I've made previous mentions about my battle with depression here.
But I've never really spoken about it until now.
Which is a mistake.
If you've ever met me face to face, then you've probably noticed that I like to make people laugh. It makes me feel good and it makes others feel good. So why not do it? Why not make jokes? Why not make others forget about their problems and have some endorphins flowing through their mind and soul instead?
What you never saw was the fact that I was depressed. Severely depressed. As in I attempted suicide at the age of 16 and later on came close at the ages of 18 and 19.
Most of you reading this right now are in a sense of disbelief. That's because you know me. You know that I support people to the fullest and I support them in being who they are and loving who they are.
But that doesn't mean I was/am always okay with loving who I am 100%.
Depression is a real disease.
Mental health in general is something that a lot of cultures throw to the side. It's something that's shunned. Seeking help for mental health is often seen as a weakness. It's seen as something that one can "get over".
We need to stop this.
Why did it take me so long to get help about my depression?
I didn't know it was a real thing. By that I didn't know it was a real thing that people could get help for. I thought that it was me making up problems. I thought it was just me. I wrote it off as something that wasn't serious. I wrote it off as another part of me that I needed to get over.
I needed to get help.
I never knew that it was more than "being sad". It's almost exactly as J.K. Rowling described.
"It's so difficult to describe depression to someone who's never been there, because it's not sadness. I know sadness. Sadness is to cry and to feel. But it's that cold absence of feeling...It is that absence of hope."
And it truly is difficult to explain to someone who's never been depressed. But the loss of hope is the number one thing.
I think the biggest problem is that people don't know what to do. They don't know what depression looks like. They don't know that there are resources out there for them. People don't know the facts about depression or suicide. People don't know that it's different for everyone.
I also wasn't sad 24/7. I was happy. I was and still am surrounded by a loving family. Yet it's not enough.
My heart sincerely hurts every single damn time I hear of suicide. Whether they were a stranger, celebrity, or a friend of a friend. My heart hurts.
All this to say I believe the best way to diminish depression and suicide. Is to take them seriously. Take mental health seriously. Don't blame people for their depression. It's just as serious of a disease as cancer. It's just as invisible until it isn't. Check out the links below for more information.
If you are depressed and overwhelmed and don't know what to do...
Please reach out. Take that first step. Your life matters. Your existence matters. Do not be ashamed of needing help.
Click the links below. I want you to find the help you need. I want you to understand the statements I just said above.
I may not know you but I care about your existence and the life you have.
- Jordan Scruggs