Hello, my name is Laura, and I just joined this group. I suffer from bouts of depression...or at least I think I do. I don't know.
Depression has always been a taboo subject in my family. I've learned to "put on a happy face," and "fake it until I make it" so that no one knows; no one can see.
Depression has always meant weakness, an Achilles heel that makes me vulnerable to ridicule. I can't count how many times I was scolded and told to "toughen up" and "stop being so sensitive" when I was growing up. I cried easily and often, which invited jeers, scorn, and even anger towards me from my peers, my teachers, and my parents. Now I do my best to hide the tears and the pain. Put on a happy face. No one likes a crybaby.
I get anxiety attacks sometimes. Often when I am just drifting off to sleep, I gasp and feel like I'm suffocating. Then I'm fully awake, and I have to concentrate on breathing. It's like my body has forgotten how to breathe on its own. I have to think really hard about how to breathe: Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. If my mind wanders, my breathing becomes shallow and then stops. I feel like I'm buried alive.
Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. It helped to write it down.