was in had high security. My room had two psychiatric nurses watching me, an automatic locking door that stayed locked unless hospital staff or visitors came in, and my room had a surveillance camera. My bathroom door also didn’t have a lock. I remember my mom telling me I would stay in the more advanced hospital until I was medically cleared. Once I was medically cleared I would be sent to a children’s psychiatric ward.

    I was in and out of consciousness for 5 days. I was only able to stay awake long enough to eat and use the restroom. Which took a lot of my energy. The rest of the time I was in deep sleep. So technically I was in a coma because I was only able to stay awake for a few minutes out of the day. Every time I briefly woke up I felt extremely weak and very tired. No matter how hard I tried to stay awake longer I just couldn’t keep my eyes open.

    After spending 5 days in the advanced hospital I was transported to an adolescents psychiatric ward by ambulance. Even in the psychiatric ward I still struggled to stay awake. I was in the ward for about 7 days then I was sent home. It felt good to be home after staying in the hospital for several days. It was short lived though. I was only home for about a day. Because the doctor called my mom and told her he’s arranged for another children’s psychiatric hospital to take me since my insurance ran out and he felt that I was still a danger to myself.

    When my mom told me I had to go right back into another psychiatric ward I cried, begged and pleaded with her to not take me but my mom said if I didn’t show up at the hospital by 6pm that they would send a police officer to come take me in handcuffs. I knew I didn’t want to traumatize my younger sister and make a scene in front of my family by being forced in handcuffs and forced into a police car.

    So after arguing with my mom and family I eventually decided to let my mom drive me to the arranged psychiatric ward simply because of the fact that I didn’t wanna make a scene in front of my younger sister and didn’t want her seeing me being taken away in handcuffs, I also wanted to say goodbye to my sister and I knew that if a police officer showed up that I wouldn’t get a chance to say goodbye.

    I remember I kept arguing with my mom and family saying:

    “Why do I have to go back??!! I already did my time!!”

    “Why couldn’t they have just transferred me from one hospital to the other hospital in an ambulance??!!”

    Etc…

    But like I said I did end up letting my mom drive me to the other psychiatric ward which was farther away and in another county. Even though I was pissed off about the whole situation. I’ll admit I did have thoughts of making a run for it though but decided against it because I would just get caught anyway and I didn’t wanna make a scene.

    If I ran away from home police would still show up and search for me and if I ran away when I arrived at the hospital I knew I wouldn’t get far. The hospital I went to had very high security. As in metal detectors, security guards with metal detecting wands and police dogs, surveillance cameras everywhere etc…. It was probably the most maximum secure hospital I’ve ever been to.

    Good thing that I was only in the second psychiatric hospital for 3 days.

    When I finally came home for good though it didn’t really get better as I hoped it would sadly.

    My family was still very dysfunctional and toxic. What’s sad is that my family almost acted as if my suicide attempt didn’t even happen. They acted as if it were no big deal. Nobody in my family even asked about me or checked up on me after I got out of the hospital. Except my sister. My sister and I have always been close. I remember my sister was so happy when I got out. And I was happy to see her (As an FYI my sister was 15 at the time I attempted suicide and I was 17).

    My POS ex at the time messaged me justifying why he blocked me (his reason for blocking me were because he had end of course exams and I was just stressing him out. I can’t believe I hung onto him for another 3 years).

    My psychiatrist at the time told me that the dosage I took wasn’t lethal (I ingested 1,500 mg of Trazodone) so I felt angry with myself afterward, plus he told me that my illness seemed to be treatment resistant because of how often I need med adjustments and changes, how I kept changing therapists and showed little to no progress, how I just had a suicide attempt…

    I remember my psychiatrist at the time said he was hesitant about getting me on ECT treatment but was considering it because it seemed that my illness became treatment resistant. He told me he would continue to try other medications before using ECT though because he only recommends ECT as a last resort. I ended up not going through with ECT because my insurance canceled and I couldn’t afford it. I did however eventually stabilize on medications.

    After getting a doctors note that stated I was safe enough to return to school Esteem Academy (the school for mentally ill kids) recommended I did homeschool because they thought I was too dangerous and influential on the other kids. So I tried but had a hard time learning at home because of my toxic family and severe depression, I tried going back to the school I was zoned for (colonial high school) but colonial pretty much told my mom and I that the school year was pretty much over and my grades were failing and I was too far behind and that I wasn’t prepared for any end of course exams.

