Finding Hope In Depression Amidst Hollywood's Lies
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Finding Hope In Depression Amidst Hollywood's Lies

Contrary to Hollywood's portrayal, people with depression can still live full lives despite their struggles.

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Finding Hope In Depression Amidst Hollywood's Lies

For the past couple of years, the media has been more vocal about mental health awareness.

And for good reason, too.

According to Mental Health America, one in five adults have a mental health condition.

In addition, "rates of youth with severe depression increased from 5.9% in 2012 to 8.2% in 2015... 76% of youth are left with no or insufficient treatment," says the website.

As someone with a long history of mental health struggles, I've found it really admirable that celebrities are now coming forward and being open about their conditions. Hell, even Kim Kardashian has come forward (for those of you that don't believe her, I'd like to remind y'all that she was robbed at gunpoint in Paris a year or two ago, so sit down).

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What bothers me, though, is despite all of these stories we're getting of hope and triumph, Hollywood is jumping on the bandwagon of the mental health "trend," and churning out stories left and right about mental health that are, frankly, inaccurate.

Depression is not a trend, and it sure as Hell should not be treated as some thematic element to your story for extra drama.

Depression is real, it is frightening, and it is scary. Hollywood is really good at making sure everyone and their goldfish knows that it is a serious condition. However, they only show half the story.

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Depression is not a death sentence.

I've been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder since sixth grade, and over the summer I got diagnosed with Severe Recurrent Depressive Disorder, which is a fancy way of saying I'm basically always going to have depression.

I've been hospitalized for suicide before, too.

I wasn't sure I'd ever be alive to see college, to make friends, to move away from home. Yet here I am in my sophomore year of college at Alabama! Some days are still really bad, and some days are better. In general, though, I think I'm doing amazing.

But anyways, on my journey, I have met the most amazing, inspiring, wonderful people (Shout out to my support group!). They have been to Hell and back yet still manage to keep going. Their journeys are so beautiful, not because of their struggles, but because of their recoveries.

Kyle* has an incredible faith and trust in God that cannot be shaken. Amanda is so strong and independent, and the most fantastic mother to her boys. Jennifer has this beautiful, creative mind and is just so wise. And Nina is so encouraging and funny and extremely thoughtful.

I take a look at these wonderful people surrounding me with so much hope and inspiration, and it makes me so angry that Hollywood spends all their money funding shows like "13 Reasons Why" and romanticizing these struggles instead of showing people that the real beauty is found in having the courage to go one more day, to ask for help, to accept that while life is sticky and messy and unbearable at times, each one is still worth living.

While an enormous amount of people still tragically lose their battles with depression, it's important to remember that an enormous amount of people are also kicking depression's butt one day at a time.

In my opinion, the only movie in Hollywood that did depression justice was "Frozen." For those of you that live under a rock, Elsa clearly has depression.

At the beginning of the movie, she's isolating herself, losing interest in previously fun activities like building snowmen with Anna, and struggling to cope with her anger. Anna and Elsa learn at the end of the movie that the only way to melt a frozen heart is with love, and Elsa realizes that she has the power to control her magic and her story and that she can still live an amazing life even though she has crazy ice powers.

If a children's movie can portray a more accurate depiction of depression than a TV show or movie made for adults, then Hollywood, we have a problem.

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If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, you can use the crisistexline.org for 24/7 help, or contact your nearest emergency room.

*All names have been changed

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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