We need to have the talk … not the talk, but about something that is so common in today’s society: depression. Maybe it’s because it’s one of those touchy subjects nobody likes to get into, we ignore it. Quite frankly, that’s the problem. Some of us are raised with the assumption that if we don’t talk about it, the feeling … the thoughts in the back of our minds that plague us will simply go away. A lot of times, we don’t know how to deal with our feelings, so we ignore them. I wish I could say that it was that simple, but there’s so much more that goes into depression.
For the longest time, I held a lot of sadness and anger in, not because I didn’t want to talk about it, but because I didn’t know how to come out and say, “I have a problem, something isn’t right.” Often, we seem to think that people who are depressed walk around with this cloud of sorrow that hangs above them and we politely nod, trying to prevent any further contact because, “we don’t want to get involved.” What we forget about are the people who walk around with a smile on their face everyday, the ones who are so strong and seem to have it all together. And yet, they go home at night and cry themselves to sleep, wondering when the pain will go away. Or perhaps, maybe their sadness has manifested itself into stress … so much so that they’re constantly a nervous wreck and can barely function. Maybe it’s manifested itself in different ways and has started to break down their health, tremendously. We never truly know.
There’s this stigma that going to therapy somehow makes you weak, that sitting (or lying down) for an hour and letting a complete stranger know about the issues in your life is the worst thing you could possibly do. Sometimes, we need that release, because somebody is not personally involved with you can give you some insight on the issues occuring in your life. It’s a perspective that is needed, because sometimes we are so wrapped in our own thoughts that it’s hard to make sense of them. I have to say that I am an advocate for therapy and that we should feel no shame in participating. After all, the goal in life is to live happy … to live freely and not be bound by the negative thoughts that consume us. So many people are living with hurt built inside that has changed them, and left them afraid to speak out. I write all of this to say that even if I can’t change the mind of millions, I want to change the mind of one. Depression has no name, no face … no “ideal” person behind it. The idea that we live and suffer in silence because we are afraid to speak out saddens me. Learning to reach out and say, “I need help” can go so far. Maybe you’re not sure where to start, maybe you’ve acknowledged that something just doesn’t feel right, and you don’t know where to start. That’s ok. Just remember that, if anything, this pain you’re feeling won’t always be there. Help is around and help is immediate. You are not alone.