Let’s get real here. Mental illness effects a lot of us, probably more than we’d like to admit. Women are twice as likely to experience clinical depression than men. It’s something we don’t like to talk about because nobody wants to admit there is anything wrong with their brain or be treated like they’re crazy.
Since I could remember depression and anxiety were just a general part of my life. It wasn’t a just one of my moods or situational episodes but truly something that lingered even at my happiest. I believe myself to be an optimistic person, always looking at the bright side, believing in the true goodness of others. Yet this lingering sense of doom then numbness was always close behind. Even when everything was just right and I finally felt some sense of control I could feel my sweet little dark friend whisper in my ear, “I’m still here, don’t worry”. Depression isn’t glamourous. Depression is, well, depressing. This is why I think its even more important to have an open and frank discussion about it.
As women we are constantly told we are “too emotional” or overly sensitive. Seeking help becomes out of the question. We suffer in our own pain, quietly convinced we’re alone. Depression isn’t just about being sad. It effects your life in every aspect, physically, spiritually and of course mentally. How do you learn to love yourself when there’s a chemical imbalance in your brain telling you that you’re not worth happiness or fulfillment? Depression is an all time high with technology being in the forefront of our lives we’re always connected to our devices unable to disconnect tricking ourselves into thinking we’re being social when we hit “like” on our friends post. Our brains cannot process the amount of tragic events we hear about all day, every day. We spend hours looking at other lives comparing it to our own. There is a serious lack of communicative skills in the younger generations now and people are feeling lonelier and lonelier the more connected we become. We send emojis instead of speaking openly about our feelings. We joke about being depressed with memes on FB, yet no one is really talking about why it’’s happening or how to protect our mental health.
Mental health is just as important as physical, self love and self care aren’t just about posting pretty pics of yourself or taking bubble baths but also talking about all the ugly, unmentionable things too. We need to remove the stigma and be able to reach out when we need someone to fall back on.
I can never say I’ve been healed from my depression because I know that it’s just a part of who I am and my genetic background but there are ways to put it in remission. I’ve learned that asking your doctor for help or telling your friends that something is just not feeling right in your head is an OK thing to do. Every day I work on coping and living my life to the fullest with talk therapy, and meditation and breathing. It’s a long road and sometimes I slip but these methods have personally saved my life and I’m grateful. I know that it’s not my fault, nor it is yours. of course it would be easier if we were all just born “normal” but we’d be super boring and nobody wants all that.