“Depression, the Secret we Share” by Andrew Solomon; a TedTalk

“The opposite of depression is not happiness; it’s vitality”- Andrew Solomon

This is an amazing video about depression, both the humanistic experiences of depressive symptoms and the medical/psychiatric realms that interact with the mental illness.

While you watch this, please keep in mind that Solomon’s descriptions of depression are his subjective experiences of living with the illness. However, the stories he shares about what other people have experienced and the research he mentions can be generalized as a way to provide hope and to remind ourselves about the courage that exists in all of us.

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Comics that Highlight Frustration of Depression

 

I came across this BuzzFeed page, from Sept 2013, earlier today. This webpage provides a collection of comics that highlights the multiple frustrations that people experience with depression. For myself that knows someone who is living with depression and battles its ugly darkness every day, I feel a bit of relief that these comics exist. The relief I experience as I read through these comics comes from the idea that my relative can also read these comics and understand they are not alone. You are not alone in the depths of sadness that you feel. You are not alone in the excruciating pain you experience while you attempt to find any reason to get out of bed or to tackle the overwhelming pile of laundry that waits to be washed. You are not alone. 

These comics are also tools in the continuous efforts to create and enhance awareness for mental illnesses, like depression. Lastly, the use of expressive therapies, such as art therapy, is a wonderful way to express one’s experiences and struggles (as clearly displayed above). 

The four comics provided below are my favorite:

Comic #1: The persistent, engulfing darkness (art by Sylvie Reuter)

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Comic #2: Carrying the darkness with you where ever you go (art by Kristian Nygård)

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Comic #3: The inability to communicate how you actually feel (art by Elysian-Dreams).

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Comic #4: The difficulty in trying to get your friends to understand (art by B. Patrick)

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To check out more comics, visit: http://www.buzzfeed.com/hnigatu/comics-that-capture-the-frustrations-of-depression.

MAY is Mental Health Awareness Month

MAY is Mental Health Awareness Month!

Wear lime green this month to show the world your support and advocacy for mental health.

I advocate for my mother, my cousins, my sister, my grandparents, my friends, and myself. I advocate for those that are too often ignored by society: the homeless who also experience psychological symptoms/episodes and for the children who are simply misunderstood in school for being “weird” or “different”. Mental health is held close to my heart because it impacts so many of us on multiple levels (ie. individually, as a community, as people of this world, economically, physically, and spiritually).

Let’s continue the discussion about mental health so we can dismantle stigma from our society!

1 in 4 American families are impacted by a mental illness
1 in 17 American adults have a mental illness

These statistics include mothers, fathers, siblings, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles, cousins, & dearest friends. Share your experiences with the world…

 

We can make a difference together! Stand tall & strong for mental health!

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Resources:
About Depression Facts: http://www.aboutdepressionfacts.com/category/depression-facts
California Council of Community Mental Health Agencies: http://www.cccmha.org/
Children of Parents with Mental Illness: http://www.copmi.net.au
Connecting with People: Promoting Emotional Resiliency & Suicide Mitigation: http://connectingwithpeople.org/
Healthy Place: America’s Mental Health Channel: http://www.healthyplace.com/Mental Health America: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net
National Alliance on Mental Illness: http://www.nami.org