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Rick’s story

“The hardest part of being depressed is that it’s hard to explain.”

What kind of stigma did you experience/observe?

The hardest part of being depressed is that it’s hard to explain. Those around you want a logical rational explanation for illogical, irrational condition. This leads to misunderstanding, and confusion which just makes it all harder to deal with. Not being able to explain what I am feeling, what I am going through can lead me to feeling all the more isolated.

I try to be open and honest about what I go through while knowing that I may very well reinforce the stereotypes that already persist in society. Overall, we still view mental health issues as if they are physical health issues and the two could not be more different.

The worst part is when I get low; I can be very emotionally erratic and prone to angry outbursts. If not that, then I go into these ruminating phases where I feel hopeless about myself and my lifeWhen this goes on for long enough it becomes so habitual that it can become really destructive.

It’s easy to tell yourself that if you keep it all inside then no one else will have to suffer due to what you are experiencing. This may be true to a degree, but in end you still suffering in silence and you can’t make forward progress that way, let alone lead a healthy, happy life.

How did you overcome this experience? 

Each day is a struggle to overcome stigma. Both those imposed by society and those I place upon myself.

Knowing my struggles and tendencies make it harder to deal with backslides into negative behaviors or habits, but they are going to happen and I have to allow that without beating myself up.

No one will be more cruel to you for your missteps than you will be to yourself.

Help others by sharing a brief, positive message.

I think the most important thing is to remember to be your own best friend and strongest advocate – when you do that you can always make forward progress.

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