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Curtis’ Story

“I promise you will find more support than you expect, and it could possibly change your life.”

Share your stigma experience.

From the outside looking in, I’m not someone you would have expected to have dealt with depression. I had a great job, a beautiful girlfriend, a family that loved me, lots of friends, an active lifestyle and no diet or substance abuse issues. Which made me feel that I might be insensitive by sharing how I had depression with such an incredible life around me. But instead, I believe that it speaks to the fact that depression can affect anyone, despite their life situation is – or maybe just appears to be.

My story of depression occupied about half of the past year. It was a period of time where I felt a general sense of unhappiness and discontent. Nothing seemed to be good enough, or taste good anymore – the grass was greener everywhere around me, but not where I was. I felt myself wanting to pull away from all the good things I had in my life – friendships, work, my relationship and activities that normally made me happy. I was ready to drop them all.

Inevitably I ended losing the most important, supportive and loving relationship I had because I couldn’t deal with how unhappy I was, and didn’t want that person to have to deal with such a broken version of myself. I wasn’t able to recognize at the moment that the issue was entirely within myself. I was lacking self love and facing depression.

Looking back I attribute my experience to a 29 year build up of a lack of self love. For as long as I can remember I’ve constantly struggled with self-love and confidence in who I was. It’s something I never addressed, and was never very open with anyone in talking about. It’s unfortunate that it took such a personal crash within myself to explore those conversations, and seek help. But it’s been amazing the positive results that have come as a result of opening those doors.

The unfortunate reality is that mental health often still holds a stigma, and people may not feel empowered to speak about it. Once I chose to open up, my experience was the opposite. I was so surprised when I chose to share with close friends about my mental health struggles how many of them had personally, or someone close to them, had been affected by depression or another mental health issue. In every conversation I was received with open arms and compassion, even if that person had no real experience in how to talk about depression.

How did you overcome this experience?

We should all feel comfortable talking about mental health, it’s so important. In the same way we can have conversations and seek help about physical health issues, why wouldn’t we do the same about mental health issues?

Help others by sharing a brief, positive message.

If you are struggling with mental health it’s important to know that it is very common, and speaking up about it is OK. I promise you will find more support than you expect, and it could possibly change your life.

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