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This story is about when my depression first started and my first encounter with a terrible doctor. Don't get me wrong, he's probably a great guy that was just having a bad day. And no, his comment towards me isn't what made me fall into a spiral of depression because whether I went to the doctors that day or not, I still would have had depression. But he was rather rude, if I do say so myself. So, here's another depression story. Enjoy.
I first started getting symptoms of depression when I was 8. I was in a bad spot in my life, and I remember things changed so drastically. Growing up, I was always an outgoing kid. Always happy, always jumping around, I played outside every chance I could. I was rarely inside and I rarely sat still. I loved to chat and meet new people and I was always so energetic. I remember in elementary school I was in every sport I could possibly be in and I did almost all of the after school clubs.
The first change was that I stopped doing sports. I couldn't explain why I stopped, I just did. The next was that I stopped going outside and hanging out with my friends. I became extremely shy, which was very unlike me and I didn't have an interest in hanging out with anyone. I also had an increase in appetite. I usually just picked at my food and rarely ate what was on my plate but now I was eating everything and going back for seconds. Another thing I noticed was that when I was out with my friends or even at school during recess, I would always get extremely sad. I would get tired and sad and just want to go back inside or go home.
My mom thought it was weird and took me to the doctors. I explained how I lost interest in literally everything and didn't have the energy to do anything anymore. My mom, who has a history with depression, suggested that maybe I was becoming depressed. The doctor looked me straight in the eyes and told me I was making it up for attention. This confused me because I hated being the center of attention so I don't know why I would try to put myself in that situation. The doctor then proceeded to tell me that growing up as an only child made me spoiled and self-centered. He said that I was going to try anything to get attention and that it wasn't a joke to go around acting depressed. He said that 8 year old's don't get depressed, they just want attention.
After that I didn't want to talk about myself at all. Whenever anyone asked how I was doing I would always reciprocate the question or dodge it. I lost contact with most of my friends and I rarely left my room. Looking back, I now know that this wasn't the right thing to do as it only made my depression so much worse in the long run. Being so young and having someone basically tell me that I was an attention whore really messed up my self esteem. Throughout my middle school years I sat alone and didn't really talk. I didn't even talk to my mom. After awhile my mom took me to a different doctor and that doctor finally diagnosed me with depression at the age of 12. I started light medications and a lot of therapy. I hated that I had to go to therapy and the thing I hated the most was how I had to talk about myself for an hour a day, at least three times a week. That was the beginning of many medications and counseling sessions.
Most of my depression started after I went to the doctors that day. I remember that I went in feeling hopeful, I felt like he would give me a shot or some type of pep talk or something so I would be energized again. I didn't know what depression was so I was expecting the doctor to tell me that I was just over-doing myself and I needed a break. Instead I was told that I was faking everything and that I needed to stop being the center of attention.
To some it may seem like I was just over-reacting and I needed to get off my high horse but let me explain to you why it was so bad. I was in a situation in my life where I was treated like shit every single day. I was called awful things and people treated me like I was dirt. I always just shrugged it off and moved on. In this case, I was already feeling so down and depressed and having a professional doctor look me straight in the eyes and say with a stern voice that I was seeking attention made me feel so much worse. But, this was not the cause of my depression or where my depression started. It just made me start thinking more about my life and it made me start second guessing myself and everything I did.