Long Story..I still don't know when I got depressed, I think it was some time in secondary school, or it could have been later, I know for a fact that by my first year of university, I was already toying with the idea of killing myself. I refused to entertain such a notion seriously, but that didn't stop it creeping back into my mind every singly day, and my uni had some temptingly high ledges.
I went through all the motions, thoughts of suicide, thinking thats just how life is, dabbling with self harm, punching walls until my hand bled, cutting myself, but never deep enough for a scar, scars are a give away that something is wrong, besides, i have accumulated enough scars from legitimate accidents over the years :P
Trying to do a degree whilst depressed is a tough thing to do, and it really started to be a problem by 2nd year, 2010, worst year of my life, brief digression:
My 2010 included:
-Death of a best friend
-Mini Nervous Breakdown (spent a night unintelligibly gibbering and rocking back and forth on the floor of my room)
-Awful house mates
-Being rejected by my first (and so far, only) love, my 1 ray of light at the time
-Almost losing my faith
-Losing at least half my friends through various circumstances
-Nearly failing my 2nd year when i was on my way to a First when i started
-Someone i hated talked his friend out of a suicide attempt, good for him, but i failed said task a year before, so that re-opened old wounds
-My mum became depressed, nearly left my dad, and got addicted to computer games, and my sister and I were the ones having to hold the family together, and I was the one holding my sister together.
-Kidney Stones, over a month of agony.
Now, i cant resist a little boast here, that though my (remaining) friends knew something was wrong, i managed to hide a hell of a lot of it, because when i was eventually diagnosed with depression early 2011, half of them thought i was joking, and to this day 1 still thinks i was faking.
Anyway, I finally hit rock bottom at the end of 2010, beginning of 2011, when i couldnt get through a day without hours alone to compose myself, and by then i really wasnt managing to hide it very well anymore. I spent all my spare time alone, i didnt eat or sleep more than i had to to live, i looked a mess, my grades were in the toilet, and my memory and concentration were so bad, it was a real effort to manage to follow a simple conversation between 2 people, and i couldnt read at all. (i would forget what i read before the end of the sentence, because i simply couldn't concentrate on it enough to remember what i read) So, after a lucky (for me) coin toss, i "decided" to see the counsellor, who sent me to the med centre, and i was diagnosed with depression, and put on 60mg fluoxetine a day, along with regular counselling, which i dont know who it was tougher on, me or her, sometimes i wasnt the only one reaching for tissues, and when i jokingly walked to the window and stuck my leg out she thought i was seriously going to jump.
So, to sum up, i wasnt just a little sad.
Anyway, Fluoxetine didnt work for me, sure it made me happier, but it made me prone to some weird mood swings, i felt more like a manic depressive than a depressive whilst i was on fluoxetine, and it made it hard to keep any friends as they didnt know what was going on.
Now, i am a smart guy, even at the point where i couldnt read, and following what someone was saying was a struggle, i managed to keep a passing grade at my degree (Mathematics, so no it wasn't an easy degree) and so i was still coming up with coping mechanisms, one that kinda worked was my (unrequited) love for this girl, who for the sake of this shall be named V. Just being around her was comforting, since i was already 1 step from suicidal, the fact that she rejected me didn't hurt too much, but the happiness she was capable of getting out of me was better than any anti-depressant. If it weren't for her, i wouldn't have made it through this. So when the university counselling service lost a few counsellors, and i was cut lose (thanks -_-) i relied on V more than ever, so i guess it was lucky that we were such good friends (damn you friend zone).
I was eventually switched over to Sertraline, 100mg, which worked a hell of a lot better for me, the mood swings stopped, i became consistently happier, but i relied on them just to function, and there was no end to this in sight.
Then luck hit, many people's depression seems to focus on a single thing in their lives, for my mum it was my dad (poor guy, he really didnt deserve it, his sense of humour can just be a little trying) and for me it was my degree. So when it came to handing in the biggest piece of coursework of the year, i just couldn't, even with the anti depressants. I sat for days staring at my work unable to start it, i had it all mapped out in my head, how i was going to do it, but i couldnt make myself start, and thats the lucky part, my university never asked me about the missing mark, and so when my degree was done, they were obliged to offer me a resit exam to cover the missing coursework mark, and they scheduled it in the june exams 2013!
So it put me in an interesting position of being a student this past 6 months with no lectures or coursework, and though i am not receiving any money from student finance, it has given me some time (and taken a lot of.. who am i kidding ,all of my savings) to finally sort myself out, figure out what i enjoy. I have been depressed so long, i honestly didnt know anymore what i enjoy, music, activities, even people, no clue.
So over the past 6 months i have rebuilt my life, i have friends, regular activities i enjoy, i have been searching, unsuccessfully for a job, as technically i still dont have a degree, and i dont have any job experience, and a high chance of NOT staying at whichever job i get after i get my degree.
So about a month ago, i went back home for a star trek convention (laugh all you want, im 6 foot 1, and good with the ladies, so i have no shame in being a trekkie :D ) and i forgot to take my anti depressants with me, so i was stuck there without them for a whole week, since if i go home for a single day, my parents wont let me leave for a week, and i managed fine, more than that, when i got back, i had fallen out of the habit of taking them, and forgot to take any for several more days, and then about 2 weeks after my last sertraline tablet, i realised, i was happy, i didn't need them anymore, i hadn't taken any antidepressants for 2 weeks, and i hadn't even noticed.
That was not the end of my struggle with depression, but it WAS the last time i relied on anti depressants. The hope i felt when i realised i didnt need them anymore, the first real hope that one day depression would be firmly in my past, has been something to hold onto, since then when depression has started to creep in, i get a knee-jerk reaction, i laugh. i laugh my *** off. Depression wont be around forever, and whenever i start to feel that way again, it just reminds me of that moment when i realised its not permanent, which makes me laugh with joy all over again.
Depression doesn't disappear though any force of will, its not a matter of will, it wont be solved over night, you just hang in there, and take any help you can until you find yourself in a place where you can rebuild, be it anti depressants, for support of friends or family. Anti Depressants are not a cure, they are just a crutch to give you the stability to get to grips with you life again.
I look forward to the day when my depression is a distant memory, and no one tell me it wont be.