Depression: A mood disorder characterized by such signs and symptoms as sadness, fatigue, apathy, lethargy, negative self image, hopelessness, anhedonia (difficulty experiencing pleasure), and disruptions in sleep and appetite, leading to impaired functioning. For more comprehensive information on depression, please click here.
Leah Holleran’s mystery illness was as common as common could be: anxiety and depression, but she and her family didn’t know it. Leah eventually solved the mystery of her mental health challenge, but not before struggling with self-harm and the loss of her best friend to an overdose.
by Have you ever felt like an outsider in your own skin? As if the body you’re stuck with isn’t really something you own, but something you’ve picked up for the time being; like the shell of a hermit crab. Have you ever...
In addition to wrestling some of the most noted sumo wrestlers in the world, Mike Wietecha is also well-versed in wrestling depression.
Ian Stoddart, a paramedic for 32 years, advocates practicing empathy for positive mental health.
Trying to manage bipolar disorder and a MFA program, she was influenced by mania, anxiety dictated the pace of her life, and her marriage was in danger.
Ashley Neubauer is a paramedic who loves helping people. The stresses of her job, however, affect her mental health, which she must monitor carefully.
I don’t know if I will ever be free of the panic attacks but I have hope that I will know how to cope. As of right now, I am taking things one day at a time, living my life and sharing my story so that others know that they are not alone.
After her young brother’s death, Lauren Fraser takes us on her journey of recovery from mental health challenges like anxiety, depression, and ptsd in this moving personal essay.
I fight for myself and those recovery from rape and PTSD. I still struggle, but I am not a victim. I am a survivor. I am not defined by what happened to me.
This mental health recovery story focuses on Ziba’s journey through an eating disorder, that often felt invisible. Ziba felt unseen in her disordered habits around eating and misunderstood when she first shared that she made herself sick to doctors. As she learned more about her disease and found help herself, Ziba worked to dismantle stereotypes and bust stigma. Through therapy and group work Ziba was able to understand her disorder and reconnect to herself. Read more!
Hereditary Depression, Unplugged: My Uncle understood my mental illness because he shared it. Then he died.
When Christopher Dale lost his Uncle Steve, he felt he’d lost a guiding compass for navigating his hereditary depression. Now he’s trying to carry on Uncle Steve’s lessons himself.
This mental health recovery story focuses on Tina’s journey through a fixation on death, depression and suicidal ideation. Tina’s thoughts and actions felt out of control, guide by anxiety. Suicidal ideation was a constant in her life, how Tina sought help and learned that are her core, she wanted to live. Through therapy and a close encounter with death, Tina discovered her will to live. Read more about Tina’s journey!
Bryan Long writes about his struggle with anxiety and depression from the perspective of a young man opening up to a provider for the very first time.
If all you knew about mental illness came from television, you might think everyone with obsessive compulsive disorder was a “crazy clean freak.” Alexandra Ages begs to differ—a person with a mental illness is much more than a television archetype.
Trying to deal with a bipolar diagnosis, alcohol-abuse, self-harm, and hallucinations is a lot to take on. When Jessica Drake-Thomas met her emotional therapy animal, Mia, the road to recovery became much more clear.
This mental recovery story focuses on Lisa’s journey of childhood trauma, abuse and eventually her diagnosis of bipolar. After years of physical, sexual and mental abuse, Lisa thought she had found stability, until her mania set in followed by severe depression. Lisa’s life felt like it was spinning out. Her physical, sexual and mental abuse dictated her life, her mania felt out of control, how Lisa came to terms with her diagnosis of bipolar and past trauma and found a way to heal. With time and therapy Lisa found ways to cope. Read more about Lisa’s journey!
This mental health recovery story focuses on Erica’s journey through an abusive childhood, a diagnosis of bipolar depression and the feeling of being misunderstood, by other and by herself. Her bipolar depression and anger left Erica confused, when she found therapy she was able to see what was beneath her rage and come through to the other side. Erica realized that her anger masked a deep sadness, as she worked with a counselor she found a way to explore her past and understand her present. Learn more about Erica’s journey!
Rachael grew up with a feeling that she was different from others. She experienced anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder symptoms and had regular meltdowns. Eventually these things turned into a problem with substance abuse. Her inability to adapt to change and childhood anxiety created a barrier, how Rachael’s diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome in adulthood helped her to understand her past and gain a newfound stability. Once, Rachael could understand what was going in her mind, she was able to take back control of her life. Read more about Rachael’s story!
If you think only a super-human force can successfully battle depression, then you don’t know Shawn Reynolds, comic book aficianado and mental health superhero in his own right.
Natalie Rodriguez knew she needed therapy for her anxiety and panic attacks; but she had to fight against shame and stigma to get that help.
