Two years ago I didn’t want to do the things that I enjoyed doing and I started hating my body. I was withdrawing myself and I was normally an outgoing person. I was acting like I was in a totally different world because I had so much on my mind. My dad would say, “You seem like you’re in a different world.” My teachers said, “It seems like you’re not paying attention and that’s not like you.”


Something was wrong
Warning signs for depression are sleeping a lot and a loss of interest in normal activities. Warning signs for an eating disorder are a little more difficult to notice. Losing weight is a big one, going to the bathroom after eating, and being anxious around food. One time after I ate a brownie I asked my mom if I was going to get fat. I also asked my mom if I was like my sister who has depression. This was my way of trying to tell my parents that something was wrong.


He thought I wanted attention
Early signs of depression are doing bad in school, being in trouble, using drugs, and paying less attention to anything. I also wanted to be pretty much alone. I had to see a therapist because someone found out, and my family didn’t understand. My dad didn’t think it was serious, he thought I wanted attention, and my mother didn’t care about me.


I noticed my sadness was getting worse when I started to become less social. I didn’t hang out with my friends as much and didn’t want to be around other people. I noticed this change as well as my friends and parents. My family knew I needed to get help and they acted quickly to get me what I needed.


Early Signs of my Depression
I became less social and thought that no one in the world cared for each other. My grades were worse, although other people didn’t think they were that bad. I found that I really had to work hard for good grades. I thought that after I started my medication the depression was gone, but school still stressed me out. As the stress increased I also started fighting with my parents more. I have learned that you need to work on therapy plus take the medication to get better.


The invisible, invading monster
I don’t think I can point to a specific day or event when I realized “Hey, I’m depressed!” For me, there was no one triggering event; in my case it was more of a culmination of several bad situations and experiences coming to a head when I was about ten years old. As a young child, somewhere between age three and five, I experienced sexual abuse.

It was no coincidence that my first feelings of actual depression emerged at about age ten, when even bulky sweaters could not hide my early physical development. I began to really hate my body and feel so guilty for living inside of it. All of that sexual stuff I’d been exposed to when I was a little kid now took on new relevance and meaning.

School mornings became anxious times for me as I pictured the day ahead and me having to parade my tall, disgusting self through the hallways filled with small, flat chested girls who noticed that I looked different and sometimes commented on our differences. I spent many school mornings having sharp, tight stomach pains and crying from the pain, and maybe even more from knowing that the knot in my stomach was not caused by something I had eaten or from a virus. I knew the pain and bad feelings were coming from an invisible, invading monster, which was bigger, and no match for me. This enemy also made me feel tired all of the time and sometimes unable to gather the energy to get out of bed. It also caused me to worry that if I went out in public, the monster would make me lose control and do awful things. I began to question whether or not I had actually done these things. I was filled with doubt and self loathing.