When Home Becomes a Major Contributor to Depression

Author: Valery B.

It is not always easy living in a home where turmoil seems to be the “thing that keeps giving”. When tears and angst, cruel sarcasm and disregard, screaming and door-slamming become parts of the daily routine, how do we overcome that? How do we fake a smile every time we go out or brush aside our tears when someone comes over? How do we pretend that everything is OK when, in retrospect, life is crumbling right before our eyes? When do we conclude that enough is enough?

As teenagers and young adults, there will naturally be turmoil in our homes: a fight between a mother and daughter, a disagreement between the husband and wife, a bickering between a brother and sister. In a healthy home, all of these incidents – no matter how dramatic they may seem – are ephemeral. An hour after the mother-daughter fight, a friendly truce is exhaled. Moments after the husband-wife disagreement, a flirtatious laughter and forgiving apology rings in the home. The next confrontation between the bickering brother and sister is accompanied by a peaceful resolve.

But, what happens when fights last for days? What happens when disagreements lead to leaves of absences? What happens when the bickering becomes emotionally and mentally straining, even physically aggressive? What do we do then, and how do we classify that? 

Although I live in a beautiful home, situated in a peaceful neighborhood that heaves blue, morning skies and starry, nighttime atmospheres, my life is nothing close to great – nothing close to good, I may add. I live in a family that has no problem criticizing, ignoring and blaming each other for their own personal benefit. We do not apologize for our mistakes or express our love and support when we feel it – or if we feel it at all. I too, have succumbed to this way of life. Does that make me a monster? Is that the reason I have trouble trusting people and making friends? I neither have answers to these questions nor do I really want to explore possible answers.

But, what I can concur is that my familial situation is the reason I developed severe, medical depression. It is the reason why, at one point in my life, I was suicidal. It is the reason why I isolated, on a daily basis, spending days locked away in my bedroom.

I know that I am not the only teenager and young adult who has experienced or currently is experiencing these circumstances, whether at home or in school. I know that life can be so, unfairly cruel and, often, impossible to put up with. I know what it feels like, going to school or seeing your friends and tenaciously forcing a smile and a laugh to disguise your pain.

If you are experiencing pain, I am here to tell you that it is OK to share it with the world – or, at least, with someone in this world. Although everyone suffers from their own adversities, you are not alone in what you are feeling and what you are experiencing. Perhaps, there is someone just like you, in the same melancholy state, waiting to be reached out to and acknowledged. There should not be a stigma around personal pain, especially if that pain branches from inside your very own home, a place that is supposed to be your safe-haven and provider of love.

Please share this message with your friends and families. It is vital to know that nobody deserves to closet their pain and that it is OK to let it go. Often, when we keep our troubles to ourselves, the possibilities of developing Mental Illnesses increase drastically: depression, social anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and Eating Disorders have all shown signs of stemming from hidden pain. I know I speak for many when I say that hidden pain, coming from inside the home, is the worst and most-destructive kind on the spectrum.

If you are struggling with any trouble in your life, please have the courage to talk to someone or find a healthy outlet of letting it out. I, myself, am still looking for healthy outlets to express my depression, but I know that sharing it with you is the first step in acknowledging this seemingly-indelible illness. I hope this message finds it into your heart and gives you the strength to put an end to your own pain.

-Valery B.

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