Losing My Father Caused My Depression
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My experience of depression began when I was in elementary school. I truly love my father, and as you may already know, girls tend to be more affectionate with their parents than boys, and that was also the case for me. My father was my hero, my encouragement, my best friend, and a role-model, where I was especially impressed with the way that he looked others in the eye when he spoke to them. Our family was fairly happy and loving during my childhood years, but then my father was involved in a car accident, which took his life and broke my heart. At this stage my mother needed to begin working in order to support us, and this marked the beginning of the onset of my depression.
Meaning and Purpose
During the time after my father’s death I felt that my life was devoid of meaning and purpose, and although I was suffering internally, neither my friends nor my family seemed to notice my pain. I went to school every day in order to watch over my brothers, but everything seemed mechanical and stale as I felt worse and worse every day. I began to isolate myself and gave my friends excuses to avoid hanging out with them. Honestly, it was terrible to isolate myself, and my friends kept asking me to join them, but I chose to remain alone and began my academic performance dropped simultaneous with unhealthy weight loss. Somehow I managed to pass High School and make it into college, but my depression continued into my freshman year.
Sharing My Feelings?
I often thought about discussing this situation with my mom, but I was overwhelmed by the thought that I would become a burden to my family, so my quiet suffering continued to go unnoticed by my mother. To her credit, she was preoccupied with her own challenge of supporting the family and my entry into college, but leaving home further increased my sense of isolation. I began my college studies and became a part of a college dormitory, but my roommates seemed to be actively unfriendly to me for some reason, and I would only see my mother when she visited once per month or during vacations. Meanwhile, my family was financially challenged as my mom was a single woman who needed to support the entire family, which meant that she was consumed with her work and unable to spend any quality time with us. I completely understood her situation, but I continued feeling lonely and unable to share my feelings with others – The only person who I ever trusted with my true feelings was my father, and the trauma of his loss left me feeling unable to communicate. I would return home from vacation and spend a little bit of time with my brothers, but I kept my distance from our once close relationships.
My college experience left me feeling alone, but this was at about the same time that I noticed a counseling group had been initiated on campus, and the group was organized by a few senior students. My roommate joined their weekly meetings on Wednesdays, and so she invited me to come with her to meet the few attendees that had opted into the group. On that day one of our group members discussed how he learned to improve his personality, and something began to stir in my mind. Eventually, I chose to attend these weekly meetings without fail, and I began to feel that things were slowly getting better as everything began to fall into place. The senior mentors would often sit with each member and speak with them personally, and a person named Steve was the one who was assigned to me. We met for a casual talk, and I soon found myself opening my heart and disclosing my most personal thoughts and feelings with him. Steve recognized that I was suffering from loneliness and depression, and he helped me to take small steps toward improving my attitude each day. My grades began to rise, and my friends recognized that I had made a significant shift as I began to connect with my roommates more and more. I slowly began to find pleasure in sharing my thoughts with my friends, and I eventually moved through college and became a senior. As I had completed the majority of my most challenging studies, I decided that I would begin participating in the group as a mentor and began playing a vital role in shaping the attitudes of my junior classmates. Meanwhile, my brother moved into college, and I was able to serve as a guide to him as well.
Life is truly vast, and whatever happens, we all play our roles. Make the most out of this brief life and look for opportunities to feel happiness in the little things. If you are feeling lonely, make sure that you get guidance from elders and participate in engaging activities - Think of those who have less than you, and recognize that you have been blessed with many gifts.