I overheard a conversation the other day between 2 women. It appeared that they hadn’t seen each other in a while and were catching up on families and life. I didn’t eavesdrop, so I don’t know the whole conversation, but something did pique my interest.
What caught my attention was when one of the women mentioned that her college-age kid had been (or was) struggling with depression and struggled with anxiety. Prior to this she had been talking really animatedly and then she became quieter; as if she were saying a curse word. It reminded me of the line in the Harry Potter movie “he who shall not be named.” If we don’t talk about it, it doesn’t exist, nor can it have ahold of me.
That struck me as really sad. One of the things I want people to understand is that there is no shame in depression. Sometimes depression comes out of nowhere and grabs hold of us and tells us lies, such as being ashamed. It tries to lie to us with thoughts that we are broken and have no value. That no one will understand and that we need to be silent.
Depression is, sometimes, part of our story. Some struggle with it more than others, some struggle longer. If it is part of your story, please understand that there is no shame in it being with you, and please know that you are not alone.
Depression does exist. It exists whether we discuss it or not.
Maybe the more we do talk about it, the less of a shameful hold it will have on us.