When I was 14, I was diagnosed with depression and general anxiety disorder. Unfortunately, it took a suicide attempt to finally reach that point. If anyone reading this is thinking about suicide or has depression, please know that you are not alone. After being clinically depressed for several years, I thought I should share some things that help me get through my darkest days.
1. Seek help. It does not make you weak, crazy, or anything of the sort. If anything, reaching out is one of the bravest things you can do. I would highly suggest going to therapy if you have insurance or can afford it. There are also a number of hotlines that you can call or text if you ever need somebody to talk to, which can be found at the bottom of this post.
2. Healthy eating is an important part of having a healthy mind. Even though junk food is delicious, it’s important to keep your body healthy and active so that your brain will release serotonin. Something as simple as taking your dog for a walk or playing hopscotch will do the trick. Eating healthy, keeping active, and drinking plenty of water will keep your body in a healthy state, which will in turn allow you to feel even slightly happier and maybe even give you a boost of confidence. Go ahead and eat a salad or vegan desert because your body will thank you later!
3. Vent to your heart’s content (hey, that rhymed)! Talking through your depression is probably one of the most therapeutic things you could possibly do. Talk to a friend, counselor, family member, dog, etc. Find someone who will listen and understand you without any judgement. If you happen to lose a friend or two in doing so because they think you’re crazy, you will be much better without them. You deserve to have people in your life that respect you and your feelings instead of berating you.
4. Create something. Some of the most famous painters transferred their depression and anxiety into beautiful pieces of art. Whether you draw, sing, write, or dance, creating something new can be a great outlet and give you a strong feeling of satisfaction once you’ve finished something you worked very hard on. Look up something you always wanted to do or watch videos of people doing it. For example, if you want to draw a Disney character, you could watch a tutorial on how to go about drawing it.
5. Distract yourself. Keep your mind busy. This could be watching Netflix, cleaning your house, meditating, or anything you enjoy doing. The second a sad thought creeps into your mind, text one of your best friends and turn on an episode of Spongebob Squarepants. Even the smallest of things can help put your mind in a better place and your friend will more than likely do anything they can to help bring your spirits up.
Here is a list of various hotlines and here is the Crisis Text Line (my personal favorite) if you ever need to talk to someone late at night. Please remember that I love you and care about you. You are never alone in anything at all and you should never apologize for expressing your feelings. Stay strong, stay unique.