Mental Health Monday is a series that is meant to bring awareness to various mental health conditions, and to provide a safe platform for those who wish to share their own personal stories to potentially help others. If you would like to become a contributor, please email your stories to Ashtyn at firstname.lastname@example.org
Author: Stephanie Thayn
Hello, my name is Stephanie. I am twenty years old. One of my life long friends, Ashtyn, has asked me to talk about my experiences with depression. I’m glad that I can talk about my struggles so that maybe someone out there who is reading this who might be experiencing the same things, won’t feel so alone.
Throughout my struggles with depression I have experienced hopelessness, a lack of interest in life, and a lot of self loathing.
My depression started becoming very noticeable in high school. It started by finding more and more excuses to not hang out with my close group of friends. I had been with the same group of friends since elementary school, we were all so close and yet I found myself less and less interested in hanging out with them. All I found joy in was laying in my bed either watching Netflix or binging on YouTube videos, that’s all I ever wanted to do. All I ever wanted to do was be alone.
More and more I felt a strong sense of worthlessness, that I’m just a big waste of space and that I’m not good enough for anything. Any little slip up felt so detrimental, and I could never forget about any mistakes I made. In any situation from playing my viola to looking at myself in the mirror I kept repeating to myself, “ Oh, you’re ok but someone else is probably better than you, so what’s the point?” This ugly, hurtful mantra made everything I do feel so insignificant and not good enough for anyone.
My dark cloud in my brain grew bigger and darker. No matter what I’d do I could never shake the gloomy storm swirling in my head. And most of the time my conclusion to all of my problems would be thoughts of suicide. I thought I was nothing but a waste of everyone’s space and time. I would always think that my life and everyone else’s would be better if I just ended my life. Thankfully I never followed through in my intentions.
I remember the first time telling someone I was having dark thoughts. I was in a college dorm room with Kourtney and Ashtyn, a couple of friends from that same close group I’ve had since I was young. I burst out into tears because it felt so good to let out all my bottled up sadness. I felt less alone. But even after that moment, it still took a lot of courage to get professional help. I finally got to a point where I was so tired of not enjoying life, and feeling so miserable that I decided that I was going to find a healthy solution to my problems.
About two months ago I was diagnosed with moderate depression and I’ve been taking medication for it. I’ve already noticed a huge difference, but medicine isn’t enough. You have to start looking on the bright side of things, even though most of the time it’s very difficult. Make sure you do something for yourself everyday, because you are important. Be the best you can be. You don’t have to be perfect, because perfection in my opinion, is something that’s meant for the fantasy genre. We all have our highs and lows, but without the lows we’ll never know the beauty and blessings of the highs. Take a walk outside, sunshine is proven to improve your mood, and look around at the trees and the blades of grass. Take the time to just sit and enjoy a sunset and realize you are so lucky to still be here, having the chance to live everyday to the fullest. And most importantly, talk to someone. Talk to someone you trust about the problems you have and you would have just taken the biggest step in the right direction.
Resources for those who may be struggling with depression: