A Continuing Journey:
Tia’s* experience with Major Depressive and Anxiety Disorder

Written by Jon

For centuries, stories have helped us to understand the things around us, to give it a purpose and to have something to hold on to. In that vein, hearing others’ journey inspires and motivates us as we walk our individual paths.

Tia, 28, is no different and would thus like to share her journey.

Since the age of 12, she has always had mood swings and was easily frustrated. As the years pass, she started experiencing periods of extreme sadness and these episodes drew longer

At first, she was able to find ways to distract herself. That, coupled with family beliefs, led her to believe that she could deal with it on her own and didn’t need external help.

The turning point came when she realised that her methods became less successful and reliable; suicidal thoughts started creeping in. It became a painful ache, one she couldn’t keep to herself any longer and she decided to open up to her friend.

“If you don’t help yourself, no one can help you,” was her friend’s advice. She understood that she was in denial and was running away from the problem. With that, she decided to seek professional help. 

Tia is currently seeing a psychiatrist and a psychologist. Together with medication, she is learning to embrace her disorder and is exploring ways to pull herself up when depression hits. She’s also learning to condition her thoughts, that the anxiety she feels isn’t real. She has also developed a routine which she adheres to as much as possible, allowing her to focus on getting better and to work on self-love.

As she journeys to recovery, she does have her fears; the fear of relapse as well as judgment from society. It is her support system, as well as her determination for self love and happiness, that gets her through these stormy days. 

“We can’t control what society thinks but we can condition our minds to think positively,” she says. She believes that its important to set goals and not to despair if there are hiccups. Baby steps are, after all, still steps.

“Do not succumb to other’s expectations and pressures; you know your mind and body best. With this, you can recover and succeed.”

 *Not her real name