Things I wish those around me would understand about depression.

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  1. That I am open talking about my struggles because I’m human and I don’t believe there should be a stigma around it. Similar to someone who has any other chronic condition, there’s no shame in opening up about what I feel.
  2. Just because I look happy and often put out a positive vibe doesn’t mean I don’t have depression. Like most people I am well equipped to hide my emotions when I don’t feel comfortable unloading onto others. I recognize other people have things they need to focus on in life and having them worry about me makes me uncomfortable.
  3. Depression isn’t just sadness, it’s the feeling of nothing, an emptiness that fills your entire body making it hard to truly express how you feel. It also takes away my sense of drive at times and for someone who generally is a go-getter it can be hard to take in not feeling motivated to keep up on things.
  4. My depression is not an excuse I use when I feel lazy or want sympathy from people. In fact, the judgement makes me feel less willing to open up about how I feel and instead traps me in the vicious cycle of depression. Just listen, I don’t need or want sympathy, I just want to feel normal.
  5. Laughter goes a long way. Isolating yourself from the world can have an effect on your mood. I enjoy hearing from loved ones and close friends being half way across the world from them.
  6. My depression will be a life long illness (or at least until a cure id found). Medication and counselling help mediate and manage my symptoms but they don’t simply go away.
  7. I wish people wouldn’t invalidate how I feel sometimes, particularly with those who don’t necessarily understand what depression is. I can’t simply be “fixed” or “get over myself” or “stop being dramatic” because it’s not a real condition or the fact that “everyone goes through the same thing”. As humans, all our experiences are different, and we are all impacted by different things.
  8. I love the support I have received since my diagnosis a little over two years ago. Without the support of family and friends I would not be where I am today and for that I am incredibly grateful.
  9. On that note, I hope my family, loved ones, and friends know how incredibly grateful I am for their support. I know at times it can be difficult to connect with me or understand me, especially when I don’t have the energy to talk, but I want them to know I appreciate their unwavering support and love through my struggles.
  10. My anxiety is tied with my depression. It often goes in a cycle, particularly when I am stressed out or have a sudden change/disruption in my life.
  11. I have found taking fish oil and drinking lots of fruit juice (orange/mango) with no added sugars to naturally boost my mood and make me less tired.
  12. I accept me for me, all my flaws and all . Depression or no depression I know I am capable to make both changes and contributions in this world.

Feel free to add your own thoughts, share this post, or create your own list. Let’s take ownership of our struggles and educate those around us that depression isn’t just about “sadness”

-M