Living on Autopilot: Sickle Cell and Depression
When I was severely depressed it was like living on autopilot. During my constant hospital admissions I became depressed and it only got worse. My emotions were uncontrollable and I would constantly burst into tears especially when people would ask how are you? That question became a trigger for me as it felt like a loaded question. I didn’t know how to answer it while trying to hold the pretence that I was ok.
In private I was a mess, depression had me grasped and wasn’t letting up. In public I could pretend I was ok but it became harder so I withdrew. It was an extremely dark and scary time for me, I definitely wasn’t the person I am today although I still deal with it. I was a passionate pessimist and had an extremely negative outlook on life.
It just felt like my mind was being held hostage, it was like I was in a haze, I wasn’t really present, my body may of been but my mind certainly wasn’t. When I was going through this I didn’t have a name for it or know why I felt that way. I started to believe I was going “crazy” and something was really wrong with me. I couldn’t figure out why I felt the way I felt and I couldn’t control or change it.
I had an appointment with my GP who knew my extensive record with hospital so after trying to explain how I felt he posed the question am I depressed? and immediately I thought, am I? Why does he think that? On my way home I went online to look it up and it literally described how I felt, it was like ticking boxes.
Depression is taken really lightly and people think you can just “cheer up” which is really damaging to the person who is suffering. Mental health awareness is extremely important. Depression can affect anyone it doesn’t discriminate.
My #sicklecellfamily I continue to pray for your health happiness hope and strength
(Find more from Aliya on Instagram: @stylemealiya)