Not even half are able to understand and explain what that word actually means. And for those that are caregivers? Maybe a third of that original number are able to sit down and truly explain what it means.
It is often hard to be open about the subject of depression and anxiety.
As a college student myself, it was hard for me to accept the world blurring and crashing down around me and when I did finally see what was going on, it was too late.
I had already fallen into a black hole and I felt there was no use in trying to climb out.
But here I am, writing something I never thought I would in a million years write about — something I never thought would happen to me. None of us see it coming and as I am learning to understand it, I am learning more about myself than I ever would have before.
What is good for me, what do I need, and most importantly, what makes me happy?
For those of you who are afraid to admit that you're a bit more sad than normal, a caregiver to one who suffers from this horrible mental illness, or are just curious — I am here to help open your eyes a little bit.
It is often thought, from personal experience, that depression is just being sad. Well, that's wrong.
Yes, you're sad, however, it is so much more than just that. In fact, it is a sadness multiplied by a thousand. To put it in a different point of view, imagine this:
You're swimming along in a beautiful ocean, let's say the Pacific, right off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii. The water is clear blue, warm and refreshing, and the sun is on your face. Absolute paradise.
A storm then begins to come in, darkening the water and the sky…taking the sun away.
It becomes cold and the waves pick up. You get pulled down into the water by a riptide, getting thrown around, and only come back up for a small breath of air before you get pulled down again and again, never being released from the endless, painful cycle.
That is the simplest way to explain what happens in the mind of someone with depression. So much misery and so much pain that you just wish you would finally drown.
It is often hard to ask for help from your loved ones out of self-pride and what you think you can do on your own. But if you don't ask, you will drown.
This is not something that can be fought on its own nor should it be. So don't try to. God knows I did and it only put me under the water for longer.
You are strong, even if you do have to ask for a little bit of help.
Allow the hands that are reaching into the water to pull you out. To support you and comfort you and allow yourself to breathe.
Asking for help, realizing what you're going through and coming to terms with it, is the absolute best thing you can and ever will do for yourself.
So, I will say it again. If you are reading this and you are afraid to admit what is happening to yourself, a caregiver, or just curious — it's time to open your eyes.
Ask for help. Feel the love you have around you without your depression clouding it.
Be there to help. Give all of the support you have and never stop pushing your person to get better.
Look for those that need help around you. And never stop looking.