This year’s theme for World Mental Health Day is “Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World,” so it seems particularly relevant for us, but beyond that, mental health and depression has always been very personal to me.
I’m sure you’ll hear the full story one day, but I struggled with depression for a number of years when I was a teenager and young adult.
I distinctly remember the visceral darkness, the void in my chest, and the frustration of having “no reason to feel this way.” I also remember all the people in my life who didn’t know what to make of it; some gave me space, some kept their distance, but the worst were those who wrote it off due to a lack of mental fortitude or assumed I had some sort of control over it. Yet I can’t find it in myself to fault them for something they have no knowledge about.
After swallowing my fair share of anti-depressants and therapy sessions, I found my way out the other side of that colorless period. I’ll be forever grateful to those who patiently held out their hands for whenever I was ready to hold them; I sometimes don’t think I would’ve made it through without them.
And now, as a parent myself, I really hope you and the world as a whole will recognize to accept that pain and illnesses come in different forms. Some are visible and some aren’t. But they all hurt. And they all deserve our attention.