An Open Letter To The Person Suffering From Depression

Dear ‘The person suffering from depression’,

First of all I want to say I’m proud of you for clicking into this letter. It takes balls to admit that you’re feeling depressed, even if you’re only admitting it to yourself for now.

It’s hard to know where to start when it comes to mental health. Everyone tells you to “speak up” and “voice how you feel” but they rarely understand how difficult that can be. Without meaning to, people can easily belittle your thoughts and emotions and tell you that you’re exaggerating when you tell them you think you’re suffering from depression. Things like that make you insecure about how you feel and make you think you’re wasting people’s time by telling them your seemingly mundane problems.

Trust me, you’re not. No problem is ever too small or unimportant to be voiced, and if a friend won’t listen, tell someone else. Depression is a term that’s tossed around so easily these days that it can be hard to know when someone actually feels depressed. But from experience I know that if you’re suffering from depression, you’ll know all about it.

Oftentimes people don’t take you seriously unless you’ve been diagnosed with depression by a doctor. Excuse me, but I don’t think anyone should need a fucking medical cert to validate how they’re feeling.

If people still aren’t taking you seriously, consider talking to a professional. They’ll know and understand so much more of what you’re feeling than you possibly even will know yourself. Don’t be embarrassed about talking to someone. Sometimes (in my case anyway) counselling is the only way out of the hole you’re in. You’ve tried talking to family and friends about how you feel, but nothing will make the numbness and your insecurities go away. All you want is for someone to help you and to take that enormous weight off your shoulders.

It may take weeks, months or even years, but eventually you’ll feel okay again. I can’t tell you what will be the saving grace for you, but believe me when I say that it will come. You’ll step out of the darkness and start loving things that you used to enjoy before you became depressed. You’ll start seeing all the possibilities that life has to offer you instead of just focusing on the negatives that have been thrown your way.

Most importantly, you’ll start to feel like you again. You’ll remember what it’s like to be genuinely happy and to not have to fake a smile every day of your life. You’ll appreciate the small things that make you happy and you’ll never take that happiness for granted, because you know too damn well what it’s like to be this unhappy.

Whatever you’re going through, always know the pain won’t last forever. As Tupac put it, “For every dark night, there’s a brighter day”. Remember that and you’ll get there.

Yours sincerely,

Olivia.

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