Tag Archives: mental-health

The danger of high-functioning depression as told by a college student.

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I first saw a psychiatrist for my anxiety and depression as a junior in high school.

During her evaluation, she asked about my coursework. I told her that I had a 4.0 GPA and had filled my schedule with pre-AP and AP classes. A puzzled look crossed her face. She asked about my involvement in extracurricular activities. As I rattled off the long list of groups and organizations I was a part of, her frown creased further.

Finally, she set down her pen and looked at me, saying something along the lines of “You seem to be pretty high-functioning, but your anxiety and depression seem pretty severe. Actually, its teens like you who scare me a lot.”

When we see depression and anxiety in adolescents, we see teens struggling to get by in their day-to-day lives. We see grades dropping, and we see involvement replaced by isolation. But it doesnt always look like this.

And when we limit our idea of mental illness, at-risk people slip through the cracks.

We dont see the student with the 4.0 GPA or the student whos active in choir and theater or a member of the National Honor Society or the ambitious teen who takes on leadership roles in a religious youth group.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/the-danger-of-high-functioning-depression-as-told-by-a-college-student?c=tpstream

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Here are 5 things you may regret at the end of your life, from a nurse who works with the dying.

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You might think watching people die would depress a person. It actually taught her how to live.

Bronnie Ware spent years as a palliative care nurse, helping patients be as comfortable as possible in the time just before their deaths. She compiled their stories and the most repeated regrets she heard them utter in their final days.

Do you ever imagine what the final years and months and days of your life will be like?

Shared originally on her blog, ”
Inspiration and Chai,” here are the top five regrets, with quotes from her blog as she recorded them.

Regret #1: I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

Look at yourself in the mirror. Are you living your best life right now? What’s stopping you?

Dreaming of living a different life than the one you have now? Image by
Jorge Royan.

“This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.” Bronnie Ware

Regret #2: I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

This one speaks for itself.

That desk looks like instant stress before the workday has even started. Image by
Alan Cleaver/Flickr.

Regret #3: I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

What if getting the words out is essential to your growth as a human?

Feelings aren’t just useless emotions. Expressing them can be the first step to self-actuating and becoming a newer version of yourself. Image by
Garry Knight/Flickr.

“Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming.” Bronnie Ware

Regret #4: I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Is there someone you treasure who you haven’t spoken with in much too long?

They’re so important to us and somehow we think that “life” getting in the way is a good enough reason to go without seeing them. Image by
Jason Hutchens.

“Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.” Bronnie Ware

Regret #5: I wish that I had let myself be happier.

If you didn’t wake up joyful today, why not? What can you do to change that?

Who was the last person you giggled ridiculously with? Call them. Right now. Image by
Adina Voicu.

“This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.” Bronnie Ware

Were there any regrets on this list that felt familiar to you? Others that you didn’t see listed?

These are five universal wake-up calls we all need to be reminded of.
There’s no shame in tagging all the friends you need to call when you share this.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/here-are-5-things-you-may-regret-at-the-end-of-your-life-from-a-nurse-who-works-with-the-dying?c=tpstream

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A comic that accurately sums up depression and anxiety and the uphill battle of living with them

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Sarah Flanigan has been fighting depression since she was 10 years old and anxiety since she was 16. “I wish everyone knew that depression is not something that people can just ‘snap out of,'” she explains. “I mean, if I could ‘snap out of it,’ I would have by now.”

Depression and anxiety disorders are real illnesses. Mental illnesses are not “in someone’s head,” they’re not something a person can “just get over,” and they affect so many of us over 40 million people in the U.S. alone.

Despite how common they are, it’s still really difficult to explain to people who may have never experienced a mental illness.

Enter: cute, clever illustrations that get the job done.

Nick Seluk, who creates the amazing comics at The Awkward Yeti, heard from reader Sarah Flanigan. She shared her story of depression and anxiety with him. If it could help even one person, she said, it would be worth it.

Nick turned her story into a fantastic comic that perfectly captures the reality of living with depression and anxiety.

“I’ve been through and seen depression and anxiety in action, and thought Sarah’s story was so perfectly simple,” he told me. “We all get sick physically and mentally, but we need to be open to talking (and laughing) about [it].”

I couldn’t agree more, and I think this comic will resonate with a lot of people.

