Wednesday 7 May 2014

Depression - A guest post by Felix Robino

Depression is something I take very seriously, and have done since I first suffered with it back in 2008 when I was 14. Back then I didn't know how to deal with it, I’d cry myself to sleep and worry about making sure nobody found out among everything else. After a month or two of getting used to living with depression, I’d started self-harming; first my wrists, then when this was almost noticeable to others I’d move onto my legs, my sides, places that wouldn't be seen. It was what they done in the movies, right? They’d be depressed and the cutting would help. So I did. For a small time it did help, I’d be focusing on making sure nobody saw the scars rather than the actual depression, which seemed to have taken a back seat.

The two years following this were hell – Nobody knew how bad it was, I’d be skipping school, faking illnesses and most nights crying myself to sleep. What bothered me most was that I didn't know why I was depressed; okay I hadn't had the best childhood, being brought up in a broken family, but why would that make me feel bad? My mother and sister were happy, supportive, people who loved me very much and whom I loved. So what was causing the depression?

When I was nearing 17 years old, I realised I was bisexual. This affected the depression because I’d worry about people finding out and how they’d react. Gay people in films and in the news would be portrayed as unequal, the lowest class of society. Fantastic, I was something people were ashamed to be around. The depression got worse, something I didn't think would happen. Something I didn't think could happen. A few months later when a close friend accidentally noticed the scars on my wrist, he sat me down and asked me if I was okay. I burst into tears, sobbed hysterically and unloaded near three years’ worth of things I had held in.

It turned out my friend was depressed too, he was seeing a counsellor and on medication, and recommended I did the same. I’d heard about counsellors, and I knew what they were, but by the time I’d been old enough to see one without parental consent, I’d grown too accustomed to bottling things up.
I saw the college counsellor the next day. After only a few sessions I was feeling a little better, finally. When I turned 18 I was put on medication, and slowly but surely the depression was easing into something manageable.

Now? I’m 20 years old, studying psychology at a fantastic university, and my special interests are depression, other mental disorders, and learning disabilities such as dyslexia. My goal In life is to research these areas in hopes to find new treatments, better treatments, and hopefully in doing so make the world a little friendlier to those who suffer. Should that fail, I’d like to become a counsellor, pay back and pay forward the goodness that I had received.

If I could say one thing to 14 year old me, or the me I was at my worst, it would be this: Don’t suffer alone. Even telling one person will lighten the load, and could open doors to all sorts of treatments and opportunities to get better. My advice to others would be to seek professional help, as long as it is safe to do so. Of course, I still have depression, but with medication and someone to talk to, it barely phases me now. There are still some nights that are bad, and some days I don’t do much, but compared to what I was like 6 years ago, it’s a vast improvement.

I really would encourage those who can get help, to do so. No one should suffer alone!

To see more wonderful posts from Felix Robino you can visit his  blog at


Twitter - @PsychStudentThe

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