Overcoming depression and anxiety is easier said than done. You can meditate, practice yoga, do breathing exercises and still feel trapped in your very own mental prison. Working out every morning, practicing gratitude, sitting in nature, taking medicine, practicing spirituality, all of it-- may not feel like enough some days. Living in a world that tells you to be strong or in a community that denies mental illness may make you feel very small, like your sadness is not yours to claim. You may relapse. You may deny help out of shame. But remember this, depression and anxiety is a secret we all share. None of us are immune to mental health issues in the 21st century; rich, poor, white, asian, latinx, black, queer, straight, young, or old. Life in hyper-individualistic America is hard and there is no universal manual for how to survive with your sanity in tact.
In search of peace, many of the suffering have joined spirituality movements, and for the less fortunate, the opioid/homelessness crisis. Today, mental health care is reserved for America’s elite. Psychiatrists and therapists are often not covered by insurance, and even so, are too costly. Sometimes the people who need mental health care the most are the ones who are denied care. America’s privatized prison system and state run mental health care facilities cyclically pass the mentally ill and marginalized in and out of unfair situations and crises. I have witnessed this heartbreaking reality firsthand.
The beauty of youth is our curiosity to make sense of the world for ourselves. But how do today’s youth, who are often guided by false idols, bad home situations, and manipulative technology navigate the world positively?
My philosophy is that healing begins with storytelling. The more we share, the more others will listen, end judgement, start to relate, heal, and love. We need community and transparency now more than ever.