Disclaimer: This post deals with my own personal experience with depression. Read at your own discretion. I am not an expert on the topic, and therefore, I am unqualified to give professional advice. If you are suffering from depression contact your health-care professional. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency please contact The US National Suicide & Crisis Hotline at 1-800-784-2433.
I thought I’d start a little mini-series on my blog titled “Depression Diaries.” Depression is a common ailment, but most people aren’t really willing to talk about it. My blog is all about openness, acceptance, and discussion, so I’d like to share my story of depression with you.
Depression, is a stigmatized and controversial illness because of the fact that some people don’t even believe it exists. When talking about depression people will often say, “just snap out of it.” Similarly, with eating disorders, people will often say, “just eat!” I can honestly tell you that in both instances, it is not that easy. I wish it was.
Eating disorders and depression exhibit co-morbidity meaning they often appear together. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 50-75% of eating disorder patients (anorexia and bulimia) experience depression. I have no doubt that the onset of my depression fueled my eating disorder. I felt so sad, helpless, and alone that my extreme concentration on restricting food and constantly working out gave me a distraction and an escape from the despair I felt.
Eventually, I hit a wall with my eating disorder. I had come to a fork in the road where I either had to start eating or I knew I’d be forced into hospitalization by my parents or go into cardiac arrest if they didn’t act soon enough. I let go of my eating disorder. It was a long painful process.
And it didn’t change the fact that I was depressed. I remember when I first began my “diet” that turned into full blown anorexia, I thought that if I were skinnier I’d be happy. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I could see all the bones in my chest, but I was still the same person inside. I was still unhappy.
In the days and weeks to come I will continue this mini-series, talking about the various ways depression has affected me, the ways I’ve received professional treatment, the ways I’ve learned to treat my depression more holistically (like writing this blog for example!), and where I’m currently at with my depression management. And of course, interspersed with this mini-series will be more lighthearted topics to soften the mood. Happy Wednesday friends