Can we talk?

Last Thursday was National Mental Health Awareness Day. For some of us, that is every day; either because we find everyone else around us to be crazy or because we ourselves struggle! Okay, jokes aside (because honestly, if you take yourself too seriously and can’t joke about it, then life is just going to be super rough), some of us are aware that mental health is an issue every single day since it is our reality.

I personally struggle with depression and have for a long time. In fact, I think I have always struggled with it. I just didn’t have an official name for it until I was in college. And man, what a relief to finally know what the darkness I always carried was and that there was a reason for it. I could finally understand it and maybe even begin to manage it to some degree.

This column will not be a lengthy description about my struggle with depression as it won’t be long enough for that. But I am more than happy to visit with anyone about it. I am very open about my struggle with depression and anxiety. If my story can help one person, I want to do that. Especially for people who start experiencing it later in life which often happens. It can be so hard to go from “normal” to “mentally ill”.

In fact, I think that all of us need to be talking about mental health. We need to be talking about our depression, our anxiety and anything else that falls under mental health. So many of us struggle so why suffer quietly and alone?

For many, it is genetic. Which means others in your family experience similar issues. And maybe they have ideas of solutions. Talk. And sometimes, the symptoms come from things that happen to us. Things that our friends and even family have been through. And maybe they have solutions. Talk. Or maybe they don’t have solutions, but they care and they listen. So talk.

All I know, is that when I bottle it up and don’t talk to anyone, I feel worse. But when I open up and talk, I feel better. Every. Single. Time. Sometimes it is to a professional. Sometimes it is to my friend. Sometimes it is to my cat. But I talk and I feel better.

Medicine helps me, too, and I will always have to take it. That isn’t the solution for everyone. But it works for some. Just throwing it out there.

Anyway, I hope this starts you thinking. Most of all I hope it starts you talking.

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