Yes. Depression. It’s real, and no, it’s not something people can just “snap out of.” I want to start off by just providing some key facts about depression before delving into my personal experience dealing with it and how I finally recovered.
I was finally given the diagnosis of bipolar disorder. That was a huge breakthrough for me. It made the way I felt and the severe mood swings I would experience feel validated. There was a reason. I now had words to explain what I was going through: mania, depression, hypomania.
My parents never directly told us that Grandma had died by suicide. My sister and I simply figured it out from overhearing hushed conversations. My grandpa had passed away two years earlier, and the stark difference between how the two losses were handled in my home was not lost on my 13-year-old self. It became clear immediately that we would no longer be discussing grandma, ever.
08.08.17 I have struggled with my thoughts for as long as I can remember. In elementary school, I would think about suicide before I even knew what suicide was. I never planned my future or said what I wanted to be when I grew up because I didn’t think I would ever get there. In … Continue reading Personal Story: Please Live
I wasn’t suicidal. I’m grateful my flavor of depression doesn’t bring me there. But I was consistently what I call “exhausted on a cellular level.” No amount of sleep really made a difference. Still, like a junkie, I craved it for its escape.
It wasn’t until my thirties that I was diagnosed with panic disorder and agoraphobia. Maybe if I’d learned more about mental health when I was a teenager, I would’ve received treatment much earlier. I could have been saved twenty years of struggling with mental illness in silence.
“Today is going to be a good day and no matter what happens, good or bad I will NOT let it get to me. I am happy, healthy and whole and I can handle anything that comes my way!”
I have been a fan of Wonder Woman, since the days of Linda Carter and always secretly wanted to possess the qualities that she had: brave, strong, caring, loving, passionate, compassionate and a will to help others, even if she had to do it alone. I realized today sitting in the theater watching Wonder Woman that I possess every quality that she has as a mental health advocate.
What happens when you’re treated and lose the criteria that was used to diagnose your mental health condition in the first place?
For the first time, I apologized to myself: “I’m so sorry I lied to you all your life. I’m sorry for telling you that you were stupid, slow and not worthy. You are incredibly bright, expressive and talented! I don’t want to work against you anymore. I want to work for you.”