Stop Romanticizing Depression

Stop Romanticizing Depression

It's not a game, it's real.
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Mental illness is a scary topic, seeing as there are so many of them and a lot of people suffer from one. A few things that bother me, and make me sad, is those people who take advantage of an illness and try and turn something so sad into this generational, romanticized version of something that it’s not. The generations below me, and the one that I am a part of are extremely guilty of doing this.

As I scroll through my Twitter and Instagram feeds, I see constant, "I'm so sad," "I have such horrible anxiety," "I'm so depressed" (now do not get me wrong, I tweet if I'm sad about something, but not for attention) all over it. All day, every single day. With all the mental illnesses being talked about, you don't really see people romanticizing anything other than anxiety and depression.

And for those who actually suffer from the disease (YES, PEOPLE, Depression is a DISEASE), it is kind of a slap in the face.

Mental illness is real, and it's raw and painful and it sucks. Being sad all the time sucks. Depression sucks.

What depression isn't: beautiful selfies on Instagram with a sad caption, a pack of cigarettes you smoke to be artsy, with makeup running down your face; it isn't drugs, and sex with random people to make yourself feel better; and it isn't this beautiful boy coming in to save you by saying all the right things and wiping away all of your tears.

Depression is depressing, it's loneliness when you're in a crowded room, it's never feeling good enough, it's a lot a lot a lot of tears, it's struggling to hold yourself up when everyone around you is standing. It's feeling lonely next to your parents, your best friend, your little brother.

It's a tough topic, you don't always know how other people are feeling, but those of you putting it out there, tagged with Banks, or Lana del Rey lyrics, spouting about your depression for attention: it's hurting those who actually suffer from the disease.

Depression doesn't pick you because you're rich or you're poor; it doesn't pick you because you live in a big house or a small one, or you have long hair or short hair. It will pick anyone, and anyone can suffer.

Not all of us have someone to save us like Freddie fought so hard to save Effy. (If you haven't watched "Skins: UK" on Netflix, check it out.) I'm sure there are some people out there who would do anything for someone, but most of us wake up and fight this battle alone. So if you're sitting here, playing around, pretending to be sad, hoping this beautiful boy will swoop down and save you from yourself, stand up.

Stop romanticizing a disease, and start loving those around you, because you never know if the person beside you is broken.

And if you suffer from depression, know there are millions of people proud of you, for lots of things: for getting out of bed today, for going to work today, for smiling today, because everyday is a new one, filled with a million possibilities. And just because you are sad today doesn't mean you won't be incredibly happy tomorrow. You will find your soulmate. You will eat lots of ice cream. You will make wishes on pennies thrown in fountains, shooting stars, and 11:11. And you will collect shells on the beach. You will laugh, you will cry, but you will get better.

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I Drank Lemon Water For A Week And Here's What Happened

It has already changed my life.

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There are so many health crazes out there now, it's hard to tell what actually works and what doesn't; or more importantly what is healthy and what is making your body worse. I read about simply drinking lemon water and I figured that didn't sound gross or bad for me so I figured I would give it a try. I've been drinking it consistently for a week and a half and I already notice some results.

I've never been a fan of lemon in my water, I always refuse it at restaurants. You definitely have to find your sweet spot in lemon to water ratio, in what tastes good to you. I personally cut the lemon into quarters and use on quarter per day. I put the lemon quarter in the bottle and then continuously fill with water throughout the day. I still get the yummy lemon flavor all day because I do not squeeze the lemon. It took about a bottle or two to get used to the lemon flavor, and now I just crave it.

Lemon water is supposed to speed up your metabolism. Obviously, a week is not long enough to tell if this is fact or fiction but I have noticed a change in appetite. I feel like I do not get hungry as often as I did before. I saw this effect within 24-48 hours of starting the experiment. This seems opposite to a fast metabolism but we'll see.

