Acknowledge your depression

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There are good things that come with being a clinically depressed college student. It just takes some time to realize. 

I often push my depression aside, but it affects every aspect of my life. I was ashamed of my depression. I did not acknowledge it and I did not allow my family to acknowledge it. That shame and resentment toward that side of me ultimately would have led to my own self-destruction if I did not take care of it.

Mental illnesses are not something you can see; they are more of something you personally feel. I might have been better at hiding behind a shield of false confidence than what was good for me before addressing my depression.

I rejected medicine and counseling because I told myself those were for someone who went mad and for the weak, but I later figured out that getting help is not a bad thing in any way, shape or form.

When you accept help, your depression does not go away, but it becomes easier to deal with. I learned that depression is manageable when you let someone else be aware of your situation you begin to realize there are healthy ways to deal with a mental illness. I do not need to push my depression aside and stop taking care of myself, for fear of being “crazy.”

I am grateful for my mental health illness because it has made me who I am and it has made me a better person.

I have noticed my roommates are comfortable with telling me stories that they might not be able to tell their friends from back home. I do not care what other people have done or how they choose to live their lives. I am able to accept people as they are. I also feel the need to help people who might be in distress.

I still have my struggles and bad days, but instead of sitting around mentally going over the ways I could end my life, I know I can call somebody and explain why I feel this way. Talking to someone helps because I discovered I mostly want to be heard, and feel like I am not alone.

It’s often hard to remember that I am not the only one who has had depression, but according to Healthline, 44 percent of college students show signs of depression and 75 percent of college students do not get help for their mental illnesses.

The statistic that 75 percent of students do not get help is a terrifying reality. It is dangerous not to take care of your mental state. If you were to notice you had terrible pain somewhere in your body, you would want to see a doctor. Why can we not treat mental health the same way? There are plenty of sources that are a phone call away. It is not the same as being in the presence of an expert, but it is better than doing nothing. 

It’s easy to ignore your mental health, but it’s never safe to do so. Allow yourself to admit that you have a mental health problem and get yourself help. I ignored my depression until I hit rock bottom before getting help. Allow yourself to get help. Your life is better spent dealing with mental illnesses than it is ignoring them.

If you are going through depression and you do not know how to control it or who to go to, there are a few free hotline numbers you can call and talk to for help.

National Hotline Suicide Prevention:1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Helpline: 1-877-SAMHSA7 (1-877-726-4727)