It's far from perfect and I wanted some feedback/proofreading on it.
Is the topic appropriate?
531 words - Some cutting would be appreciated :D
A few years ago, I overheard my father pressing the psychiatrist about my mother's hospitalization for depression and I convinced myself that I, a naive child of twelve, would never "be crazy." Five years later, I was gazing at the name plate of the same psychiatrist as my parents discussed with him my treatment.
Weeks earlier, towards the end of junior year, I confronted my mother, something I did not ever imagine doing. I could not tolerate it any longer. For an entire year, the increasing difficulty to maintain my performance, the unending melancholia, the insomnia, and the isolation were flaking away at the veneer of a high achieving student I showed others.
The psychiatrist suggested two options: pay an over-priced shrink to talk or medication. The less-than-helpful advice of "thinking positive" from therapists disqualified talk therapy. Taking a pill with the ability to numb myself from the world and increase my risk of suicide was hardly convincing. With all this in mind, I took the greatest risk in my life. I opted for self-treatment. I was strongly warned by the psychiatrist to not undergo this route but it was far more reasonable than being lectured with words I could find in self-help books and committing mental suicide with medication.
I posted a question on a mental health forum on where to begin and saw a curt response: "Don't give a damn." I was ready to disregard it as I did with the therapist when I realized there was validity in his post. My acute sensitivity to what was occurring around me and in the world did weigh down my thoughts. However, why would I callous myself from the thoughts I was trying to resolve? In defiance, I did not take his advice. I picked up Vonnegut's Mother Night, finished it in a bout of insomnia, and waited in morning for the library to open and get my hands on Kierkegaard's Either/Or. This process cycled frequently enough for the librarians to know me by name and they started offering book suggestions. I experimented with expressing myself, something I was never used to. I wrote crude criticisms on the educational system, government policy, society... anything that troubled me as a method of catharsis. I jumped into activities my family would have never imagined me doing, abruptly picking up running eight miles every other day with my cross country friends, convincing my uncle to let me cook and serve at his restaurant part-time, playing the viola after a year of hiatus, and resuming my love for reverse engineering (fancy for "taking apart electronics to learn how they work") at the cost of my parent's dismay.
The latest risk I am taking is writing this personal statement on my depression. Its stigmatization gives me reason not to disclose my condition, but it was integral to who I have become and to deny its existence would deny my own existence. I have tamed and assimilated my depression as my muse that I am thankful for. Its ongoing presence serves as my inspiration to learn, to express myself, to dissolve any doubts about my abilities, and to deny it the privilege of defining me.