In ninth I became strangely sick. I had no temperature, no coughing, and no sore throat, but I slept all night and for hours a day. I could hardly get out of bed. When I did I got a headache and would become so exhausted I would collapse on the tile floor. I went to the doctor’s office. They did some tests to see if I had Mono. Then they sent me to have my blood taken to check for enemia. Both tests came out negative. There seemed no reason, no cause for this mysterious illness. Sometimes I could not tell which was worse--being sick or not knowing what was wrong with me. This went on for about a month. Whether I fully healed is questionable, for the next year I found similar symptoms recurring. I did research to try and find some answers. I researched a topic that at first I did not think to be a probable cause--depression. I discovered I had a surprising number of the symptoms. I went to a psychologist and was diagnosed with Dysthymia. This is a moderate form of depression that can be either situational or inherited. Two major symptoms I had found plaguing me that were not there the previous time was anger and irrational irritability. This made it even more difficult to get along with others, not only because they would frustrate me, but because I was afraid of being to strict or by lashing out, hurt their feelings. Feelings--those emotions I felt I had so little possessed, yet now I seemed to have an over abundance of anger and despair. Anger. Such a fury that would arise within me with little warning. Such an unnatural frustration over even the smallest of agitations, or sometimes over nothing at all. My eyes would begin to water with tears unlike tears of sadness or joy, my muscles tense, my fists clench, and all my being would seem to burn with unquenchable fire. Such relief comes when this internal agony has lifted. Other times I felt so numb only the sudden burning sensation of anger, or an unnoticed sob of despair rising from my soul would tell me I was indeed alive. When I felt hopeless, my mind, in which I had previously felt so much freedom, became a cold, dark prison. Sometimes I seemed to be two separate people: mind (my will) vs. my exhausted and unwilling body, yet it was a disorder in my mind that was inhibiting me. When my will grew weary I would feel like giving up. Perhaps unconsciously sleep seemed like a way of escape, for I slept during the day after school, then go to sleep early at night. Despite this, I still would feel unnaturally exhausted. In school I found I disliked, not only socializing, but sometimes I lost interest in those activities I had always loved, those hobbies in which I had taken comfort. Such a lack of desire for any talented and perfectionist person is a torture! Regret is sure to follow. My world seemed to crumble under me. At school I would laugh, smile, and try so hard to seem normal, when all I wanted to do was scream and, if I could, cry. Depression can be hard to describe to those who have not experienced it. Many of my friends would not understand. They would try to console me, telling me to be happy. I felt so out of place. My world seemed to whirl around me in a thick, dark fog. One Monday morning in tenth grade I woke up and found I was unable to move my legs. I pushed myself out of bed and crawled with my arms to the hallway where my mother found me. I was immediately rushed to the hospital to find out what was the matter. After many tests and examinations, there was no improvement or hint at what it might be. The hospital psychologist came in and told me it was most likely a conversion disorder, where some part of the body loses the proper connection with the brain. My medication was increased, and I left the hospital in a wheelchair. I eventually healed by time and prayer. But I still struggle with clinical depression and continue to take anti-depressants. As far as therapy goes, I continue to go to a psychiatrist who monitors my dosage of anti-depressants (Zoloft which also helped with my obsessive thoughts; this was prescribed as I showed no suicidal tendancies). I also had a some sessions with non-medical therapists. The first I could tell preferred a more cognitive approach which for my particular situation seemed unhelpful. But both tried to ease my stress level which can be closely linked (correlate) with depression.

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