Nobody is immune to the pressure to succeed. Whether it comes from family, teachers, bosses, or ourselves, the pressure to "achieve" is something we have all felt. It's not necessarily a bad thing: pressure (or your perception of it) can give you a competitive drive, the impetus to keep going when you feel like giving up, and it can result in great things, both professionally and personally. However, when that pressure to succeed becomes so intense that you lose sight of everything else, it's time to pump the brakes and reevaluate your priorities. Sure, success is great, but not when it comes at the expense of your mental health.
About Coping with Depression Authors
My name is Jennifer Lear, and I am the co-author of the "Coping with Depression" blog here at HealthyPlace. I am thrilled to be joining this community and am excited (and nervous) to be sharing my experiences with you. I started exhibiting symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) at age six. By 18, I was riddled with so many ticks and compulsions that I could barely function, and I finally took it upon myself to seek help from my family doctor. I was diagnosed with chronic OCD and depression and placed on medication. There was no offer of counseling, no reassurance that I was not alone, and I was left feeling more depressed, more ashamed, and more terrified to publicly acknowledge how I was feeling.
This is my final post as a blogger for HealthyPlace. Over the years, I've written for both Coping with Depression and Speaking Out About Self-Injury, and had the opportunity to interact with readers generous enough to share their experiences and opinions with others. I appreciate each and every person who visited these blogs, even just out of curiosity.
I started my journey on the "Coping with Depression" blog almost three years ago. Today, I am writing my final post for this blog. I have been fortunate to work for HealthyPlace and will always be grateful for the time and space I was given here. I conquered both fear and doubt to become a mental health blogger, and I could not have done that without the support and guidance of the team and staff at HealthyPlace.
My name is Michelle Sedas, and I am the Author of Coping with Depression. I’m delighted to get to blog for HealthyPlace. As the saying goes, “Write what you know,” and with my history of depression, I can’t think of a blog more suited for me to write.
I’m Jennifer Smith, and I’m thrilled to be writing for Coping with Depression at HealthyPlace. I was diagnosed with major depression in January 2017. This came as a result of a near suicide attempt which required inpatient psychiatric care. I had struggled with depressive episodes throughout my life, but this was a much more severe event. Up until this point, I had been adept at attributing my depression to simple moodiness or just being tired. I had adopted routines and methods of hiding my depression from others, and the result s of that nearly cost me my life. I am currently on medication and in therapy, and I am learning how to cope with my depression in healthy ways rather than ignore it.
I’m Tiffanie Verbeke and I am the new co-author of Coping with Depression. I’m a freshly-graduated Interpersonal Communication Studies major, coffee addict, avid runner, and music enthusiast. I also pretend to be a good painter (which is an excellent coping mechanism). I have learned and experienced many challenging, wonderful things in my lifetime, but one of my most significant adventures has been learning about my brain. I was officially diagnosed in college with severe depression, anxiety, and mixed state bipolar disorder—a lovely combination of barriers to achieving optimal mental health.
For the longest time, I thought I was just a sensitive, moody girl who had been battered by bad luck. I didn’t think I was depressed because reasons to be sad were always around. Throughout my 20s, I experienced a handful of family tragedies, lots of death, and my fair share of broken relationships. When a psychiatrist said that I had depression and anxiety, I felt I had earned my Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) diagnosis the way one earns a graduate degree. I had a masters in sadness. I figured I would always listen to Elliott Smith and read Virginia Woolf's novels. Depression was in my bones. Instead, not long after I began treatment for depression, I discovered that my feelings were symptoms of an illness, not personality traits. Happiness had been inside of me all along.
I’m Liz Smith and I'm the new author on the Coping with Depression blog. I have depression, I’m 33, and I live in Leeds, a city in the north of England. It wasn't until my mid-20s that I was officially diagnosed with depression, but it was clear I was suffering well before then. Most of the time, I felt pretty desolate – lonely, misunderstood, and like there was nowhere I fit in. At university, everyone else seemed to be having a great time, but being around lots of confident, able people only magnified my insecurities.
It’s hard for me to believe, but my time writing for the Coping with Depression blog has come to an end. I started this journey because I believed that we can help one another by sharing our stories and our experiences about depression. Today, I’m more convinced of that than ever.