Rochelle Thomas

Rochelle’s Story:

I started cutting myself when I was a little girl. Not to die, not for attention, but just to feel pain free. It didn’t stop at a young age, and really progressed as I entered into adulthood. I was falling into a deep depression and didn’t even know it. It wasn’t until my mom died that I hit rock bottom with both my depression and self-harm activities. The pain got worse so the cuts got deeper. This scared the hell out of me because like I said, I didn’t want to die, but I was in a mental battle with myself, and the only reasonable solution seemed to be to kill myself. That’s the thing about mental health issues and why depression becomes so unbearable. Our minds can make us do anything and to fight against that is extremely tough. This isn’t a deep dive into my life story, but more of an executive summary. I suffer from depression and I self-harm, but I win everyday when I wake up alive the next morning. That makes me undefeated, and that’s enough for me to keep fighting everyday.

What Does Depression Mean To You?

To me, depression means that a person’s emotional state is being held down by invisible weights. It also means that there is a shadow blinding a person’s view of what they consider happiness. 

How Did You Overcome Depression And/or Self Harm? 

I’m actually still figuring it out, however, what has been helping me lately is putting my story out there and helping others put their stories out there. Sometimes it helps to know that you are not alone. Depression and self-harm can sometimes feel embarrassing. You never want anyone to look at you as if you are crazy, weird, or an attention seeker. You want people to realize that this is serious, and can affect anyone of any age. That’s what helps me overcome, helping others to realize what depression and self-harm actually mean.

What Advice Would You Give Someone That Is Battling With Depression And/or Self-Harm? 

The advice I would give someone who is suffering from depression or self-harm is to take ownership. There are times when we like to pretend that things aren’t real. “I don’t have these issues”, “I’m not doing this to myself”, and that can actually make matters worse. It’s okay to realize that this is happening to us because we are human. Once you say to yourself, “I’m suffering, and it’s okay”, you can begin the healing process. The next piece of advice I give to someone is to begin taking care of themselves. Although it’s easier said than done, sometimes all someone needs to hear is that it’s okay to put themselves first. 

What Do You Believe Are Some Problems That The Media Brings To Females That Battle With Depression And/or Self Harm? 

There are two major problems I notice. One is victim blaming. A lot of times the media will make it seem as if females have control over their actions when dealing with depression and self-harm, which is so beyond the truth. Mental illness is just that, mental. It is very difficult to control your mental state once you lose control of it because the mind is powerful. The next problem is when females, who deal with depression and self-harm, are labeled as attention seekers. This actually creates an environment where women are afraid to speak up. A person dealing with these mental health issues never wants to hear that they just want attention, when really they just want the pain to go away.

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