It's true, I suffered from depression for several years, as do many others. Depression is not being sad for a week or two because your boyfriend broke up with you. Depression is much more than that. When I was depressed I dreaded getting out of bed to go to family gatherings, to hang out with my friends, or to even go to school. I always felt unwanted by everyone I knew, which led to me isolating myself from the world, and only made things worse for me.
People ask me what it was like to have depression and seem shocked when they find out that I'm eager to share my story with them. I am not ashamed to share my story, because my past struggle with depression is a part of me and always will be. Do I wish I never struggled with depression? Well, it would have been nice to have enjoyed those years of my life, but if I had never struggled with depression, I don't think I would be the person I am today. I am someone who cares deeply about mental health-related issues and thinks that there should be more attention being brought to them.
Nowadays when I get on my social media, especially Twitter, I see many posts about mental health-related issues. Unfortunately, those posts are not speaking about the importance of mental illnesses, but instead, are basically glorifying them. Since I am someone who has struggled with a mental illness in the past, I do find posts like those to be very offensive. To me, those posts can be very insensitive and I personally believe that is an issue that people think it is okay to joke about things such as suicidal thoughts, depression, eating disorders, or anxiety disorders.
Battling depression is not an easy thing for someone to do, at least for me it wasn't, and should most definitely not be joked about. When I finally spoke up about having depression I realized that a lot of tension was lifted off my shoulders. I no longer felt like I had to hide in shame from feeling so depressed all the time, and by speaking up about having depression, I was able to get the help I needed, which helped me become my true self again. I was no longer a girl who would isolate herself from everyone because she didn't have the energy to be around others. Finally, I was able to enjoy life to the fullest again and happily spend time with those I care deeply about, and make the most of my life.
Depression shaped me into a person who wants to help others get through their battles against any kind of mental illness. Beating depression led to me becoming a psychology major and setting the goal for myself to become a clinical psychologist. I also want to be able to speak out about the importance of mental illnesses, so that it will change people's perspectives of them. People need to realize that it is nothing to be ashamed about because mental illnesses are almost out of our control, and if one feels ashamed about having a mental illness, then that could stop them from seeking the help they need.
My battle against depression made me a determined and hardworking person who will reach her goals of helping others who are in the shoes that she was once in. Nothing will hold me back from accomplishing my dream of helping those who need help the most.