Social Stance Saturday: I Have Depression (by Katie Rose)
September is National Suicide Prevention Month. In a topic that can generally make people feel very alone, there are those out there that understand and have their own stories to tell, bringing attention to the struggles many are facing every day. Katie Rose is a singer, songwriter based in Charlston, South Carolina, and now a Social Stance participant. Read about her experiences with depression and her advice on how to seek help.
I have depression. It has taken me a long time to say that publicly but recently I have decided to be more open and honest to others and to myself. I have struggled with this disease for as long as I can remember, and now it is time to face it head-on. Depression is not something you should take lightly. It is real and it can get VERY heavy. Some days you won’t want to get out of bed, others you can hide yourself in the crowd but it still feels like everything is closing in. Lack of sleep, sleeping too much, overeating, not eating at all, these are only a few side effects of this disease. Side effects are different for everyone, for example, I tend to lock myself away, not eat, fidget with my hands, get very quiet, and not sleep. I also struggle with dark thoughts about myself and I really let my confidence go; convincing myself that I am nothing. It’s confusing and frustrating living with this mental illness, because not matter how many good things are happening in your life, you can still feel completely numb.
My biggest suggestion to you if you think you might be suffering from depression is to seek help. Talk to family and friends, vent about everything in your head, and just be honest. It’s okay and you will be okay. You should also consider seeking professional help if you think you might be a danger to yourself in the future. Reach out to a therapist and let them help you form this path to coping and living. Medication is also something you shouldn't be afraid about! It is completely okay if you need medication, and you are not alone. Find the tools that will help you live the life you deserve.
For friends/family who know someone who is suffering, please reach out. You never know what a simple phone call could do. Talk to them, LISTEN to them, and offer help. Encourage them to seek out a therapist and DO NOT brush aside their feelings. They are trusting you with how they feel and acting like it isn’t a big deal will only make that person feel like their feelings aren’t a big deal. The side effects are very real so you must be patient with them while they push through this episode, and make sure to let them know that you are around and available whenever they need someone. It’s also important to try and distract them from what they are feeling. If they have been in bed all day, suggest a movie night just the two of you, or a walk down the street on a cool night. It won’t cure them but it offers some time for their brain to rest and for them to breathe. You never know when someone is suffering so please be kind and pay attention.
If you are suffering from depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts, you are not alone. You will never be alone. Your life matters.
Listen to Katie's song, "Castle" here, which is about "mental health, realizing your worth, and not letting yourself give up".
If you (or someone you know) feel like a danger to yourself, PLEASE call 911.
Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
The Trevor Project is a suicide hotline, text/call/chat service that is an excellent resource. Their website is here.