The Importance of Destigmatizing Depression
Why destigmatizing depression helps all of us
Destigmatizing depression is beneficial for all of us. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, more than 15 million adults experience depression. The experience of depression is difficult to quantify. Not everyone feels comfortable opening up about their mental health. Whether it’s to a doctor, family members, or friends. In the case of depression, misery does not love company. Many Americans experience shame and isolation, which makes it hard to navigate the dark depths of depression. Seeking help is scary.
Advocates who discuss their mental health
Fortunately, there are brave individuals who have openly discussed their mental health. This has created a destigmatized space for others to do the same. These advocates are selflessly using their platforms to promote mental wellness. Therefore, creating a healthier culture surrounding depression and anxiety.
Cara Delevingne, a twenty-four year old actress and model, who recently starred in Suicide Squad has suffered from depression. The actress discusses her depression in an interview with Esquire Magazine, saying “I realized how lucky and privileged I was, but all I wanted to do was die. I felt so guilty because of that and hated myself because of that, and then it’s a cycle. I didn’t want to exist anymore, I wanted for each molecule of my body to disintegrate, I wanted to die.” Delevingne reclaims her experience and publicly articulates the spiral that many depression sufferers face because she spoke openly about how suicidal thoughts accompany depression.
The Harry Potter author, JK Rowling has also dealt with mental health issues of her own. She said, “I have never been remotely ashamed of having been depressed. Never. What’s there to be ashamed of? I went through a really tough time and I am quite proud that I got out of that.” Rowling has directly tweeted fans who are suffering from depression. This demonstrates her unique dedication to the destigmatization of mental health struggles.
Both Delevingne and Rowling have portrayed depression as a part of their stories as opposed to the story. They show how depression can clarify values and lead to success.
Other successful individuals who have spoken openly about their depression include actor Jon Hamm, musician Sheryl Crow, NFL Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw, astronaut Buzz Aldrin and second lady Tipper Gore.
Clearly, depression doesn’t discriminate.