Depression. In most circles, this is a taboo topic most don't like to discuss. We don't like talking about our problems, or we don't want to sound like we're whining or looking for pity. However, the stigma that comes along with depression and other mental illnesses is one we must squelch.
Talking about depression removes the shame and fear and allows us to talk about it and to get the help we need without feeling weak for not being able to just "get over it."
World-renowned author JK Rowling does not shy away from talking about depression and how she overcame it.
Rowling was in her late 20s and a single mother when depression encompassed her life. She became suicidal. Thoughts of how it could affect her daughter pushed her to finally reach out and get help. "The thing that made me go for help was probably my daughter," she said. "She was something that earthed me, grounded me, and I thought, This isn't right; this can't be right. She cannot grow up with me in this state."
Initially, she wasn't taken seriously by a doctor who wasn't her regular practitioner- even though Rowling confessed to being suicidal. "We're talking suicidal thoughts here; we're not talking 'I'm a bit miserable,'" Rowling said, according to suicide.org.
Luckily, Rowling's regular doctor stepped in. "Two weeks later, I had a call from my regular GP who looked back over the notes. She called me back in. She saved me," Rowling said.
With the help of her doctor, Rowling sought professional counseling and writing became her outlet.
While on a train, the idea and story of Harry Potter was born. Though it wasn't all roses- her story was rejected multiple times before finally being accepted for publication- it's now the best-selling book series in the world, according to Quartz Media.
"Depression is the most unpleasant thing I have ever experienced... . It is that absence of being able to envisage that you will ever be cheerful again. The absence of hope. That very deadened feeling, which is so very different from feeling sad. Sad hurts but it's a healthy feeling. It is a necessary thing to feel. Depression is very different."
Everyone experiences setbacks and sadness, but depression is more than the blues. Depression is hopelessness, like a vortex of black, void of feelings- good or bad.
The Dementors from her Harry Potter series were born from Rowling's depression- those soulless creatures who suck every happiness out of a person leaving emptiness in their wake.
How can you beat depression?
Drop the stigma
Speak up and talk about it. Let others know you're struggling. There is no need to feel ashamed for battling depression. This is not a taboo topic. Healing comes as we open up about tough topics- and we can help others with their healing as well.
Seek professional help
If you need antidepressants, talk to a therapist or a combination of both (or other means), and do it! We don't have to fight alone, nor should we. Seeking help is not a sign of weakness. We don't expect someone with a broken bone to just "get over it" or "put on a happy face" through the pain, so why do it with depression? Get the help you need to learn new skills to fight back against depression.
Find your outlet
For JK Rowling, writing was her creative outlet to help her deal with depression. For others it may be music, art, dance, sports or learning a new skill. Do something that brings growth and fulfillment to your soul.
Whatever your path to overcome depression, do not give up. Keep fighting, keep hoping. There is so much in life, so many wonders and beauties, to experience, and you have so much to offer others. You can strive to heal. And even while you're clawing at a seemingly insurmountable obstacle to climb, you can help and inspire others in their personal battles.
Wendy is a regular contributor for familyshare.com and does media reviews. Website: https://survivorshopeandhealing.wordpress.com/ for victims of sexual abuse. Blog: https://wendyejessen.wordpress.com Twitter: @WendyJessen