Why the Perception of Depression is so wrong

mental health

The lovely, so inaccurate, stigmatized perception of depression. Or any mental health issue for that matter.

I hate overhearing someone describe the nastiness, bitterness, awkwardness of someone else and than end in with… “she must have mental health problems” like that describes her bad qualities perfectly!? I remember the day I was diagnosed mentally ill and fought it off like a death sentence for years. I refused to be one of “them”. But I was so wrong. Embracing the fact I was depressed, and mentally ill like them earlier would have made life easier.

To my surprise, now I’ve continued to be diagnosed with an additional life changing mental illness that I’m not ready to talk about, but I bring it up because all I can think about is people who’ve lived with this for so much longer than me. I think about how strong they are and how much they go through. The perspective of mental illness has to change, and I don’t know how it will unless we share more openly our experiences.

I couldn’t imagine giving myself that credit today… because I’m still grieving the old life and old me some days. I have only bits and parts of the old carefree life that made it to today’s version of me. I hang on to those pictures and memories of the old me, “normal Carrie”, to get me through those days; you know, the don’t get out of bed and ignore the fact life exists kind of days.

If you know anyone who doesn’t truly understand mental health, never be afraid to inform them. They’re ill informed and perhaps they can learn something from you. The weeks that make up the up and down days existing in the life of a mentally ill person could be (slightly) similar to the lives when they shown mentally ill people in scenes from a movie. Where the movie producers get it wrong is about 90% of the symptoms and feelings that make us live through depression or anxiety or any other mental illness.

People wouldn’t understand unless you and I feel confident enough to stand up and show them the stigma they have is so misleading and wrong.

A day where I go to sleep counting the reasons I’m so happy to live the life I live only to wake up to the opposite of that and greet the all to familiar, knotted stomach and low energy feeling accompanied with Major Depression. These are how fast those days can come. Depression occurs overnight or at a friends or even on vacation (it’s seriously been happening and I’m shocked myself. Who gets depressed on vacay!?Oh ya. Depressed people )because depression occurs Anytime. Anywhere. Anyplace).

Than the cycle of chaos starts. You’re tired and scared at the same time from anxiety and your depressive episode. You feel unloved but don’t really care either way. Negative thinking takes over all your thoughts, dreams and aspirations. You’re restless when you lay down, but to lethargic to get out of the house, almost like you’re waking from Anastasia. I am always too disinterested to go out and socialize. I hate being alone, yet being around people is too much. It causes my heart to beat so fast my check cramps. Depression in reality is realizing sudden the plans you made for that day turn from exciting events to dreadful decisions you have to make when you decide you really don’t want to go. Time has no concept to depressed people during these days. The misery drags on. The time stops. You’re stuck in your own little, chaotic and dark world. Even when I can tell others 1,000,000 ways to think more positive if I’m helpless others–not one coping strategy works for me on these days. Social media is too much socializing, Even Walmart is a nightmare, people feel suffocating to me and cause anxiety attacks. On the good days, I can shop till I drop but not during my depressive episodes. I feel like the world is so colorful to those around me and I suddenly awoke in a black and white colored world; I’m color blind. Paralyzed. Numb.

I’m not weak though, just sick.

I’ve made it through one too many of these days so I know I have it in me to get to bedtime and hope tomorrow is better.

I don’t suffer from depression, I fight it. I battle it with all I have.

Next time someone makes a remark that hurts, makes you feel less than them or causes you to think you’re not beautiful the way you are– all because your brain chemistry makes life a little harder for you; I hope you remember you’re a warrior. A fighter. A overcomer. You’re so strong that when your brain tells you how to think and how to act, you fight back so you can conquer the day like you own it. Because you do.

Depression sucks, it’s hard, but I’ve come to learn how to live with it. I’ve come to feel comfortable and inform mislead thoughts from people about mental health and correct them if I feel it’s needed. I’ll continue to fight because I know others are too. It’s a scary, more like horrifying, to experience a mind with a mind of its own—- but It’s the bravest thing I ever get to do. I get to continue and live when everything inside yells it’s time to quit. Whatever you do, don’t. You’re worth the fight, the struggle, and you’re strong enough to fight it. Keep on keepin on warriors! Eventually we can educate on the reality of the perception of depression/mental health.

Xoxo and Happy SummerDayz!

Carrie Doran

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