I Am Not My Depression

There’s a phrase I see a lot when I am scrolling through social media or finding mental health resources on the Internet that always gets me thinking. The concept behind them all is that you (or I, or anyone) is “more than” their mental illness. So for instance, I am more than my depression; I am more than my anxiety; I deserve to be known for more than experiencing mental illness. And while I do think it’s a helpful approach to shrinking the stigma, this type of approach – overcoming obstacles, “beating” mental illness – is still difficult for me to manage. That’s why I want to offer an alternative phrase to use today, and see how folks like it.

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What Does Depression Look Like? More Than You Think

Recently, I came to terms with the fact that I’ve been experiencing a tricky bout of depression for the past month or so. It wasn’t easy to spot, and even though I’ve lived with depression for almost a third of my life, I couldn’t recognize it for a long time. However, it took putting some dots together (and a very patient partner who gives as much support as she can) for me to realize I was living under a fog of depression.

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Five Reminders For When You Feel Restless

In the past few weeks, I’ve been feeling a little more restless than usual. I’m not sure what’s brought on these feelings, but I was able to recognize that they’re something that can be dealt with and managed – just like the symptoms of anxiety and depression that I experience every day. I haven’t discovered my go-to techniques and activities for dealing with restlessness, but I have learned a few things that have helped me overcome these feelings. That said, here are five reminders for when you’re experiencing restlessness.

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What It Means to Be Thankful When You Have Depression

After writing about gratitude earlier this week (including my tips on how to have a better relationship with gratitude), I thought more about Thanksgiving. Specifically, I reflected on the word thankful and what it means to me. Thankfulness and gratitude don’t come easy to me, and I know there are plenty of people who it doesn’t come to either. Over the years, I’ve learned some things about thankfulness and living with depression that I’d like to share this Thanksgiving day.

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What Is Clinical Depression, And What Does It Look Like?

Note: This is a guest post I wrote that previously appeared on Prairie Health’s blog.

As someone who has lived with clinical depression for almost a decade, I’ve learned a lot about what depression is, what it means to me, and how it looks in my day-to-day life. One of the most important things that’s helped me manage my clinical depression is to do research on what it is, why it’s different from other forms of depression, and what that means for me.

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A Chance for Reflection: Sharing My Journey With Depression

I can’t underestimate how much I enjoy talking about mental health. It’s one of the few times in my life where I feel free, my brain isn’t going a hundred miles per hour and I’m able to speak honestly on a topic I feel comfortable talking about. A few weeks ago, I accepted a chance to be a guest on a mental health podcast and talk about my journey with depression, which is something I’d never done before. The experience taught me not only about the importance of sharing my story, but the growth I’ve experienced in my mental health journey.

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Why I Always Make Room for Mental Health Improvement

Over the years, I’ve learned a number of methods and techniques to manage my depression and anxiety. Some of those have worked very well (meditation and talk therapy), while others haven’t been as effective (I’m hoping to come back to journaling one day, but it’s not soon). Either way, I’ve learned a lot about what’s helpful for me on my mental health journey, and used those lessons to continue building my mental health toolkit and growing more certain in how I manage mental health. But as I’ve learned recently, there’s always space to find more ways and improve that relationship with mental health, which is what I want to talk about today.

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The Difference Between Adjusting and Fixing

My posts from the last few weeks have me thinking a lot about making adjustments and self-improvement, and for good reason. My two-part post on making mental health adjustments allowed me to reflect on making the necessary adjustments to my changing mental health – whether that’s adjusting to my new symptoms or how this impacts the world around me. I also want to find ways to get out of my own head and feel freer in conversations, which is why I questioned if everything I say is actually that important. But my mindset is extremely important when it comes to making adjustments, which is what I wanted to write about today.

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Making Mental Health Adjustments Part Two: Adjusting to Yourself

Adjusting to changes in your mental wellness isn’t easy. There are so many ways things can change, and since every person has their own unique story and personality traits, there are a million directions these changes can go in. In part one of this post on making mental health adjustments, I focused on how to adjust to new or different symptoms of mental illness, and wrote about the effectiveness of adjusting to one symptom at a time. Today, I want to focus on making mental health adjustments that help us build a healthier lifestyle – not just adjusting to our symptoms, but adjusting to how mental health affects our well-being.

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Depression As a Default

When I was writing my post earlier this week about the trouble with being on autopilot mentally, I wrote that my autopilot state of mind can be full of depressing and negative thoughts. Even when I wrote that, I wasn’t sure what I meant. After further reflection, I realized I wanted to share more about how I experience depression by default, what it means and why I say it. Like many other areas of my wellness, I created that phrase to name part of my feelings and emotions over the course of my mental health journey.

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