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How Struggling With Depression Made Me Stronger

A young Chinese lady explains how her struggle with depression made her stronger overtime.

Depression tortured me almost every second when I was in middle school. Since I could remember, my mother had reprimanded me every single time about my grades.

She was a very traditional Chinese parent who thought good grades are everything. She sighed, blamed me, looked down upon me whenever she saw my paper, tests, or homework.

She made me anxious when I received my grades each month. I just wanted to cry because I was so stressed out.

She made me feel like I was nothing.

I always felt guilty because of my poor grades. I thought I always let my parents down. I gradually lost my confidence, and I eventually I did not want to talk with my classmates.

Nobody could understand me. I felt so lonely. I tried to communicate with my mother through letters but nothing was useful. I gradually got really depressed.

I did not know I was struggling with depression since it is not a topic spoken among Chinese students. I only knew I felt sad and worthless. And, I suddenly felt the urge to commit suicide.

One night, after getting my final grades for the semester, and being endlessly reprimanded by my parents, I decided that I was going to do it. And I did. I attempted to end my life but I immediately regretted it. I went to a hospital at the last minute.

Luckily, my physical body recovered fast. After I left the hospital I thought a lot my life.

‘What should I do next? What are my dreams? And, why is my mom so strict with me?’ Those were questions that invaded my mind all the time.

After my suicide attempt, my mom changed a lot and started caring about my mental health. Honestly, this was the best thing I wanted to experience but I also thought a lot about the importance of ‘working on myself‘ to improve my mental health condition.

I decided to take the steps to get better. If there are three major advices that I can share with students about my journey with mental health, they are the following:

Seek someone for help and try to express how you are feeling. If I had someone to communicate and expressed myself, I would not hurt myself.

Psychologists really help. Nowadays, more Chinese schools know the importance of mental health and many schools have psychologists.

It’s not shameful to visit psychologists. Although it might be impossible for you to communicate with your parents, professional people are there to help. Even your classmates and teachers could help.

Secondly, you should keep reminding yourself ‘You Matter.’

Depression makes people feel like nothing, but you are not. Even though you feel like you do not have friends, your classmates also care about you.

Especially under the traditional systems with traditional parents, many of your classmates could share your feeling. You are not alone; they are here.

Last but not least, please know that it is not your fault. You are excellent. Judging people by their grades is wrong.

Parents are usually caught up in a very old mentality and make mistakes so do not blame yourself too hard. You did nothing wrong.

I am very thankful to life nowadays. I know I am lucky.

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