I tend to be a private person when it comes to certain topics, but over the past few years, I’ve learned the importance of being more outspoken regarding mental health. Although most people know me as a friendly, upbeat and happy person, what you may not know is that I suffered from depression and even had suicidal thoughts just a  few years ago. I was afraid to admit it, at first. Ashamed because this was the first time in my life that I was depressed.

I grew up in a happy, two-parent home. My parents were hard workers and always made sure that my brother and I’s physical and emotional needs were always taken care of.  But after I lost my job in 2014 and stayed unemployed way longer than I expected,  my mood completely changed.  Most days I just wanted to stay in bed in a dark room. I didn’t want to go anywhere or really talk to anyone. I knew that not verbalizing my thoughts and talking to someone, my depression would only get worse. My mental state at that time definitely put a strain on my relationship, which didn’t survive. Thankfully with the support of my family, good friends, and MAJOR prayer, I was able to work through my depression and keep going. I find now that sharing my story with others is somewhat therapeutic. I might still struggle from time to time, but I have not given up. I won’t give up.

I recently came across the BelievePerform twitter account and they have SO many great infographics about mental health, so I wanted to share this infographic on what depression looks like. If someone in your life is suffering from depression try to be patient with them. No one wants to suffer from depression; it isn’t fun. Be sure to check out BelievePeform’s website for more great info on mental health.

I know it’s hard to know what to say to someone sometimes when they are depressed. Whatever you say, please do not say, “Just get over it”.  I forget where I found this graphic, so sorry I can’t tag the source, but the information is real.

We all have bad days and sometimes bad weeks, but how we face those hardships is what really counts. Even when times get hard and there seems like no end in sight, don’t give up. Praying really helped me stay strong and get through my life issues and pass through my bout with depression. That’s not to say that depression couldn’t arise in my life again, I just know a little bit more about my strength and my will to survive now.  Surviving only makes YOU and ME stronger. By learning how to deal with the adversities and I am hopefully able to encourage you and others.

I make moves now in my life so that I am never in the situation I was earlier a few years ago.  Although I can’t predict the future, I can control my mindset and my outlook. I am passionate about opening up the conversation about mental health. I think so many people feel or have felt like me, being ashamed to admit a weakness or a flaw. But without having conversations, we never will know what someone is going through or how they can be helped.

Here’s some great resources on mental health:

Suicide Prevention

Talk Saves Lifes 

Mental Health

Take the pledge to Stamp Out the Stigma about mental health

Recognizing the warning signs of mental health

Depression

How to Cope with Depression

How to Deal with Depression

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