Mental health is not an easy endeavor. It's not a fad. It's not a bandwagon that you can hop on and off of whenever you want to. Your yearly dose of sadness is not depression. I'm not here to define what depression — or anxiety, or any other type of mental health issue looks like — but I will tell you what it's not.
It's not fun.
It's not cute.
It's not a word that I can throw around whenever I'm feeling sad.
Believe me, I know your sadness is real, but it's not depression.
Depression and anxiety and many other mental illnesses (which I do not struggle with, so I will not speak for) are debilitating. There were days when I couldn't convince myself to get out of bed, couldn't convince myself to shower, couldn't convince myself to eat, I wasn't even sleeping. I was just there. I felt like a shell of a person on my worst days. Some days were better than others.
Depression doesn't look the same for everyone — I understand that. It's not a term that you get to toss around freely. It's not a term that you get to use whenever you're feeling down. It's one that's most often joked about when it's not a joke. People don't take it lightly, because it's not a light issue. It affects many people and it's not a joke. Be conscious of things you say and the things you do, because it doesn't only affect you.
No one wants depression. No one wants anxiety. For me personally, it weighs on my mind most days, and it is frustrating and exhausting and many other words that I can't even begin to say. It's a constant struggle every single day. Next time you use the word, think of that. Is it depression? Or are you just a little sad?