Depression – The case of a severe depression
Since birth, I lived in an orphanage in Ethiopia. The personnel in the orphanage wasn’t especially cruel or nasty, but rather indifferent – just did their job without a special enthusiasm, compassion or interest toward kids. In retrospect, that life in the absence of warmth, care and guidance from parents or any other close people, probably contributed to my depression. I don’t know. My consciousness was sort of frozen. I lived surviving day by day and, perhaps, didn’t feel anything especially dramatic until I graduated from high school I realized myself as an individual. By then there was a tremendous political uproar in the country – the revolution or a civil war that started back in 1974 and lasted more than a decade. That brought about much pressure and stress. Living through this ordeal, I was filled with helplessness and emptiness. There was no taste in life and I even didn’t enjoy food or drink. I was questioning whether my life was worth living?
In this turmoil, when there were so many victims of a violence from both sides of the conflict, who could pay attention to my depressive state? Yet the circumstances were such that I had to hide my problem. Not having a professional help or simple understanding in those days, while living among very superstitious people who could categorize my condition as “It’s the devil.” To a degree, I started doubting my sanity, as if I was crazy. It created an anxiety about my own feelings, which I was trying to suppress and not to bring to the open. Thus, the problem gained more power and exacerbated the situation and made my condition worse.
At this time, I immigrated to the United States. Surely living conditions here were better. I was happy to have any kind of job and not be afraid for your life on the daily basis. My depressive state hasn’t been resolved- but I went through life with it coming and going. It became an acute problem when I lived through highly stressful situations, caused by big changes such as selling one house, purchasing and moving into another one, changing jobs or living through a divorce. It exacerbated the situation because you’ve experienced all over whatever bad experience that lived in the dark alley of your mind. Depression could manifest itself as a mood swing or it could go to the extreme, when you contemplating a suicide.