Depression is a world health issue. However, it’s complex. After all, depression is a mixture of social, psychological, and biological factors. This complexity does not make finding a solution to depression easy.
In addition, depression is highly stigmatized and regarded with disdain. Stigma often prevents people from discussing depression because they feel shame. As a result, many people believe they must suffer alone.
Many people struggling with depression are afraid to discuss it. How many of us have hushed conversations with our doctors?Attempting to convey our pain in a sterile examination room can be difficult. For those of who suffer from depression, connecting with others may seem impossible.
According to the numbers, depression is a common experience. It does not mean that everyone’s depression symptoms are similar. Instead, it strongly implies that depression is something we should discuss openly as sufferers. If there’s a gas leak in our house, we tell someone. Similarly, if our mental health is suffering and our lives are less meaningful because of it, then talking is the practical and potentially lifesaving course-of-action.
According to the World Health Organization, 350 million people+ worldwide suffer from depression.
Talking to a therapist or counselor is a great option. Anyone who has depression can start speaking honestly about his or her experiences. Moreover, this allows the healing process to begin. Unfortunately, therapy is expensive and not always accessible.
So how can we begin this healing dialogue about our mental health? How can we experience depression and connection at the same time?
We can begin by talking to someone we trust about our individual experiences. That someone could be a family member, a friend or a mentor. By refusing to suffer in silence, we can begin to pave a new path for ourselves. A space where shame holds no ground and we are free to say: “This is my reality.”
What if we aren’t close with family or have access to a friend nearby with whom to share our suffering?
As it turns out, there is an invaluable resource that we all have access to: each other. Other people who might know about and understand depression. You could connect on an online forum. Or you can follow this link and meet others by volunteering with Project Helping. Connecting with people who are able to empathize with you is vitally important. As a matter of fact, it is a creative process that allows us to reclaim our experiences, normalize mental health issues, and define our own lives.