    They told us that it was best to have me withdrawn from school altogether. So I was basically expelled from school. All of this happened just a few months before finishing 11th grade. I didn’t even get a chance to finish 11th grade.

    About a month or two after my suicide attempt my mom ended up abandoning me and my sister for 18 months (I was still 17 at the time and she was 15) when she left. Me and my sister stayed behind because we were already living with our grandparents. Our mom met a guy and moved in with him after only knowing him for two weeks. The guy she dated and was engaged to hated me and my sister for some reason and tried taking our mom away. When our mom left she didn’t even tell us goodbye…. She left at the absolute worst time. Because it was literally after my suicide attempt. I needed her the most during that time.

    I remember thinking

    ‘Wow, I had an abusive POS dad and I lost out on having a dad now I lost a mom…..’

    ‘Wow she didn’t even say goodbye or give me a hug.’

    ‘I can’t believe she chose a random guy over me and my sister….’

    But in reality I don’t think I ever really had parents. When I think of it both of my parents are bad. They’re both abusive, neglectful, selfish, liars etc… my grandparents pretty much took on the role as backup parents whenever our biological parents weren’t around or couldn’t be bothered.

    But our grandparents are also toxic.

    When our mom was gone for those 18 months she was really hard to get ahold of. No matter how many times me and my sister called and texted her she would hardly answer or reply. It felt like she would only answer the phone if our grandmother called. I remember there were several nights where I just needed to hear her voice and I’d cry myself to sleep because I could never get ahold of her and I just wanted her to come back home and hold me and tell me everything would be okay. I was still a kid and I was struggling with mental illness at its worst and I wasn’t ready for my mom to leave. During those 18 months she was the most heartless and coldest I’ve ever seen her.

    On several occasions my sister would hold me and comfort me.

    I’m surprised our grandparents didn’t actually call CPS on her for child abandonment (they just threatened her) because like I said me and my sister were minors when she left. Our family has been investigated by CPS a few times before but the investigation always closed and allegations were dropped. Our grandparents tried talking to our mom about letting them have temporary custody of me and my sister but our mom just flat out refused. Our mom has always been paranoid about people taking me and my sister away yet she doesn’t even act like a mother to us. She’s more of a friend than a mom. And she’s very toxic, slightly abusive and pretty neglectful.

    The only time me and my sister ever really saw her was when she took us to doctors appointments and usually me and my sister would end up arguing with her because she didn’t think what she did was wrong and she refused to acknowledge how it was affecting my sister and I.

    Eventually our mom did come back. She came back after 18 months of being gone. But when she came back she blamed me for getting in the way of her happiness and her relationship. She blamed me for being needy….

    Even though my mom abandoning me happened when I was 17 it still affects me to this day. I’m deeply hurt by it. Just writing about the experience made me cry.

    My overdose also traumatized me because:

    I acted on impulse. And I was afraid of what if I couldn’t stop myself the next time.

    That was the day I realized I wasn’t invincible and that I could die

    I almost died that day

    I could’ve died that day because I had respiratory failure and if I didn’t go to the ER I would’ve eventually died in my sleep because I couldn’t breathe on my own. I had shallow breathing.

    I realized how easy it can be to overdose

    The overdose symptoms were scary AF

    For 6 or so months I also suffered from psychotic depression. I had all of the symptoms of bipolar depression along with psychosis. It was the only depressive episode that I’ve experienced with psychosis. It was rather intense. During my psychotic depression I was convinced that I was dying, as it progressed I started believing that I was already dead and that I was just a ghost. I remember I kept smelling things that were rotting everywhere I went and thought that my insides were decaying, I remember I also kept hallucinating bugs and sometimes I felt them crawl on me, I also hallucinated dead things.

    After my psychotic depression went away I experienced mania.

    Right now I’m in a better state of mind for the time being. So far I’ve been to the psychiatric hospital roughly 12 times. From my first hospitalization when I was 13 to my 2 most recent hospitalizations earlier this year (in January and in March)

    Edit 3:

    For anyone still reading this my boyfriend and I have been together for a year and 3 months now. And we moved into our own place November 2019. We still plan on getting married and building a life together.

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