How have you thought about the impact of depression in your life over a long period of time?
I was diagnosed with Manic Depression in 2011, when I was 16 years old. In a way, I was relieved because I finally had a label for how I was feeling. But also, I felt restricted by the term. Because even though there was a name for it, it didn’t truly describe everything I was feeling.
Do you feel it’s a part of your identity as a person, or more like a problem peripheral to the core concerns of your life?
I don’t like to identify myself with Depression, because there’s so much more to myself, than this illness. Looking back, I realise that a lot of the concerns I had throughout my life have been triggers for my Depression. But it also comes out of nowhere, unexpectedly. Therefore, I can accept that that’s how my mind is. But it’s not me.
Have you been through shifts in your view of what depression means to you? How do you think about it now?
When I was diagnosed, I shifted all my blame of how I was feeling to Depression. I didn’t take full responsibility for how I was feeling. Now I take responsibility, and do everything I can do to live well. So I don’t see it as something that takes full control of my life. I see it as a nuisance, but it’s something I have to work proactively with, and do the best I can.