Are you depressed? Do you think you suffer from depression?

Well, you might be suffering from depression or you just may be sad... I just want to say that you are amazing. You are great and your life will get better.

I just want to say I suffer from depression and it's something that I will never truly be over. I will never fully get over depression because anything can cause me to be depressed. Sometimes nothing externally has to happen for me to be depressed. Unfortunately, for me, I realized once I got older that I suffered from depression my entire life. It started because I got teased when I was younger which continued to happen as I got older but I always tried to joke and laugh it off but it truly made me depressed to see what others saw was different. Then having people close to me pass away at a young age caused me to get depressed every time their birthday or date of their passing would come up.

Sometimes I would just wake up in the funkiest mood and not want to do anything. I would then catch myself just thinking about what life would be like for my loved ones if I just died. Though I had suicidal thoughts when I was younger, I never expressed them to others and I never tried to attempt it. For me, attempting suicide wasn't something I could do because someone close to me committed suicide and it was due to depression combined with having a mental illness. After that I came to college and realized that I still was depressed though I wasn't suicidal, I would be extremely depressed and everything in my life seem to make me emotional and not want to do anything but lay in the bed.

Then my EOF (Educational Opportunity Funding) Counselor suggested that I go see a psychologist at my university. I did that, and talking to someone helped me heal myself. I started to get clarification on the steps I should take to get away from depression. Then, for some reason, something pushed me to become vegetarian and I noticed that I became a lot happier and positive and energetic. Then I started to push myself to not dwell on the negatives of life but always transform my negatives into positives and I can say that for what has been a year, I haven't experienced a full-on set of depression.

Some days I did experience where my depression would try to sneak in and start. But I was already in the habit of knowing the signs when I began to get depressed and so I would do everything to avoid it and push myself to not dwell on being negative or not be active. So yes, I do have days where I can feel myself trying to be depressed and nothing externally caused it and I will start to push myself. When I say push myself what I mean by this is I'll take a nice shower and while doing so, I'll talk to myself.

I'll say things like: You are beautiful. You are amazing. You will get through this for darkness only lasts for a little bit. Be the person that you needed a year ago. No one or nothing can make you truly happy but you, so you need to make yourself happy.

All of these sayings helped me and pushed me to start getting into the habit of planning my days out by hours and seeing what hours I had in between class or after class and work and make sure that I was doing something productive or involved. This causes me to have little time to even settle down because I realized that's when my depression would start was when I had time to dwell on things. I then realized that changing my eating habits helped a lot because eating animal products causes the hormones in my body to change. Yes, this is scientifically proven.

With that being said, I want to say if you are struggling with depression.

1. Talk to a psychologist, not just someone familiar.

2. I want you to know that you have the option to manage your depression without taking medication it just takes a lot of changing your lifestyle.

3. Take steps to being active and productive but remember don't overwork yourself either.

4. Take steps to changing your negatives to positives. When things happen to you try to take a lesson from it and work on it. Try not to dwell on the negatives of life for you will start to experience an onset of depression.

5. Practice self-love and being selfish in the name of self-care and self-awareness. Make sure that you focus on you and put all of your energy into loving and making yourself happy before you think about someone else whether it be a partner, a parent or a sibling. They have to wait until you are done loving and caring for yourself and are practicing it well before you can help them fully without taking energy away from yourself.

Lastly, remember for every storm that comes, there will always be sunshine after and though you may be going through hard times, you will have better ones.