I have never seen a therapist for my depression, but I do take medicine prescribed by my general practitioner for what she deemed “anxiety with depressive symptoms”. The further I advance in my college career, the further it seems that my depression advances as well.
Some days I just have an underlying sadness that I can’t quite figure out why it is there. Other days, it is hard for me to get out of bed. I feel like I am worthless, that none of my friends truly love me, and that all the hard work and dedication I put into my passions to make the world a better place does absolutely nothing.
Some days, hanging out with my friends is enough to pull me out of the rut, at least temporarily. But some days, or even weeks, I seclude myself and lay in bed most days feeling depressed and lonely. During these times, it takes a lot more willpower to pull me out of my depressive episodes.
I have an extremely close family where I can call them up anytime and just hear their voices, instantly improving my mood. I am lucky to have sisters that go out of their way to make me feel better when they know I am feeling down, like when my mom and sisters delivered a bag of gifts to me after I broke up with my first serious boyfriend. Not only do I have my family (and my pets), but I have an amazing small group of friends that I know I could tell anything to. They understand more so than my family that I can be sad or depressed and have no “reason” for the sadness. They know when I need my space, or when I need a girl’s night or a dinner off campus to lift my spirits.
One thing that really helps me out of my depressive ruts is involving myself with the most incredible group of individuals at my school that I have the privilege of knowing. As the president of Active Minds at Loyola University, I get the opportunity to meet so many stigma fighters and mental health advocates on my campus that work to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health. Specifically, my leadership team for active minds are the kindness, most thoughtful, loving, and understanding people at my school.
They instantly lift my mood with their positive affect and heartwarming commitment to making the world a better place for those with mental illness. When I am in the deepest of ruts because of my depression, these are the people that remind me of why I was put on this earth, what my passion is, and what I was destined to do.
My advice to my fellow stigma fighters who struggle with depression is to talk to others about it. Let them know what you need and when you need it. Tell them how you feel so that when you are feeling that way, they can help you out of your rut.
But most importantly, find your passion. Find what gives you the greatest joy and purpose in the world, and hold on to that in the deepest moments of your depression. Remember why you are here, and all the people you are helping by just living. And remember, fight like hell.