My Depression Shaped Me Into Who I Am Today

My Depression Shaped Me Into Who I Am Today

Battling a mental illness can be hard, but can make you a better person.


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.

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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.

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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