Today, I am going to share a personal story. It feels like an important personal story. About five months ago I began struggling with depression. Five months ago, I began struggling with depression, again. These feelings and symptoms were not new to me; lack of motivation, low energy, difficulty getting out of bed in the morning, tearfulness, and lack of feeling joy.
After my education to become a therapist, I realized that since I was about 12 years old, I had been struggling on and off with depression. My depression also paired with anxiety. I later learned that it is common for these conditions to be co-morbid. These labels seemed dooming to carry and wrong to tell others about. I worked in mental health but the social stigma was still around.
I want to share this story because it is important for everyone. You or someone you know may be struggling with depression or anxiety. It is not something to be ashamed of. It is crucial to begin the conversations about mental health.
Talking to my friends, coworkers, and family was helpful. I researched different ways to deal with depression including medication, talk-therapy, exercise, diet, and mindfulness. I began seeing a therapist and a psychiatrist. The best thing for me was to know that I was not alone, and to find resources to help me get better. My depression and anxiety has gradually gotten better. I am beginning to feel happy again, able to get out of bed and revived with motivation. I am feeling like myself again. I am aware of my biological predispositions and of current environmental factors.
May is Mental Health Month. There is hope about educating the public to be aware about the mental health problems that they or people they know may be struggling with.
Lets Look at Statistics and Facts about Depression and Anxiety:
- Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the United States.
- As many as 2 out of 100 young children and 8 out of 100 teens may have serious depression.
- Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only about 1/3 of those suffering receive treatment.
- It is not uncommon for someone with an anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression.
(statistics gathered from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America)
When it comes to anxiety and depression we have to give ourselves grace that these difficult mental health issues take time to get better. It is important to know that we can learn ways to cope with the symptoms. It is important that we don’t lose hope. What is important is that we ask for help.