Living with Depression: How it Feels and How to Help

Maya Crawford, Graphics Editor

Raina Krzeminski (left) sits with friends Robert Murphy (center) and Leanne Dunning (right) at lunch. It helps her relax and makes dealing with her depression a little easier. Photo Credit / Maya Crawford

By Maya Crawford, Social Media Team
Feeling nothing yet everything at once. Experiencing waves of being happy and content, then cold and emotionless. Smiling on the outside and telling everyone things are fine, when it isn’t. Nothing is fine. This is what it feels like living in the shoes of sophomore Raina Krzeminski, who suffers from diagnosed Major Depression Disorder. “Many days I don’t feel like school is worth getting out of bed,” Raina said. “I think [school] might have an impact on my depression because I feel so rushed. I also think that if I don’t have the same thought process as say the person next to me, that I’m not as smart as them.”Raina has the unfortunate side effects from depression, such as trouble sleeping and muscle pain. Other side effects include a weaker immune system and constant tiredness, which is common among victims of the disorder. Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain, throwing off everything in the victim’s immune system and brain function.
It’s difficult for people with depression to have a normal life, as they feel apart from everyone else because of their disorder.
“I’m not very social and I don’t spend a lot of time out of my room. It’s really difficult to pretend that I’m not struggling and keep going about my day as if I’m a normal person,” Raina said.
Biological and physical factors also contribute to why people have depression. Major mental or physical stress over-produces a chemical in the brain called cortisol, and too much of that can drown out the serotonin that counters it. This spirals the person into depression, amplifying their feelings of envy and anger.
It’s important to not give up hope, however. There’s always someone there to help those that are in need, even if they think there’s not. There’s many ways to deal with depression, and those that struggle with it are not alone. Raina understands this all too well and has words of comfort.
“My advice would be that if you have depression, please stay strong. Even if you think that nobody cares, someone does. If you don’t think you have anyone, you have me. I care and I understand what you’re going through,” she said.
She has a message to those who don’t suffer from the disorder as well.
“Please be patient and loving with the people who do have and suffer with depression. We’re trying our best, but sometimes our best is just making it through the day. Just please don’t make fun of someone or stop being friends with someone just because they suffer from this mental illness.”
Being patient is the number one way to help those that have depression. Understanding that everyone has different experiences with depression and being encouraging can make a dramatic difference in how they deal with it. Asking for help, talking to someone and accepting people with this disorder will make their life turn for the better.