Based on a study by Malaysia Psychiatric Association (MPA), depression will be a MAJOR mental illness by the year 2020. On what basis? According to the study by the 2017 National Health and Morbidity Survey found that 29% Malaysian suffered depression and anxiety compared to 12% in 2011.This means, the number is steadily increasing every year and most of us don’t know about it.
Wait, how did you know this? How did I know this? I am a Malaysian who suffered Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), of course I know about it. Whenever I talked about it, they don’t understand how someone can feel sad or down when it doesn’t show on our face, they don’t understand why someone can’t handle the pressure and tension of living like they do, they can’t relate when someone decided to hurt themselves and take their own life.
To add the pain, some will casually tell us, you need to smile more, you need to get out more, you need to let go, you need to get closer to God, you need this, you need that… If only it is that simple. The perfect example would be, if you suffered from diabetes and someone casually said “Just eat bitter food everyday and you will be fine”.
For awhile, I have suspected that I have depression because of all the things I read in the internet. Worst is that I started to have it since I was young. That explained all the addictions, self harms, mood swings, harmful impulses and the unbearable thoughts of dying.
It was until early this year, I decided to get myself diagnosed after I attempted to kill myself with a knife. I don’t have the courage to do it. I was a coward. After I had my session with the doctor, he gave me a referral letter to a hospital. Even so, I did not went to the hospital immediately, I was still hesitant.
For me, everyday was tiring, getting out from bed was tiring, getting out to work was tiring, talking to others was tiring, acting was fine was tiring. Not to mention, the constant dark thoughts, the images of myself, and the horrendous nightmares every night.
It took me a month to go to the hospital. I was diagnosed and officially became a mental patient. It was unreal at first because I don’t really know how this will impact my life. Every time my parent asked me, I couldn’t really give them proper answers. I mostly avoid talking about it.
The doctors were really helpful in supporting me. They explained to me thoroughly and patiently answering my questions. “How long does it take to recover?” It depends on the person. Every time I went to my appointment, the doctors will ask how do I feel, what did I do, did I skipped my medicine. Truly, skipping my med at first feels like the world start to whirl again.
Till this day, I am still struggling but I keep on surviving. My mind became lighter and I know I am recovering from it. I decided to share it here because I have gave it a long thought. I don’t have to hide it because there is nothing shameful about it. In fact, it gave me the strength to keep on moving and giving awareness to others.
Depression doesn’t have a face. You might have it, your friends might have it or your family members might have it. My advice is seek early treatment. Don’t hesitate to visit the doctors, be it public or private institution.
Depression can be treated. If you think you have depression, you are not alone. Don’t be afraid to seek help. Do reach out to someone that you can trust. If not, you can call the helpline in your country if you need someone to talk to.
For those who are on treatment, do not give up or falter. It is a rough and harsh road to recovery but you will get through. Stay strong.