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Depression isn’t just sadness. Sometimes it’s emptiness or hopelessness. Sometimes it’s struggling to get out of bed in the morning. Other times it feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders and there’s nothing you can do to change it. When I’m struggling with my depression, it can be hard to bring myself to do even the simplest things without proper coping mechanisms. Having depression can even feel shameful. When I first began struggling with depression, I found myself constantly thinking, “I’m not supposed to feel this way…why can’t I just be like everyone else?”

One of the main problems in society today is how much of a stigma there is surrounding mental health conditions. On top of having a mental illness, people often feel guilty for having them. However, people do not make the choice to “have” depression. It’s an illness, like many other physical ailments that people regularly seek treatment for. But unlike those visible illnesses, it’s in the brain and hard to see.

As someone living with depression, I know it’s easier said than done, but realize that your mental illness is not who you are. Don’t let it define you. Every person on Earth is beautiful and unique in their own special way.

Try to find coping tips or skills that work for you. Coping skills are activities that help relax/calm you. Through my struggles with depression, I’ve found it very helpful to make a ‘coping skills toolbox.’ A coping skills box focuses on making it easy to use a variety of objects that can help you cope with negative emotions, anxiety, and stress whenever you need to.

Coping skills toolboxes can include:

  • Self-soothing objects (things you can touch, hear, see, taste, or smell) for comfort. Eg: A teddy bear, tea, soothing/happy music, candles, etc.
  • Distraction-oriented objects to take your mind off of a problem. Eg: Music, television shows, sports, books, etc.
  • Emotional awareness objects that will help you identify and express your feelings. Eg: A mood chart, a journal, art supplies, etc.
  • Mindfulness objects that will help keep you ‘grounded’. Eg: A yoga mat, grounding objects like rocks, etc.
  • Opposite action objects that emphasize focusing on a positive activity or emotion. Eg: Motivational decorations/prints, funny movies/books, etc.
  • A crisis plan that includes the phone numbers of your therapist/counselor/doctor, family members, closest friends, a support hotline, and other helpful people.

If your coping skills toolbox doesn’t seem to be helping, try seeking support from others. Know that it’s okay to ask other people for help when you’re struggling. We’re not meant to go through life alone and you don’t have to. Seeking support can look like going to a counselor/therapist or simply talking to friends or family about what you’re going through.

Know you’re not alone. There is always someone out there who is going through or has gone through something very close to what you’re experiencing. There are people out there who want to help you. Your life is meaningful and you have a story to tell.

Resources:
Coping Skills Toolbox


Comments

12
  • Person

    Person Person

    Reply Author

    I’m not sure if I’m depressed or if I’m still sad because of loss of my best friend. It has been months now I still find his hard to leave home. Most of the time I only leave the house to go to school Bible study or church. Today I went to youth group I felt out of place and probably won’t be able to to go there again. I’m staying at my friends house. I tell her I’m having fun when all I rly won’t is to be at home in my bed sleeping. Sometimes I watch a movie or a episode of show. I can become a character from this show and make a character from the same show comfort me or just hold me, even though I know there not rly there it helps.

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    • Vibrant Communications

      Vaness, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your best friend’s son. If you are struggling with these tough emotions please call us at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Lifeline is here for you, your friend, or anyone struggling through hard times – 24/7/365. Feel free to pass along our phone number.

      Posted on

  • tiara

    tiara tiara

    Reply Author

    at time i get told that I’m not important….. yes ill admit it still hurts and yes ending my life has came, across more than it should , over time I’ve came to realize the most important thing out of suicide that no one is worth my life. Worst part is my dad causes these thoughts can help him see things my way more often?

    Posted on

    • Vibrant Communications

      Your life is important and do not feel that you are alone with your feelings. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 We care.

      Posted on

    • autumn

      autumn autumn

      Reply Author

      The same my dad calls me all kinds of stuff and i don’t want to tell anyone except my friend who lives with depression

      Posted on

      • Vibrant Communications

        Autumn, we’re so sorry for these struggles you are going through with your dad and we want to help. Please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK. The call is free and confidential, and crisis workers are there 24/7 to assist you. We hope to hear from you soon.

        Posted on

  • jaszmine

    My mom makes me feel like nothing I do can be as good as my cousins. I’m an only child so that makes me feel like I’ll never be good enough and I disappoint her which makes me depressed. Sometimes I wonder why did she even decided to have me. I try to make myself feel better by talking to guys but in the end they only talk to me for money or sex and that really makes me feel like no one cares about me. Everytime I think about killing myself I think “who would really come to my funeral? they are just going to gossip or lie about me.” I’ve told my mom that I get depressed often but I don’t think she takes me seriously because I’ve never actually attempted anything yet. I just want to feel loved by someone which is probably why I let my ex rape me before and not say anything.

    Posted on

    • Vibrant Communications

      Hello Jaszmine, It definitely sounds like you are going through a difficult time with family and surrounding issues. No matter what problems you are struggling with, hurting yourself isn’t the answer. Your life matters! We are here for you, please call the Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The call is free and confidential; we’re here for you 24/7/365.

      Posted on

  • Taylor J.

    I am what most people would consider a ‘young child’ or ‘teenager’, seeing as I’m 14. Because of that, they don’t take me seriously when I say, “Mom, I’ve had another thought about suicide again. Can you please help me?” or, “Hi, Mr. Garett. I’ve been thinking a lot about killing myself, like falling off those long stairs down the hall, and taking that knife out of the kitchen drawer at home.”
    I get more depressed and suicidal every hour, every day. I’ve tried to commit suicide 26 times this past 3 months. I’ve stopped eating, exercising, and sleeping normally, and I’m hoping I’ll be alive by the time I’ll try to give you a call…

    Posted on

    • Vibrant Communications

      Taylor J., we’re so sorry for all the struggles you are going through and we want to help. No matter how hard things are- hurting yourself is never the answer. The Lifeline is here for you any time day or night at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Don’t hesitate to call us for extra support. Your life matters!

      Posted on

  • stephanie

    I’ve been struggling with depression since the 7th grade and currently I am in the 9th grade. its hard, my mom found out i was cutting cause i didn’t have a escape , she was near to is owning me but she gave me a chance. Still today is cut she doesn’t realize she stopped paying attention to me. I need a way out I’ve tried to find alternatives but either way it comes back to the same thing.

    Posted on

    • Vibrant Communications

      Stephanie, I am sorry to hear about the pain you are going through. No matter what problems you are struggling with, hurting yourself isn’t the answer. Your life matters! In order to talk to a Crisis Counselor, please call the Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The call is free and confidential; we’re here for you 24/7/365.

      Posted on