My Final Post on 'Coping with Depression'
I published my first post for the Coping with Depression blog here at HealthyPlace a full year ago. Today, I publish my last. Since that first, scary click of the Publish button, I've read fresh takes on my coping ideas, and I've challenged myself to think of depression in new ways. My experience writing for the Coping with Depression blog has rocked my tiny, blue world. I've realized a couple of valuable things during my year with HealthyPlace.
Things I've Learned While Writing Coping with Depression
When I Talk About Mental Health I Feel Like a Fraud Because I'm Depressed
I often felt like a fraud as I wrote about coping with depression because I am not the best at coping with my own depression. A few of the coping mechanisms I've shared don't even work for me. A majority of my articles were fueled by irritation with myself because I struggle to share pieces of my experience without trying to seem more professional, cool, or collected than I actually am.
I worried that I wrote like someone who was good at being depressed, and I didn't want to discourage people by writing about coping as if it was easy. It's not. I struggle to control my alcohol consumption, even though I know that alcohol and depression mix worse than whiskey and pickle juice. I lash out at my significant other, even though I know he's not the problem. I neglect my self-care routines, even though I know self-care is vital to good mental health. But I'm not a fraud for suggesting solutions to problems that I can't figure out for myself.
If you hesitate to reach out to struggling friends because you also feel like a mental health fraud, stop it. What doesn't work for you could work for others. Share everything you can because, hey, you're not a fraud. You're a human being with a chaotic brain, and you have lots of suggestions for other people with chaotic brains.
Strive for Good Habits, Not Perfection
Being mentally healthy doesn't mean being perfect at coping with depression. Instead, being mentally healthy means having reliable coping habits. I will never master my depression, but I will always work to improve my bad brain day responses.
It's also important to remember that having depression doesn't mean that we know everything about depression. Having mental health issues doesn't make you a mental health expert, and there is always more to learn from yourself and from others. As long as we focus on being open to our experiences and others' experiences, we can keep learning and growing in the mental health community.
Last Reminders for Coping with Depression
All good opportunities need to be shared with others. My position writing for the Coping with Depression blog was one of those good opportunities. I fiercely believe that what makes this blog so special is its access to individuals' unique depression experiences. Everyone interprets and responds to their depression differently, and we get to share in some of that here.
It's been an eye-opening year writing for HealthyPlace, and I am anxious to continue my journey as a writer and as a mental health advocate. Please be kind to yourself, and be kind to others. It doesn't matter if it irritates you to be kind. What matters is that you take actions that treat others with warmth and openness. Finally, remember that you can never practice too much self-care. Unless that's the only thing you ever do. Then that's too much. Stop it.
Verbeke, T. (2017, June 28). My Final Post on 'Coping with Depression', HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, June 27 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2017/06/my-final-post-on-coping-with-depression