I’ve suffered multiple bouts of depression during my life but my first encounter was the hardest. It is an incredibly confusing time because you know something isn’t right but you don’t know the source. You have to go through depression to know it is depression that is affecting you. Therefore, the first time depression hits it has probably been building for a while and you’ve missed the warning signs (for me, I wanted to cry all the time, I couldn’t sleep and I was numb to happiness) so the force of it can feel overwhelming; as a result I thought at the time, “What the hell is happening to me?” Depression is one of the most challenging emotional states you can experience. It is internal to you but feels something out of your control; it represses emotion and narrows thought. Depression convinces you it is the only way you can think.
It is important to seek medical help; you are not alone in your suffering and although it doesn’t feel like it at the time there is a way through. Depression is a process and not a permanent state. Working through malignant sadness the first time teaches you a huge amount about who you are and what you can do; it teaches you to listen to yourself, it shows your depths of resilience and determination, it arms you against depression so if it starts to build again you can catch it earlier and know how to deal with it.