My Depression Battle – What I Would Do Differently

Battling Depression: The Importance of Speaking Up

I have spent all day trying to figure out how to write this post. No matter how hard I tried to collect my thoughts, nothing came naturally. Eventually, I took to google. After reading a few blogs on how to cope with depression, I managed to compile one of the worst posts ever. I am ashamed to say that I was about to put it up on my blog. The idea was great, but the post was so bad because none of it was authentic. It wasn’t me.

On my way home from work, I got a phone call. One of my best friends called me and told me about her day. For the record, yes, I am talking about my mom. She told me what she did all day, what she was going to do tonight, and also mentioned my blog. When she was talking to me, something sparked in my head. I immediately came home and deleted the entire post that I spent all day writing. She helped me to realize that if I want to inspire people, I need to tell everyone my thoughts instead of writing the same content that is already on google. So, in this post I am going to share what I would have done differently in my battle with depression.

About depression:

Depression is the leading mental illness in the United States. In the U.S., around 40 million adults are affected by depression. That is near 20% of the entire population. Of this number, less than 40% will seek some type of treatment. With the number only rising, I realized that there has never been a better time for me to speak up and share my story about battling depression.

What I wish I would have done differently

  1. Speak up!

Man, I really wish I would have talked about my depression a lot sooner. At age 20, I was clinically diagnosed with depression. I didn’t think the it was “cool” to be diagnosed with depression so I wouldn’t admit that I had an issue. I thought that a diagnosis was going to people’s perception of me, and I did not want that to happen. Let me tell you, a diagnosis does not change who you are. If anything, the diagnosis allowed me to get my life back. By admitting my battle, I was making the first and most important step.  

  1. Seek Medical Help:

I did not seek medical help until I was about two years into my battle. Like I said, I knew what depression was, I knew that I was depressed, but I didn’t want to face the reality that I actually suffered from it. I wanted to be as perfect as possible and I thought that a diagnosis was going to change who I was.

Well, it did change me. Seeking medical help got me my life back. I was placed on antidepressants, and I saw a therapist once a week. Having someone to speak to helped save my life. It made me realize that I was not alone in my fight and that there was light at the end of a very dark tunnel

  1. Talked to family and friends

Depression runs in my family. As far as I know, every person in my immediate family has been diagnosed with depression. Even with that, I still didn’t want to confront my battle. It never came across my mind that someone in my family who has battled depression might know what they are talking about in regards to coping. Maybe, just maybe if I would have spoken up earlier, I would have been able to make memories that I will now never know of.

  1. Tell the world my story

There are many reasons why I wish I would have told the world my story sooner. The first being an outlet for me to express my emotions. With creating a blog, I can talk about whatever I want whenever I want. I do not have to worry about being judged because I have realized that there are so many people that have similar battles.

The second reason why I wish I would have told my story sooner was so that I could have helped more people. When I think of depression, I think about how many people are out there right now fighting a battle. I wonder how many lives I might have been able to change if I would have told my story. Even though I wish I would have spoke about it sooner, I am happy that I am doing it now. We must not regret our past. Instead, we need to change and help to provide a better future for ourselves and others.

Closing thoughts:

When it comes to depression, we are left with few choices. We can either speak up, or we can continue to bottle our emotions. I assure you that by speaking up sooner, you will feel better, live happier, and you will get your life back a lot quicker. Just remember that you are not alone in any battle and no matter how dark the times get, your light will always shine brighter. Take advice from someone who has fought their battle. Don’t sit on your emotions or wonder what might have been, act immediately and get your life back.

Michael Bonnell

5/3/2018

 

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