Middle school had to be one of the hardest times of my life. I went through my lowest moment in middle school. I was a student at M.S.118. At first it was okay; nothing much happened. I had a couple of friends that came from the same elementary school as me but, as always, friends meet new people and separate. 6th grade was okay and so was 7th. The problems I had then were easy to deal with or just easy to bury, which is what I was doing.
I got to 8th grade and things got tough. I had gained a lot of weight from the beginning of the 6th grade to the beginning of the 8th grade. I was the biggest girl at school. People started picking on me because of my weight; even people who I thought were my friends. They’d call me “hungry hungry hippo”, or “balloon girl” because they said I was inflated like a big balloon and they’d throw pencils at me and say that I had “popped”. That went on for a while, the name calling, things being thrown at me…slowly but surely I fell into depression for the first time ever.
This was a new feeling for me. It was so much more than being sad. It was a sense of hopelessness and loneliness. I had the feeling of not wanting to be here anymore but too afraid to act on my thoughts. I felt like there was nothing I could do, no one I could talk to. I felt that no one cared and so I didn’t tell anyone what was happening.
So, the bullying continued. These people were supposed to be my friends so one day I spoke to one of the girls. I confided in her when she asked what my weight was. She was the only person I told. Soon after, we weren’t friends anymore. We got into an argument on Facebook and she exposed my weight. On line. For all of the school to see. That completely crushed me. I was too ashamed to go to school so I made excuses to miss school for as long as I could. Eventually, I had to return and I was the laughing stock when I did. One day I couldn’t take it anymore and wrote goodbye letters to the people I cared for most. I never got around to giving them the letters because that day I went home and tried to take my life. I was 14.
What I want to know is more ways that this can be helped or prevented in order to help more people who go through situations like this. I feel like people in general don’t know enough ways or strategies to help someone when things like this happens.
I did some research and found that it doesn’t take a lot to help someone who’s going through depression. “A teenagers guide for depression” at Healthguide.org, gives a few ideas on how to help someone you know going through depression. According to the article a couple ways to help are getting your friend to talk, encourage your friend to get help, and to speak up if your friend is suicidal. These steps can help people help someone else in need. A lot of times people feel like by letting someone know if a friend is suicidal they are breaking their trust, but in reality you could be saving that friends life.
Photo Credit: http://www.beliefnet.com/wellness/health/emotional-health/youth-depression-and-self-harm-erins-story.aspx