The following blog is from a guest blogger that is the sister of a child with Adolescent Depression.
Ever since I was little, I have known my family was different. We rarely sat at the dinner table together. We never went to the movies. We did not seem like a "normal" family. Both my dad and sister suffer from depression. What this means to me is that they have short tempers and usually cannot control their emotions. While living in a house with two people who suffer from this disease has been difficult, it is the relationship with my sister that has been hit the hardest.
Depression is not sadness. It is a malicious disease that takes people, like my sister, victim to the overwhelming feeling of defeat and worthlessness. As a teenage girl, I work every day to find my purpose in life and figure out who I am, like most, but knowing that my sister has to go through all of this with a dark cloud over her head breaks my heart. I have never been able to say I understand how she feels and I don’t want to. Over the years, standing by, watching my sister struggle through some of the most crucial years as a teenager has truly altered my perspective of people with this unfortunate condition.
Being a big sister means sharing clothes and fighting over makeup, but for me, it means a whole new world of responsibilities. Compromise has been an important part of my family in order to make things work. While it may be hard for some to see, those suffering from adolescent depression really cannot control their emotions, and often their behaviors. Being able to place myself in the perspective of my sister and remind myself of her condition is no easy task. There have been so many times where I have wanted to scream and yell, and let out all my frustration, but it will only hurt her more. My sister and other kids like her don’t always understand why they feel and think the way they do, and that adds to everyone’s frustration.
Often depression is ignored, swept aside, or treated as if it is merely a phase. Too many people characterize this disease as just being really sad, but unfortunately, there is so much more to it all. Imagine being in a cold, dark, lonely room; locked inside with no possible way out no matter how hard you try. This is how depression has been described to me and it terrifies me. No child, much less human being, should ever feel as though they are alone in life. Being there for my sister, despite her tantrums and aggressive nature, is crucial for her to feel like she is worth something.