Today’s personal post from a staff member departs a bit from our usual content. We hope you enjoy!
My name is Rachel. I have depression and seasonal affective disorder, and it began in my teenage years. The following is a list of the 5 worst and 5 best things said to me about my conditions, both in real life and through media.
Starting off with the 5 worst:
- “Just snap out of it. It’s all in your head.”
- “A lot of people have it worse.”
- “You’re just being a teenager. We all go through tough times.”
- “Pray more. Try harder.”
- “You’re just trying to get attention.”
These kinds of statements make me feel ashamed, isolated, and stuck.
On the other hand, the following have helped me feel valid and think, “maybe I can do this”:
- “I can’t take away your pain, but we will get through this together.”
- “You are not alone. I’m here for you.”
- “Your feelings are valid. You matter to me.”
- Not necessarily saying anything, but just being there.
- Listening to understand me, not to fix me.
P.S. — While relatable posts are great, getting the help you need CAN really make a difference. So, here are 5 resources* I’ve found helpful:
- Seeing therapy and a doctor—there are affordable options!
- Learning about my conditions at NIMH.nih.gov
- I like using the free apps Pacifica and MY3, which help me keep track of my health, chat with peers, and plan so I don’t need to panic when a crisis might happen.
- Talking to peer counselors and friends, and taking a WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) class
- Facing suicidal thoughts and need to talk to someone right now? Call the free 24/7 National Suicide Lifeline 800.273.8255 (English, Spanish language, and Veteran options), –or– Text “NAMI” to 741-741, the Crisis Text Line.
Thank you to Mom and family for “being there” for me, and NAMI DuPage, Faith, Amy, and many friends.
*these tips are not necessarily the views and opinions of NAMI DuPage