According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (AADA), 21,000,000 Americans suffer from some form of depression. For these people, no coping mechanism is out of the ordinary. From medications and treatments to dietary changes and supplements, proposed cures for depression have continued to evolve as the illness continues to affect more individuals, including students on Boise State’s campus.
Winter is coming... it's a simple fact. We can't avoid it unless we move to a warm country to escape the harsh reality of it, but most of us don't have that luxury. So we stay. But it's not all about the snow and the cold, or the warm clothing that keep us from freezing. It's also about the sun. More specifically, the sunlight. If you're like me and live in the upper northern hemisphere of the world, you know what I mean. Long nights; short days. Now, if you're also like me, you know the consequences of the lack of sunlight, not just on your physical health, but mental as well. Depression. This is about that little grey cloud that happens to take over your life, and waiting for it to come to pass.
Without altering one’s perceptions of god, or their idea of a higher power, I propose the idea of applying the Buddhist practices of yoga, meditation, and fasting into one’s weekly routine. The results of these acts vary some; however, hold their ground in the positive effects they have within the mind and body. I, too, support this thesis, given scientific and philosophical evidence that these acts can not only change the body but develop the mind enough to fight depression and “grow our ability to feel happiness.” (page 23, Cooney)
To say everything has been a struggle until now would be putting it lightly. But that’s how it is when you have a brain injury. I just call it “me"; being this way, the way I’ve always known myself to be, is the only thing I’ve ever truly understood.
Depression is more than feeling sad or upset. Depression is smiling and feeling the weight of your world crashing in on you. It’s the feeling of not wanting to do anything or go anywhere. Everything you once loved to do becomes dull, boring, and not worth the time or effort. You know people care, but you still wonder if it’s worth continuing. Depression is an enormous, black hole, sucking everything you once cared about into its dark, cold void, and it’s almost impossible to escape. I know, I feel it almost every day. It’s easy for people to say you’re fine, you’ll get through this, or my personal favorite, “there is no excuse for you to be depressed.” Those with depression know this and believe me if we had the option to “turn it off,” we would. The truth is we’re not okay, we’re hurting, and we’re fighting every day to keep on living.
Some time this month, ten years ago, my mum burst into my bedroom and found me on my bed surrounded by pill packets. I had been hoarding them to take them all at once and some sort of motherly instinct must have made alarm bells ring because she intervened just in time. I hadn't taken them all yet and she swiped them away from me. I had taken enough to be sick but not enough to do serious harm. This came after months of me self harming, burning myself, giving myself bruises, making myself sick and writing horrible things about myself all the time.
If you suffer from severe anxiety and/or depression, the term "isolation" may have a different connotation for you than most. If you understand what I'm talking about, then this is the article may interest you.
As a kid, I never knew. Sadly, mental health does not get covered in schools nearly enough, or at least it didn't when I was there. That's why I never even knew I was plagued with mental illness at such a young age. I just assumed what everyone assumed. I was a weird kid. There was no way I could've known any better.