Today when I checked the mail there was a flier. The header read “Be aware of Summer Depression”. My heart sank… not because of the dread of “summer depression”, because there is no such thing, but because of what it presents to people. These are mental health agencies sending out these mass warnings to people about something that is not even diagnostically accurate. Its like the pharmaceutical companies that advertise a medication to promote its sale.
The last thing we need are more labels!
While there was some helpful information in the flyer it paints a grim picture. It also psychopathologizes our experiences vs. helping us realize that it is OK and normal to feel really bad and really sad and struggle in life. That is the reality of living.
I know that coping can seem like an impossibility. It can feel dark and unending. I know, I’ve been on both sides. It doesn’t mean we are ill or have a disorder. If we were able to land in a depressive state it also means there is a possibility to get out. Sometimes we need a compass for that. We need someone to be the light in our darkness because that darkness can be a comfort. It has nothing to do with psychiatric conditions. We MUST stop this madness.
If you are struggling in life it doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with you. It means you are struggling in life! The pain and struggle WILL end. For many the course of the struggle will turn around naturally but for others more than just time is needed. If too much time has passed and you can’t see your way out, let someone be that compass and travel the journey with you.
If you are all that you’ve got then you should be the first person to stand up for yourself and fight the good fight. Sometimes we do it through tears and pain but we MUST do it.
All any of us want in life is to be seen, heard, and to know that we matter. EVERYTHING is subject to change. EVERYTHING. Even how we feel and what we think. If we just give life a chance it will rise to the occasion beyond anyone’s criticism or judgment.
The key to life is not giving up. Put one foot in front of the other. Pick up the phone. Make the call or send the text. Feel the pain. Listen and honor the hurt but then reach out and start a new chapter. It will be worth it. Trust me. I’ve been there.
USA: Call 800-273-TALK (8255)
Canada/Ireland/UK: Text HOME to 741741