Social and Environmental Change

Mental Health Awareness

Thank you to artist Nikki Miles for letting me use her art. You can find her on Instagram

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, I would like to discuss depression. If you are like me, you get tired of people thinking you’re just sad, going through a phase, or that it will go away. It is important to fight the stigma of depression and talk about it.

Depression is a word that is thrown around when you feel sad or when things are going wrong in your life. Real depression is when everything in your life appears to be going right and you can’t feel the real joy of it. You know you are supposed to be happy, but the numbness still creeps in.

It is a daily struggle to live life with depression, but that doesn’t mean you can’t live your life. Depression makes you appreciate the little moments. Sometimes it is celebrating that you left the house. Treating yourself to that $5 coffee because it brings joy. Surrounding yourself with those that love you and support you no matter what. Maybe, it is just having a bad day and watching your favorite movie (I recommend Harry Potter).

However you deal with your depression, remember that it might not be easy, but it gets EASIER. You do not have to struggle alone and there is light at the end of the tunnel. Reaching out for help does not make you weak. Talking about depression makes you strong and fearless. To quote Jen Sincero, “take care of yourself as if you’re the most awesome person you’ve ever met.”

Do not give in to the stigma of depression and feel shame for who you are. Fighting against the darkness makes you stronger every day. It is your bravery and strength that will break down barriers.

If you need help and are not sure where to go, please go to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. http://www.nami.org

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 800-273-TALK (8255)

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