15 lessons living with depression taught me
I was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety disorder in 2015. It made no sense. I couldn’t believe it. I was a happy person, I didn’t like being sad, how could I be depressed? Back then, there was so much I didn’t know.
These past three years have been a roller coaster ride of therapy, medication, relapse and recurrence, difficult days, beautiful days and so many lessons.
Here are some of them.
1. The stigma exists. And we need to fight it.
2. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.
3. Mental illness is not something to be ashamed of.
4. Depression lies. It will tell you things you shouldn’t believe. That you’re a burden. That you’re not worth it. That things will never get better. Do not believe it.
5. Depression doesn’t always look the same.
6. There are many weapons against it. Therapy and medication are jus two of them.
7. People will surprise you. Sometimes in bad ways but more often in good.
8. Listen to your doctor. Stop being stubborn.
9. Talking makes a difference.
10. It doesn’t matter who you are, you can make a difference.
11. It’s okay not to be okay. I realized that I had been pressuring myself to be 100% fine all the time and I had to remind myself that even people without depression have bad days. Sometimes, you have to let yourself be not okay. Sometimes, you have to let yourself have that day of doing nothing, of just curling up in bed with Netflix. I call those my mental health days.
12. You are not alone.
13. Things will get better.
14. You can be depressed and still live a full life.
15. Depression is not a death sentence. It’s not a life sentence. It’s a battle. And you can win it.
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