I know (I hope, anyway) what you’re thinking. Of course depression exists! Come on, this is 2016, we’re not stupid. Right? And yeah, I completely agree with you, obviously I know it exists. At least, I thought I did, until it occurred to me that maybe I had it myself.
Looking back on the last four years, ish, I’ve had this sudden realisation that I probably have seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. I talked about it a little while ago, but what have I done about it? Nothing, that’s what. Because I’m not depressed, so I don’t need to!
Here’s where my thoughts start to contradict themselves. If depression does exist, and is valid, then why am I so unwilling to admit I might have it myself? My good internet pal (unsure if she’s willing to be named, but she’s GREAT) recently found someone online she could talk to about all her mental stuff, and I was so impressed with how brave she was. I mean, I’m in love with her always, but this moment in particular. I thought, wow, I couldn’t do that! BUT WHY, Victoria? Why?
So, I started picking apart my brain a little more, and tried to work out the problem. Years ago, one of my closest friends was depressed, and I really truly believed it was as simple as letting her know she was loved and worthy, that’d make it all better. Just now, I’m talking to a friend and I’m looking for practical solutions. Exams are stressful? Just keep studying! Your friends don’t make you happy? Lucky you have the internet! All problems have solutions, and I always have the need to fix everything. When it comes to me, I do the same thing. It’s very convenient that, if anything, I have seasonal depression, because the solution is summer and sunlight. It was breaking up with my boyfriend, starting a blog, blaming it all on missing my overseas friends. I’ll be over it within a couple of months, so talking to someone is really just a waste.
There’s such a massive stigma around mental illness, and in the same way we throw “like a girl”, and we cross the road for a black man but not a white man, and we assume everyone is straight until proven otherwise, it’s a little thing that’s ingrained in us. Mental illness doesn’t exist, it’s just amplified sadness. But IT DOES EXIST. And it’s so important to actually take a moment to acknowledge that, in your own head, instead of assuming you know it all. Then, you can do something about it. Educate other people, or go help yourself! Help a friend, properly. There’s so much that needs to be done, and its not getting done because of the way we were brought up.
This is part of Towards Equality because we dismiss it because we think we already know everything. We don’t. I don’t. And it’s taken me a while to realise that, but here’s a post acknowledging it. The people that need help aren’t getting it, because of our ingrained stigma. And I challenge you to start thinking the same, and start looking at things you might not really understand, or might not be as accepting of as you think you are.
Towards Equality is a movement from Scribbled Dreams, and my post is rather late, but still here! Why should you take part?
#1. To speak for thousands who are unable to.
#2. Equality doesn’t come with the wave of a magic wand. We have to talk, discuss and keep fighting for it till we get it.
#3. Yes, it may seem like a never-ending battle, but we have to do all that we can. And by “we” I mean you, reading this, take a stand for what you believe in.
#4. We are different from each other, but we have one thing in common. One thing that we all share. And that is our intolerance towards inequality.