How To Manage Your Depression

Depression Is A Balancing Act That Is And Isn't In Our Control

Managing depression can sometimes feel overwhelming.

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*Warning: Before reading any further is that this article will be talking about heavy topics such as depression and suicide.*

Depression in this day and age is a very sticky topic to talk about. Yes, we are becoming more aware and accepting of the issue, but we still have a long ways to go in terms of really know how we can be there for people in a way that's most effective and where they don't feel judged because of it.

I have dealt with depression most of my life and especially going through college. It didn't become a big thing for me till I came to college, and then having to navigate my issue of it. Whether that's talking about it friends vaguely about it, bottling it all in, going for professional help, etc. It's one of the many reasons why I'm afraid of meeting someone new, or wanting to be in a relationship, I was afraid of the judgment and feeling that if I told someone they either might not want to do anything with me, say it's too much for them, etc.

Now some of those fears, in my opinion, were unjustified in a sense that yes even though it is important for people to be there for me in my time of need, I need to be conscious of how much I share and whether they can take that piece of me I shared. It's a balancing act that is hard to manage, but it allows me for a much-needed look into myself of what actually makes me happy, what doesn't, what triggers my depression and going out of my way to make sure I don't let it take control of me.

The depression took me to places, very dark places that I'm happy to have push through, with my depression it made my thoughts go into suicidal ideation, and even hurting myself, an act that I never thought I would ever do but thankfully I had people in my life that helped me overcome that and going to talk to a professional.

Depression is a mental health issue that most everyone struggles with regardless of where they're at in life, it can come like a tidal wave, or not at all. It's an internal struggle with ourselves, and we do our best trying to get through it. I know that I'm not alone in this, and if you're reading this you're not alone either.

Don't be afraid to talk about it, but be mindful of other people and how much you can share in order for them to be able to process it, go for professional help, exercise, hang out with friends. Don't let depression fully control your life, it won't go away but if we can manage it in a way that helps us be able to keep it under control then that's a win.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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Teen Suicide Rates Have Surged After ‘13 Reasons Why’ — Proof We Need To Stop Glorifying Suicide NOW

As someone who has struggled with mental illness and suicidal thoughts/tendencies, I fear what would have happened to me had I seen so much media validating suicide.

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When it comes to mental health, and specifically the issue of suicide, it is important to be able to have a conversation about it in order to break the stigma. But, there is a huge difference between glorifying and educating, and, as a society, we're doing it ALL WRONG.

Education and conversation are necessary, glorification and promotion are not.

The main example of misrepresenting suicide in pop culture currently is "13 Reasons Why." The show, which is based on a book by Jay Asher with the same title, focuses on Hannah Baker, a teen who commits suicide and leaves 13 recordings explaining why she killed herself.

According to a recent study following the release this Netflix original series, in the nine months after the show aired, there were 195 more deaths by suicide in 10 to 17-year-olds than what was expected from seasonal patterns alone. This is not a coincidence.

Combining the fact that teenagers and pre-teens are young and impressionable with the fragility of mental illness, it should be obvious that introducing suicidal behavior in such an intimate and visible way will affect those who are seeing it. From a young age and into adulthood, people tend to mimic the behaviors of those around them and those that they constantly see. Watching shows or movies that have a constant theme of suicide, in turn, can lead to an increase of suicidal behavior.

Further explaining this idea, director of the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research at Nationwide Children's Hospital Jeff Bridge said that contagion (the increasing spread/increase of suicide) can be "fostered by stories that sensationalize or promote simplistic explanations of suicidal behavior, glorify or romanticize the decedent, present suicide as a means of accomplishing a goal, or offer potential prescriptions of how-to die by suicide."

This simply means that the rising rate of suicide can be in part due to the way suicide is presented in the media because the media shows suicide as a goal to be achieved or a statement to be made, and oftentimes these media outlets even offer ways for suicide to successfully be committed.

The main issue that arises from "13 Reasons Why" and media like it is the fact that they portray mental illness as something you cannot recover from.

Media only shows two real options: suffering from extreme and severe 'symptoms' for the rest of your life or ending this by committing suicide.

This type of portrayal seemingly validates the type of behavior that we should be trying to move away from because, realistically, recovery is possible when you explore the many treatment options that are available.

Treatment options can include therapy, medicine, hospitalization, support groups, mentorships, and more. In order to accurately portray mental health in the media, the sole-solution of suicide needs to be abandoned and the realistic recovery options should be emphasized and practiced.

Another common misrepresentation is that therapy and psychiatric hospitals/care cause more harm than they do good. Commonly shown as dark and isolated, if shown at all, this portrayal pushes those who are struggling with mental health away from seeking out treatment with the fear of 'being locked up.'

The science and education behind mental disorders have advanced so much recently that we need to stop the 18th-century idea of "insane asylums" and look at treatment facilities realistically. While it is historically accurate that mental illness was seen as demonic and evil, these thoughts have long been proved otherwise, so the treatment options should be modernized as well.

As someone who has struggled with mental illness and suicidal thoughts/tendencies, I see the urgency of this issue and the need for it to be addressed sooner rather than later.

Thinking about when I was at the deepest point in my struggles, I fear what would have happened to me had I seen so much media validating suicide.

When suicide is presented as the only effective option and recovery seems like an impossible task, this forces those who are struggling to see suicide as a positive escape from the horrors of their reality. This allows for the rationalization that suicide is an acceptable answer even though it is never the solution.

This type of glorification is detrimental not only to those who suffer from mental illness, but it also affects general viewers. Media companies are monetizing on the misrepresentation of mental illness and are miscommunicating the realities of mental illness in order to create addicting television.

However, what must be realized is that the value of human life and overcoming mental health issues is more important than the value of a good movie to watch or show to binge-watch.

Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, and if we want to have healthy conversations surrounding mental illness, we need to stop making mental illness look like something that is beautifully tragic and stop making suicide look like something so glorified.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

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