Mental Health Matters

Just recently I wrote in my journal:

I FEEL EMPTY.

I FEEL SO EMPTY THAT MY HEART FEELS HEAVIER—

WITH EVERY THUMP IT GROWS HEAVIER,

WITH EVERY BEAT, IT BECOMES MORE HOLLOW.

I’ve been recently feeling it on and off for weeks; there’s no off switch to it. Sometimes the feeling of emptiness just magically disappears, most of the time it lingers until the sun has set; those moments, I hate. Because on days when that feeling strikes, it’s as if my mind would render me useless. Even when that feeling seems like it’s all in my head and it’s just how I feel, the feeling is too heavy for me to do anything and be productive.

I don’t want to call it depression and I don’t wanna self-diagnose either—because I might be wrong. It may just be something else entirely.

Although, even if I haven’t had the chance to seek professional help, I feel as though I’ve been undergoing some kind of depression for quite a long while now. Saying it out loud and writing it down would just feel too real.

I guess I first felt this heavy in high school when I felt bullied—sometimes words and actions are more hurtful and have more scarring effects on a person. I have never felt so alone that time. I guess all I needed was someone to be there for me; someone to listen and cry to when the words and the judgmental stares are too sharp for me to handle. But at the same time, having someone by your side can’t help that overcoming feeling either.

It wasn’t long after when I figured out it was a battle I am to lose, alone and feeling heavy. And in those moments of my lowest points in life, I just wanted it to stop. I think that was the moment the feeling of emptiness and extreme sadness got triggered.

Have you ever felt so empty and, at the same time, your heart feels so heavy that it literally hurts and saddens you? It would’ve been fine for me if it only happens on reasonable occasions but recently it just overcomes me, and I find myself suddenly crying, feeling the emotions I felt and hearing the voices in my head that return me to a downward spiral of deep, dark nothingness.

The worst part of feeling this way? I can’t tell it to anyone; they just won’t get it. There’s always judgment when you tell them that’s how you feel. They won’t help you with it, they won’t tell you it’s all gonna be alright. They’ll just tell you, “Loka-loka ka.” And you would laugh it off and pretend like they’re right.

Maybe I am crazy, maybe it’s just all in my head, I would start to think. But in that moment when I feel so down, empty, and unable, all the things I felt were real. I can’t describe it or put it into words that would accurately show you how it is, but I know that, in those moments I just want to end it all.

I want the voices to stop shouting and murmuring in my head, I want the silence to go away, I want my heavy heart to lighten, I want the bad memories gone. I WANT THE PAIN TO GO AWAY.

I can’t tell you clearly how I feel, like something in me just wants to scream as I lay in bed, my body unable to move and unwilling to do anything.

In those moments, I feel so helpless and hopeless. I want someone to come help and save me but no one answers. I try saving myself, but how do I do that? How do I get out of a dark hole?

Just very recently, there’s this veteran host of a very popular noon-time show who said, “Depression is just something made up by people. They do it to themselves.” When someone came to defense and said that it’s no laughing matter and that people should support those going through it, he then added that it shouldn’t be supported. I was shook, let me tell you!

I wasn’t surprised that there are people with a mindset like that—because I grew up in an environment where people tell you it’s all in your head—but I was surprised that someone with his voice and his power, that could influence a lot of people, would be so insensitive and irresponsible to say something like that.

Can he prove that what I felt was made up? Can he show me how to control the overwhelming sadness and emptiness I felt? Can he show that my depression is something I make up to get attention, when I don’t even tell anyone of how I feel?

It bothers me how mental health is not taken seriously where I live. It bothers me that everytime I feel so empty and down, I can’t talk to anyone about it. It bothers me that people tell me, it’s all in my head, but no one would even tell me that everything’s gonna be okay. It bothers me when something so serious as mental health is just a laughing matter to some people. It bothers me that seeing a therapist would result to judgmental notions.

I won’t wish mental illnesses on my worst enemies—and not even to someone so ignorant of the issue just to let him learn a lesson. But I want people to know that it matters. I want people to know that this is serious. I want people to know that there are others who lost their lives because of poor mental health. I want people to be aware. I want people to be sympathetic of these cases. It’s not a laughing matter. It’s not a phase. Being mentally healthy is important. I NEED people to know that.

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