Hey Fangirls. Today’s villain isn’t so much one in a physical sense, but emotional. Depression is something I’ve dealt with my whole life. I can not speak for everyone; this will be about how I experience depression. Everyone experiences and deals with depression differently.
In this article, I will talk about my experiences with depression. If you are triggered by self harm, suicide, or anything to do with depression, please do not read further.
I was diagnosed with clinical depression about 10 years ago. Before that, my family thought that my mood swings were purely hormones making their way through my middle school body, messing me up. In middle school, since I didn’t know what was happening to my body, I had extreme episodes of vertigo and I often blacked out. This made my parents take me to doctors, and I sat down with a couple therapists, who then diagnosed me.
I tried hurting myself, as a way to cope, but cutting didn’t do anything. I then learned that piercings and (later) tattoos gave me a high that got rid of the sad feelings. Then I also felt more confident, and I could take on the world. Fangirls, that is dangerous. Self harm, in any form, is dangerous. I have physical/visual reminders of that ever day. I have one tattoo that helps me, and I got it when I wasn’t down. It says “you’re not alone” in the font from the Marauder’s Map. The quote is from Team Starkid’s A Very Potter Musical. When I’m feeling down, I remind myself that I’m not alone. I know so many supportive and amazing people, and they are all fantastic listeners. If I can offer any advice, its to find people who care about you, and stick with them. If they’re online, in person, or pen pals, it doesn’t matter.
I deal with depression by shutting down. I stop talking to people, hide in my room, and reread the Harry Potter books. I’ve found that they are a big comfort, as they were the only solid thing in my life for awhile. When it gets really bad, I make an escape plan. This can be anything from running away to planning a suicide. I’ve only tried to follow through a handful of times.
I’m writing this because I had a very bad episode the other day, and found comfort in human interaction. I was surprised, because I hate being around people when I’m down. But texts and tweets helped me get through it. I’m grateful to the people who did what they did. They made those couple days far more manageable. I have mentioned, several times, how amazing I think the internet is as a support system, and it was really shown to me the other day.
I don’t think people with depression want to be treated like fragile babies. I don’t think they want to be pitied or catered to, or to have people treat them gingerly. I think support and love are very important. I hope to continue to be surprised by how supportive people can be from miles away, through the internet or phones. Find someone who helps you feel better, and keep them close. Go outside, the sun really helps. Take a walk, it’ll get your heart working a bit, and make you feel nice.
I can’t profess to understand how depression works for everyone; I don’t even fully understand how it works for me. But if you need to talk to someone, I’m here to listen. And remember, if you’re ever doubting your abilities or strength, you’re a Fangirl, dammit. You’ve got this.
All images and characters depicted are copyright of their respective owners. Both images are from Erika Moen’s comic diary DAR, which can be found here.