How do I even start this blog post about depression and mental health? This is not a ‘cry for help’ or ‘self-pity’ blog post – although I do self-deprecate a lot, heh. Hopefully in a comical way. It’s kind of my sense of humor.
Since meeting with a counselor and being told that I had depression, I knew that mental health was not something I wanted to talk about on my blog. I told myself, this isn’t “on brand” – there are so many well-educated bloggers out there on this topic, I don’t need to talk about mental health.
In fact, I was in denial. There was no way I have depression. All the counselor did was just ask me a series of questions. How could that determine whether or not I had depression? I liked to call them my ‘burning out’ phases where I went through a week or so. There was no way I was depressed, I was merely stressed. I denied it as much as I deny being sexually active at the doctors in front of my mom. Also, on that note, parents should not be in the room when your doctor asks you that. Of course, I’m going to say no.
Mom, I’m sorry if you’re reading this. I’m 22 and yes, I have had sex – hate to break it to you.
Being Proactive About Your Health
In the past couple of years, I would go into these phases where I would feel burnt out or stressed. Most of the time, I’d be able to control it and channel it into a positive outlet of some sort. When I’m feeling down and anxious, I would reach out to my friends catching up.
I tend to overthink and overanalyze a lot which probably doesn’t help with my mental health. Without going much into details, a while back, someone had yelled at me. I went home that day crying the whole night, thinking the whole ordeal was my fault. It caused a huge scene and it was frankly unnecessary. Regardless of whether or not it was my fault, it still looked bad to be part of that. It was something I wasn’t expecting.
The next day, I completely cleared out my schedule. I was in bed the whole day just crying and crying. All my plans were canceled and I couldn’t find myself leaving my bed. Eating that day wasn’t on the agenda. I knew I was falling into a black hole. I took the initiative and went to my university’s counseling center. The counselor had asked me a series of questions pertaining to how I was feeling. After a while, she had told me I had depression.
I shrugged. To be honest, I didn’t believe it. I didn’t want to believe it. I brushed it off and powered through that week of just sadness and feeling unfulfilled.
It’s Okay to Not Be Okay
A month later, my weird “funk” came back but I didn’t know why. I struggled a lot this week. These phases became longer and harder to get me out of. I hit a really low point and I didn’t feel like I could reach out to my friends or family for help. I didn’t want to annoy anyone with how I’m feeling. Essentially, I locked myself up at home and watched TV the whole day. Watching TV didn’t even make me feel better, it actually made me feel worse. I felt like I was just wasting a whole day not being productive. Maybe I’m being hard on myself.
I’m a pretty logical person and I knew that there was nothing wrong. There wasn’t anything I should be depressed or anxious about. With school, work, volunteer, and blogging, everything was fine. My classes were going well. Work was going well. Volunteering was going well. My blog and other projects were going well. What was wrong?
I really didn’t want to talk about my mental health, but at the end of the day, I know that I want to use my social media platform to tell people that it’s okay to not be okay. These feelings happen to everyone and asking for help is not a weakness.
Asking for Help is Not a Weakness
It’s easier said than done. Asking for help is not a weakness and it should be something we all commend others for. For me, I didn’t want to bother my friends. I didn’t want to seem like the friend that always feels depressed or Debbie Downer (Demi Downer in this case). If they are your friends, you should feel welcome with open arms when you need help and I’m thankful for that.
There are so many resources out there that can help if you are not feeling yourself.
If you have health insurance, you may be able to get a therapist or counselor covered by your insurance. Your Life Your Voice is a great resource tool for getting help. The website also has a list of 99 Coping Skills that I found to be useful.
Question: Do you struggle with depression? If so, what are some ways to help you get through it?
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, The Suicide Prevention Lifeline has 24/7, free & confidential support for people in distress, prevention, & crisis resources: 1-800-273-8255.
Personally, I have called The Suicide Prevention Lifeline and they are an amazing resource.
I feel so uncomfortable and vulnerable talking about mental health and my struggles, but I know that when I was going through a rough time, it made me feel better knowing that there are other people dealing with similar issues.
Why I Didn’t Want to Talk About Mental Health
At first, I didn’t want to talk about mental health. What will others think of me? I felt like if I were to tell people I was struggling with depression, people would say I’m just trying to get attention. That’s me overthinking and overanalyzing again, as always. What else is new? I still think mental health is such a taboo topic. Even taboo for me to talk about.
In addition, I personally think that the media sometimes glamorizes mental health and suicide. I don’t want to go much into this topic because I’m not sure how others feel about it, but that’s just my 2 cents.
P.S. My coat is from Shein – If you use code “Q3demibang15” during checkout, you can get 15% off all purchases.