The Truth About Depression | What You Need to Know

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I am a Latina, and I suffer from depression.

My skin is brown, and I suffer from depression.

I smile and still suffer from depression.

I laugh and still suffer from depression.

Depression has different looks, styles, and skin tones. It is real and scary. For me, depression is a bottomless pit where my thoughts are clouded. It is a rabbit hole I often get stuck in. It is a place where my tears appear, but so does my smile. There is no gray cloud over me or sadness written all over my face. Instead, I hide it because if you ask me what is wrong, I will break.

Depression comes as a package deal, 50% off anxiety now! Anxiety makes shit worse. Then all of a sudden tears are falling from my eyes, and I can't breathe. The room feels smaller, and everything is out of my control. It feels as if an elephant is on my chest as I grasp for air. Pain fills me as my heart and head ache. I want it to stop, make it stop...but it doesn't.

A lot of people think Depression isn't real. That is one of the main reasons I never spoke about it. When I first wrote about it, I felt free. No one knew what I had gone through, and it felt amazing to let it out. The people who read the blog post supported me tremendously, but other people close to me didn't. I remember one of my aunts calling me to tell me how she would deal with depression. She said, "I wouldn't let it happen, simple."

It is crazy to me that people think depression is something I picked. I didn't wake up every day for year choosing to be depressed. Depression hit me like Viktor Drago hit Adonis Johnson in Creed II. I got hit so hard I couldn't get up. So many people have the wrong idea about depression and I am here to clear it up.

Based on an Article called Six Truths About Depression, Lisa Firestone Ph.D. states " ...psychotherapy can benefit depressed individuals by helping them uncover the life problems that contribute to their depression,"

Go to therapy!

You need to talk about the root of the problem or what is triggering your depression. Talking to a non-professional might make your depression worse. A professional will slowly unwrap the underline reason for your depression.

Therapy has allowed me to understand that my depression is triggered when I feel lonely. We have not discussed why loneliness is a bad thing for me, but we are getting there.

Therapy is not a process that happens overnight. You don't go to one session and become magically healed. You work hard, you open up, and you cry. You let it all out and feel the pain again. The aching, the heartbreak, and the things you try to hide.

I've been going to therapy for years, and just a few days ago I discovered I have a cognitive distortion also known as, Catastrophizing.

Do you remember the scene in Spongebob Squarepants when the Spongebob in his mind was going crazy, running all over the place and panicking? That is basically what Catastrophizing is. It's when our thoughts are far worse than the situation.

The point is, therapy is a process. Discovering your disorders or other issues is only part one of therapy. The second part is learning about it, facing it, and working on it.

It is not easy to tell people about your depression.

Talking about depression is not easy especially when you have to deal with closed minded people who think it’s all in your head. I've been there and man its frustrating. My therapist taught me that what people think of you does not define you. Ignorance is bliss. I’ve learned to save my energy and put it toward helping myself instead of proving things to people.

Be prepared to be blamed.

When someone closest to me found out about my depression, they blamed me. It was my fault I felt lonely because I decided to move. That stung like a bee sting. Imagine someone putting alcohol on an open wound. When I finally had the courage to speak about it, I got a negative response. I wanted to shut down as I've always done in the past.

I am learning that if I want different results, I must act differently. You are not to blame for your depression!

Talk about it with other people who can relate.

No, this is not the time to throw a pity party! Don't look for people who are drowning in their own sorrow. Talk to people who are comfortable talking about their depression. Talk to people who have been trying to help themselves. You can still talk about depression without it being gloomy and sad.

We can talk about our pain without feeling it, it is possible.

Change your environment too! I had to let some friends go because they were enabling me. They were not helping me defeat my depression instead it felt like they were helping me become more depressed.

You aren't alone. Depression occurs to many of us, and it doesn't discriminate toward race or sex. Talking about it and working on it helps a lot.

Sometimes we just don't have anyone to talk to...I've been there. If you feel suicidal (or you just want to talk to someone) call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 1-800-273-TALK (8255). If you know someone in need of help please call as well.

IMPORTANT MESSAGE: My name is Salathia and I suffer from depression. During my darkest days, I smiled the most. This is a reminder to be there for all the people in your life. Sometimes they are hiding behind a smile like I was.