I have struggled particularly the past 6 months with extremely rough depression. I get very bad episodes where I will just cry for an hour straight about nothing in particular. Depressive episodes feel like there is a leech sucking all of the hope out of me. This “leech” leaves me feeling weak and, often times, empty. It’s difficult to keep a strong face in public—I’ve broken down in numerous restaurants, coffee shops, and the like. It’s exhausting and embarrassing to be so sad so often. But I rejoice in the small victories and the moments where I feel joy. Moments that I can enjoy being alive, moments with genuine laughter and sparks of hope, moments where I see the light at the end of the tunnel… these moments mean the world to me. And I continue to live everyday for these moments. I blog about my day-to-day life on my Instagram. Getting involved with the wonderful mental health community on Instagram has helped enormously in knowing that I am not alone. I can talk about a rough day and have a handful of other people relate to me. It is a beautiful thing, and talking about mental health also helps a ton with ending the stigma surrounding mental illness! Feel free to give me a follow and check out my posts.
What Does Depression Mean To You?
Depression for me means that I see the world through a tinted lens. Sometimes I look outside and the world seems dark. It’s like I’m viewing the world with impaired vision—I often can’t see the world for what it really is (a place full of hope and beauty) and instead everything seems bleak and hopeless. It’s like having the light at the end of the tunnel right in front of you, but you can’t see it because you have a blindfold over your eyes. It gets extremely frustrating to have people tell you over and over again that there is light ahead of you, but not being able to see it.
How Did You Overcome Depression And/or Self Harm?
To be honest, I haven’t completely “overcome” depression at all. Every day is still a struggle, some more than others. But I’m learning how to navigate through my hard days. One of the biggest things I practice is challenging my thoughts. When you struggle with depression, a lot of your thoughts about yourself aren’t logical or true. So if I have a negative thought about myself (such as thinking “I’m not worthy” or “I fail at everything I do”), I ask myself, “Is this really true?” A majority of the time, it isn’t. When I’m in the midst of a bad depressive episode, I focus on calming music, read my Bible, drink tea, call a friend, diffuse essential oils… anything I can do to soothe myself.
What Advice Would You Give Someone That Is Battling With Depression And/or Self-Harm?
If I could give a piece of advice to those suffering from depression, it would be to not isolate yourself. Depression is such a strong giant, and you can’t battle against it alone. It’s not possible. Surround yourself with people that are willing to grab your hand, fight the battle with you, and remind you that there is hope even when you can’t see it. A few excellent options are to join a support group, a faith-based community, or even the mental health awareness community on social media. And above all, always cling to hope. You may feel that there is no reason to keep going, that life is bleak, and all is hopeless, but although you feel that way (and your feelings are oh-so valid), this is not the truth. There is HOPE for you, PURPOSE in your struggles, and a promising FUTURE for your life. <3
What Do You Believe Are Some Problems That The Media Brings To Females That Battle With Depression And/or Self Harm?
The media, at least for me, has contributed a fair amount to my struggle because it makes everyone appear so perfect. Everyone only posts their most picture-perfect moments and it becomes so easy to compare. I’m not against posting beautiful photos at all, I just think that it’s really important to keep in mind that it is like a book with missing pages. Social media almost never tells the full story. There is so much pressure, particularly on young females in today’s society, to fit in with the image they see on social media. This leads to women feeling like they are “different” and “not good enough”, which leads to feeling very isolated. That’s why for me, blogging about my day-to-day life on Instagram and showing my REAL, less-than-perfect self is so important. I make an effort to blog about both my successes AND struggles. I want others to realize that nobody’s life is picture-perfect, especially not when you deal with mental illness.