I definitely feel more hydrated with lemon water. I drink a lot of water anyways, about 80 oz a day but for some reason with the lemon, it makes me feel better. I don't feel as sluggish, I'm not getting hot as easily, and my skin feels amazing. I am slightly skeptical though because the lemon almost makes my tongue dry requiring me to drink more water, so I have upped my intake by about 20oz. I'm unsure if the hydration is due to the extra water, the lemon, or both!

My face is clearing up and feels so much softer too, in only a week! I have not gotten a new pimple since I have started my lemon water kick, may be coincidence but I'm not going to argue with it.

I also feel skinnier as I feel like I'm not holding as much water weight. I only exercise lightly, for the most part, walking around a mile or two a day so we can eliminate exercise factor to the slender feeling.

I have a messy stomach. Everything upsets it, and even though lemons are very acidic, they have not affected me in a negative way at all. It almost seems like the lemon water is helping me digest the difficult foods that my stomach doesn't like. I'm nowhere near a doctor so don't trust my word but it seems to be working for me.

From the effects I've felt so far, it also seems like lemon water may be a great hangover cure! I haven't tried it but I don't see why it wouldn't work. I can't say a negative thing about drinking lemon water so far expect you have to buy the lemons! If you try this for yourself though just make sure you are using an enamel saving mouthwash or toothpaste since lemons aren't so great for your teeth.

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I'm Doing A Semester Abroad And I'm Afraid Of Flying

I was hyperventilating, basically death-gripping my dad's hand, and probably mentally praying...

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I'm afraid of flying. There, I said it. This isn't exactly a convenient fear to have, being that two days from this writing, I'll be flying about seven hours to Portland (Well, five hours to Phoenix, then maybe another two and a half to Portland), and next semester, I'll be flying maybe seven hours to London.

Why is this? It could be my fear of heights, and the fact that 9/11 happened connected to my anxiety adhering strictly to Murphy's Law: Anything can go wrong and it will. Yes, it's mainly irrational, being that strict security exists, but one can't help but worry. I have been on a plane once before and probably embarrassed myself thoroughly to the other passengers. This is the story of my first flight ever.

This was back in 2016 when I was looking at colleges. One of the colleges I applied to was Canisius College, which is in Buffalo, and I wanted to go to their accepted students day to check it out. There were a few problems: It was late February, so there were no long weekends in sight, plus Buffalo is an eight-hour drive from Annapolis.

There was no rational way we were going to drive up, attend the accepted students day on Sunday, then drive back home without me and/or a parental companion being pooped. So, my dad resolved that we were going to fly up on Saturday. I was not pumped. My fear of flying existed prior to the experience, and all the irrational thoughts along with it. Nevertheless, if I wanted to go to the accepted students day, it was the only option.

I should note that a flight from Baltimore to Buffalo is NOTHING compared to my upcoming trips (Maybe 45 minutes), so logically, there was nothing to worry about, and my dad kept reassuring me that. Plus, there was free soda on the plane. Still, that didn't soothe my anxiety. After baggage check, it was maybe about 20 minutes before we actually got on the plane, and that only made things worse.

I would have rather had the band-aid ripped off than have a slow burn. By the time we lined up for the flight, I was on the verge of tears. Then it was another agonizing MAYBE 15 minutes before actually taking off. That time was all a blur... I think I may have crossed myself twice and was shaking and staring straight ahead. Then, finally, after the flight attendant reviewed the safety stuff (Which again reminded me of what could go wrong), the plane FINALLY took off.

I was hyperventilating, basically death-gripping my dad's hand, and probably mentally praying. I bet people were staring, but I was too busy having an anxiety attack to notice anyone looking, or probably pointing and laughing. I calmed down a little bit, although the landing riled me up a bit. And while I didn't have a full-on mental breakdown during the flight home, the fear was still present.

By the time this has been published, I will have been on my trip to Portland, and hopefully taken a step toward conquering my fear in time for my semester abroad.

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