For Mental Health Month, this writer opens up about the battle raging in her own head.
When I was 14, a professional diagnosed me with manic depression and severe anxiety. The discovery made me emotional. I underwent therapy that cost my parents a lot of money. They spent almost P5,000 every week on medicines to help me keep the bad thoughts away.
I wasn’t suicidal. I wasn’t sad all the time. But I had intrusive thoughts that kept me from being “normal.”
Life gets harder
I stopped treatment when I got to college. We couldn’t afford it with tuition and all, so I chose to stop seeing my psychologist.
But when I entered my senior year, the pressure got to me. I started having depressive episodes again, so I sought help. A different mental health professional diagnosed me with dysthymia. It’s the clinical term for PDD (persistent depressive disorder). It’s a form of depression that goes on for a long time, and I had it.
I called it high-functioning depression, but my therapist disagreed with my use of the term. I was still depressed, but I could go on with my life, the intrusive thoughts muted to a low rumble in the back of my mind.
She said I needed to take medication again, but I told her they weren’t helping me. Even talking to her took a toll on me. All I needed was the diagnosis so I could get a medical certificate.
I left her clinic without a decision but with a certificate in hand.
Depression, the low rumble
I’m glad to report that I can keep the low rumble and intrusive thoughts at bay. I still have depressive episodes, but it’s somewhat easier for me to pick myself up after. It’s tough, but I’m managing.
Binge-watching series and reading books allowed me to escape into other worlds. The low rumble becomes a murmur sometimes, and I become as functional as I need to be.
I’m better now because I have a strong support system. My parents and in-laws allow me to exist in my own space, on my own time, and in my own capacity. I’m still depressed and anxious. The rumble is still there, albeit at a low register. But my PDD is at bay, for which I’m thankful.
If you feel like you have a mental health condition, please seek professional help. If you’re prescribed medication, take your pills religiously.
Let the roaring in your head be a low rumble instead.
Featured Image Daniella Sison