“Navigating The Fog, My Journey To Accepting My Depression” – Coping: This is Who We Are Entry 11

I don’t really know how or why it all started. I can barely remember when it even started. I was so confused as to why this was happening, but for some reason it did. And now, here I am.

I didn’t understand why I could possibly be feeling this way.

Nothing was wrong in my life, after all.

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Before, and even during my depressive episodes, I always thought that depression could only happen after some sort of serious traumatic event. But that’s not the case. I could go on and on about the stigma of mental illness, but that’s another story that could be discussed forever. The stigma, and the belief that depression isn’t something that just happens, prevented me from getting the help that I needed. For years, I beat myself up over feeling depressed and being suicidal. I told myself that I should just suck it up. After all, I had no reason to feel that way, right?. I lived in a stable household. I went on frequent trips to incredible places. I went to private school and had lots of friends. I had more than enough opportunities to do whatever I wanted. So why did I feel so hollow and numb, with my only desire being to kill myself?

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Extinguishing the Invisible Fire: Changing the Conversation on College Suicide

Hey everyone.

First off, thanks for welcoming me. I’m so happy to be here. I’ve advocated for mental health for years now after realizing my own struggle and for empathetically stepping into the shoes of those who don’t quite know how to find their voices yet. Paul has done such a wonderful job with these things on Dear Hope. You all have done a wonderful job in fighting your own struggles and doing what you can to find your places and raise awareness. For this, I thank you immensely. Change starts with emotions and ideas. Fires start from sparks. The smallest seeds grow into the largest trees, and  you are all much larger seeds thank you actually think you are. Your potential is endless and I hope that we here at Dear Hope can help you realize that.

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On that totally hopeful and optimistic note, let’s discuss something I’ve dealt with lately-suicide.

Now, the intent of education is not to sugar coat. The world is unfortunately not covered in chocolate frosting. Negative and detrimental issues exist both in our society and on a global scale.

Suicide is one of these issues.

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Coping: This is Who We Are – Entry 7 “Surviving The Specter”

TRIGGER WARNING: This post is a transparent account of my life with clinical depression and suicide. If this is a trigger for you, please do not read it at this time.

This piece comes from my great friend, Chris, who I have made acquaintances through this website. This piece is one of the best submissions I’ve ever had. and is incredibly powerful and insightful. Lengthy, as many of the coping pieces are, but ultimately moving.


My History

My name is Chris and I’ve survived with severe depression for about 30 years.

Last year I hanged myself.

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I was diagnosed with clinical depression several years ago.

Not the kind that makes you feel sad after your girlfriend breaks up with you, or explains why you feel under the weather when the weather is under.

No, this is much blacker than that.

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Overbooked: Help Put On Hold

Trigger Warning For Suicide Discussion:

This is it.

It would be this easy to end it.

It would be this easy to take a life. 

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He stood against the cold metal looking straight ahead into the scarce clouds that dotted the city skyline. The sounds of engines combusting gasoline and turning pistons filled in the gaps behind him that reflected the back of his eyes with imagery. But this what just background noise.

Feedback.

Static.

Just like his mind on a constant basis.

He slowly looked down to the waters below. It was so far down. Is this what I truly want? He fought back to look in his mind for any reason not to step forward the six inches between life and death. But he found none. He heard footsteps of people walking down the sidewalk on the side of the bridge. But no one stopped. No one asked.

No one cared.

His eyes began to water as the breeze from the river brushed into his reaming emotions. How did it come to this? How did it come to the point where he wanted to die? Where each day he went to sleep hoping he wouldn’t wake up?

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The First (Last) Step: Asking For Help

Help. For a lot of people this is something easy to say. If you’re struggling with something you should ask for assistance. Most people don’t mind an honest ask for help when you’re having trouble with something. But when it comes to mental illness this is one of the hardest words to say. It’s often the last thing that is said. Help from others becomes the last resort.

But why?

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For me personally, asking for help was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Was it pride?

My ego?

Fear of judgment?

Losing friends?

Being rejected?

Honestly, it was a little of all those things. Many people don’t want to admit they need help, I can attest to that. I’d much rather try and figure something out myself than have a crutch or someone else holding my hand along the way. But there comes a point when even you can’t help yourself in your life. Eventually you start drowning too fast and can’t tread the water anymore. So when the water started filling into my lungs, did I ask for help then?

No.

Because that’s when all the other fears from asking for help came in.

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Rid The Stigma: Using Mental Illnesses as Adjectives

I often overhear people saying “I was so depressed yesterday after watching that movie” or “my insomnia is so bad I’ve been up until midnight the last three nights”.

These need to stop. 

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I started thinking about this after reading a blog post earlier today. Go check it out, it’s an awesome blog.

Depression is not a short term sadness after viewing something sad. That is just being sad. Everyone gets sad every once in a while. Sadness is something in everyone. Depression, however, is something that lasts a long time, an ongoing fight that is often daily.

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I’m Depressed: We Speak Our Own Language

The community here is growing and I couldn’t be more excited. After just two weeks of activity here on the blog we’ve passed over 1,300 hits and have gathered almost 100 followers. We’re all in this together. You are not alone and you are loved. For this post I thought I’d focus more on what it feels like as I gradually get more depressed. As I’m sure all too many people can relate to.

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When I often describe that I’m in a low or slipping some people have a hard time understanding what I mean. These words usually have different meaning in every day use, but when I’m in a depressive state they are accurate descriptions of how I feel. It can start in a room full of people I know and love and will gradually feel myself start to slip. My senses start fading, my eyes get heavy, I feel like I’m moving backwards into myself. I slip. And in that feeling I find myself in that low. I feel reduced to nothing but my thoughts, and those thoughts themselves are useless. They’re meaningless, and they’re negative.

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On The Outside Looking In: Mental Illness

About a month ago I was wasting time browsing through my Facebook newsfeed wondering why I’m still friends with as many people as I am when I came across an article an old english teacher had shared called “My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward”That’s an interesting title I thought. Upon further observation I realized that this was a personal tale from a man named Mark who knew almost nothing about mental illness as his wife, Giulia, descended into madness from hers. But here’s the best part you don’t hear too often. He stayed by her side and still loves her after two check-ins with a psych ward.

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Mental Illness: The Numbers

How many people do you think suffer or fight with a mental illness?

According to these numbers and statistics the chances that you know someone with a mental illness is pretty high. And you may think: No way, none of my friends or family have anything like that but when you look at the statistics it says only 25% of people who fight a mental illness feel like people around them are compassionate and understand. So for every four people they may open up to, only one of them will make them feel okay about what they have said.

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