As someone who has been diagnosed with clinical depression for a majority of their life, I’m no stranger to the dark cloud hanging over my head. I’ve gone through countless depressive episodes and dark times.
COVID-19 has only made that more difficult.
Since I had used outings and social gatherings as ways to cope, it’s become only more difficult to find motivation each day.
Simple tasks like driving to campus and going to class would make me feel productive.
Going out to dinner on Friday nights would keep me motivated to get through the week, but these things have been taken away from me.
I now work and attend my classes from home. While I’m grateful to be able to continue these parts of my life, more often than not, I still find myself struggling with my mental health and losing motivation.
Depression is not being able to get out of bed and having no appetite.
It’s having no motivation to do simple tasks like brushing your hair or drinking water.
Depression is ugly and very much real.
According to an article by Time, “a pre-pandemic survey of about 5,000 American adults found that 8.5% of them showed strong enough signs of depression to warrant a probable diagnosis. When researchers surveyed almost 1,500 American adults about their mental health from March to April of this year, that number rose to almost 28%. Even more people—almost an additional 25%—showed milder signs of depression.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a “Phase 1” survey at the end of April and found that over a third of Americans are suffering from anxiety and depression.
The survey asked questions doctors and mental health professionals normally use to screen patients for mental health issues.
Of those surveyed, 24% of people showed clinically significant symptoms of major depressive disorder and 30% showed symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.
With fall beginning and winter soon arriving, it’s important to remember that many people will suffer from seasonal depression on top of their symptoms developed during the pandemic.
Now more than ever we need to be there for one another. We need to show kindness and make the effort to check in on our friends.
We’re living in a time where we also need to give ourselves more grace. Uncertainty, social isolation and being at home for extended periods of time can cause depression, just like the change of seasons can.
Depression is hard.
It’s not easy to overcome and it sure isn’t easy to deal with.
Every effort we make is an improvement.
Every breath we take is important and every day we live matters.
Mental Health Resources:
CAPS: (805) 493-3727
Ventura County Behavioral Health Mobile Crisis Team: (866) 998-2243
Text Messaging: For confidential support, text “START” to 741-74, Students of color may get specialized support by texting “STEVE” to 741-741
Helplines, Hotlines, and National Resources