Recently, I have been hearing too many stories on the news about depression in youth and suicide rates. They are both on the rise and it needs to halt. Being open about depression and/or anxiety is OK in my world. Can it be uncomfortable to talk about? Yes. Does it make me feel vulnerable? Absolutely. Especially when I am writing about it on the internet which has the potential to reach millions of people in a matter of seconds. If you are someone who experiences depression and/or anxiety or knows someone who battles with it, know that you are not alone. Most importantly, please know that suicide is not the answer.
Today, I am depressed. Life has gotten in my head and taken over my mind and body. For my ‘Stranger Things’ fans, let’s just say the ‘Demogorgon’ took over me like Will Byers in season 2. I’m not quite sure how to put into words the way I feel today other than depressed. I have a difficult time describing depression because it’s a feeling. For me, depression is a deep sadness. It’s numbing and uncomfortable. It’s wishing and wishing I could snap my fingers and change my mood from sadness to sunshine. Occasionally, it’s endless tears with endless tissues but not today, thank goodness.
The most challenging thing about depression is knowing time doesn’t stop for me. I wake up feeling I need to sleep for another 24 hours but the reality of needing to be present at work in a couple of hours hits me. If it’s not work for you, maybe it’s the birthday party, going to school, the baby shower, the wedding, Easter, whatever it is, it doesn’t make it easier. It’s difficult to manage the deep sadness while being a friend, a daughter, a sister, a granddaughter, a role model, a coach. For you, it may be being a mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, aunt, uncle, boss, employee, doctor, therapist, the list goes on. Each of us has a unique role in this world. My point is, putting on a happy face on the days where I feel depressed is extremely tough and that is OK.
The people who struggle with depression and/or anxiety should not have a stereotype stamped on their forehead. I listened to a news story on a 12 year old girl who took her own life in June, 2017. The story emphasized how shocking it was because she fit the “All American Girl” image. This made me so sad for the world. I post this picture of myself along with these words to tell you that is complete bullshit. Do I look like someone who struggles with depression? Do I look like someone that may struggle to get out of bed? When people realize there is depth to humans beyond their looks, the quicker we can put a halt to depression and suicide rates, especially in our youth.