Through the Looking Glass: An 8th Grader’s Perspective On Depression

6/14/08:

I always thought depression was simply an ADULT problem. That was who the depression medecine [sic] ADs on TV were for! Boy was I wrong. … 

Another thing, when I hear about someone who is going through it, I just want to go up to them and hug them and tell them that people DO care. Even if I can’t do that, which makes me sad.

I’ve been journaling since I was in elementary school. But the above snippet from my 8th grade diary is one of the first entries I have to look back at. I used to write, then when I would go back to read it months or years later and would rip up my old entries because I thought they were stupid and immature.

I wrote this one soon after I had recovered from my first major depressive episode. I was confused about what I’d been through, and terrified that the illness would come back. I had never felt such extreme pain and sadness before in my life, and suddenly had a huge empathy for others who were going through what I had gone through. I felt sad for them, and wanted to help them. To tell them that they weren’t alone.

And to warn the rest of the world, because no one had warned me.

At this time in my life, I was angry. I felt like my childhood had been stolen from me in one fell swoop. And in a way, it kind of was.

I have most of my journal entries from eighth grade on, and I think some of them are worth sharing. I remember that I used to be so frustrated that nobody would ask me what I thought of things. When you are growing up, you spend a lot of time thinking about your world and trying to make sense of it.

Kids should have a voice. Even if their ideas can’t be heard until five years later, by way of saved writings. A time capsule of sorts.

Paper Cranes

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