Simple yet powerful, right?

“The hardest part of living with depression and anxiety for me is feeling like I have to hide it,” Sarah said. “I’ve always been known as the happy one in my group of friends. Everyone’s always so shocked when I tell them I have depression or they see the self-harm scars.”

“It’s much harder than it should be to say, ‘Hey, I have depression and I’ve been struggling with self-harm since I was 10 and I just really need your support to get me through tonight,'” Sarah explained.

Let’s all keep working to make it easier for our friends, family members, and ourselves to get support. Let’s keep talking about it.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/a-comic-that-accurately-sums-up-depression-and-anxiety-and-the-uphill-battle-of-living-with-them?c=tpstream

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Have you seen anyone with a semicolon tattoo? Here’s what it’s about.

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Have you seen anyone with a tattoo like this?

If not, you may not be looking close enough. They’re popping up…

…everywhere.

Photos by The Semicolon Tattoo Project.

That’s right: the semicolon. It’s a tattoo that has gained popularity in recent years, but unlike other random or mystifying trends, this one has a serious meaning behind it. (And no, it’s not just the mark of a really committed grammar nerd.)


My co-worker Parker’s photo of her own semicolon tattoo.

This mark represents mental health struggles and the importance of suicide prevention.

Project Semicolon was born from a social media movement in 2013.

They describe themselves as a “movement dedicated to presenting hope and love to those who are struggling with depression, suicide, addiction, and self-injury. Project Semicolon exists to encourage, love, and inspire.”

But why a semicolon?

“A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life.”

Originally created as a day where people were encouraged to draw a semicolon on their bodies and photograph it, it quickly grew into something greater and more permanent. Today, people all over the world are tattooing the mark as a reminder of their struggle, victory, and survival.

Photos by
The Semicolon Tattoo Project.

I spoke with Jenn Brown and Jeremy Jaramillo of
The Semicolon Tattoo Project, an organization inspired by the semicolon movement. Along with some friends, Jenn and Jeremy saw an opportunity to both help the community and reduce the stigma around mental illness.

In 2012,
over 43 million Americans dealt with a mental illness. Mental illness is not uncommon, yet there is a stigma around it that prevents a lot of people from talking about it and that’s a barrier to getting help.

More conversations that lead to less stigma? Yes please.

“[The tattoo] is a conversation starter,” explains Jenn. “People ask what it is and we get to tell them the purpose.”

“I think if you see someone’s tattoo that you’re interested in, that’s fair game to start a conversation with someone you don’t know,” adds Jeremy. “It provides a great opportunity to talk. Tattoos are interesting marks we put on our bodies that are important to us.”

A woman getting a semicolon tattoo at last year’s event. Photo by
The Semicolon Tattoo Project.

Last year, The Semicolon Tattoo Project held an event at several tattoo shops where people could get a semicolon tattoo for a flat rate. “That money was a fundraiser for our crisis center,” said Jenn. In total, over 400 people received semicolon tattoos in one day. Even better, what began as a local event has spread far and wide, and people all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos.

And it’s not just about the conversation it’s about providing tangible support and help too.

Jenn and Jeremy work with the
Agora Crisis Center. Founded in 1970, it’s one of the oldest crisis centers in the country. Through The Semicolon Tattoo Project, they’ve been able to connect even more people with the help they need during times of crisis. (If you need someone to talk to, scroll to the end of the article for the center’s contact information.)

So next time you see this small punctuation tattoo, remember the words of Upworthy writer Parker Molloy:

“I recently decided to get a semicolon tattoo. Not because it’s trendy (though, it certainly seems to be at the moment), but because it’s a reminder of the things I’ve overcome in my life. I’ve dealt with anxiety, depression, and gender dysphoria for the better part of my life, and at times, that led me down a path that included self-harm and suicide attempts.
But here I am, years later, finally fitting the pieces of my life together in a way I never thought they could before. The semicolon (and the message that goes along with it) is a reminder that I’ve faced dark times, but I’m still here.”

No matter how we get there, the end result is so important: help and support for more people to also be able to say ”
I’m still here.

If you want to see more incredible semicolon tattoos, check out nine photos and stories that our readers shared with us!

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/have-you-seen-anyone-with-a-semicolon-tattoo-heres-what-its-about?c=tpstream

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