Hell or High Seas follows veteran Navy rescue swimmer Taylor Greiger and friend Stephen O’Shea on the sailing adventure of a lifetime to prove that Taylor is stronger than his PTSD diagnosis.
JoEllen Notte, a sex educator who focuses on mental health, delves into her experiences as a woman who is depressed navigating a health system that often does not know how to respond.
Jenna Kohler’s life has been impacted by her boyfriend’s suicide, the Boston Marathon bombing, and other events that have shaped her exposure to depression and trauma.
A never-ending cycle: Broken souls having children only for those children to be shattered souls themselves. Because I know that millions experience this, I want to share my story in order to change a life or even save one.
it has been a very long time since I have been out dancing. I am much too depressed and the pain is overwhelming; however, there came a meeting of my many minds and the solution was couch dancing. LOL, you say? I would be willing to bet you have never tried it!
“Many police departments are good at continually preparing their officers for the daily physical and report battles they face. But, most of these same departments are inadequate in knowledge, and even unaware, of what is going on beneath the vest – in the heart, mind, and soul of the police officer.” – Ed Pila
I’ve been told I am crazy more times than I’ve been told I’m smart or strong or worthy of love. I’ve been diagnosed and re-diagnosed. I’ve spent a lot of my life trying to figure out what’s “wrong” with me and how to “fix” myself.
I am what clinicians may refer to as “comorbid,” meaning I experience simultaneous disorders at once. With my history of diagnoses of major depressive, post-traumatic stress, panic, generalized anxiety, illness anxiety, body dysmorphic, and social anxiety disorders, I have had an overwhelming journey.
I had always been a sullen, solitary girl, sensitive and moody, prone to uncontrollable emotional outbursts. But the sadness I felt that winter was deeper, the outbursts more frequent, intense, and all-consuming.
I’m a thirty-seven-year-old woman who was diagnosed with bipolar, depression and anxiety at the age of twenty-two. As I look back on my life I can remember feeling anxious throughout my childhood. I grew up in a good home with loving parents, but my anxiety persisted.
by https://youtu.be/7qBobGOF0fs Doctors are the healers and the helpers. But what happens when it’s the doctors who need the healing and the help? An estimated 300 to 400 doctors die by suicide each year, a rate...
I’m writing now as a happy and fulfilled young adult. But ten years ago, I thought my life was worth ending.
In addition to sharing a first name, they also share a passion for busting stigma about mental illness. Mental health advocacy brought them together, but something deeper created a connection.
My illness devastated me at age twenty when I was committed to a psychiatric hospital for sixty days and eventually diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Not hallucinations, but rather some of the smaller and fuzzier denizens native to Cambridge, Massachusetts. There is no metaphor more fitting for the person I was back then: twitchy, easily startled, a propensity to run scared from others. I had lost all the avenues I’d had to hide from depression and anxiety, and they closed in like a pair of gangsters in an alleyway.
I felt like a complete failure. I had always been able to handle everything without an issue. But at first, navigating depression was another story.
Taylor Grieger was diagnosed with complex PTSD several months after his release from the Navy with little-to-no guidance on how to cope with his condition.
One night, my mental state deteriorated to the point where I tried to end my life through a suicde attempt. It was impulsive and rash.
The Five Stages of Mourning is a perfect template for my own Five Stages of Depression: Anger, Anxiety/Exhaustion, Depression, Treatment, and Recovery.
When I exhibited symptoms of C-PTSD and OCD, I was afraid and lost. I survived multiple major depressive episodes, all of them including suicidality.
Whenever I’d gone through stages of major depression or anxiety as a young teenager, all I’d hear was that I was stupid, lazy, and unambitious. Imagine being judged by your symptoms and not by your illness.
My psychiatrist became so annoyed with my theological nonsense that he abruptly stalked out of one session, exclaiming, “You just can’t talk to crazy people.” I sent him a note later, in which I informed him that I could talk to crazy people, so that was his problem, not mine.
I am determined to love and live intensely and fearlessly because, as Audre Lorde said, betraying myself into silence will not protect me.
When you think of married life, what comes to mind? Are you in complete bliss or just plain miserable? Maybe you’re floating somewhere in between.
I endured this routine for so long: try a new medication to alleviate my treatment resistant depression and either feel horrible or feel absolutely nothing.
The passive suicidal thoughts are still there, but I have started to recognize that they are only powerful if I give them the power.
When I finally saw a psychiatrist, she was surprised that I was still alive, having been afflicted with depression for so long without medical treatment.
As I battle with depression, anxiety, and PTSD, it has always been far easier for me to support others with mental health struggles than to admit my own.
With depression, I had suicidal thoughts. Not because I wanted to kill myself, but because the idea of being “done” felt like serenity.
These images of mental in pictures are not what the public wants people to show. They are reality. They are dirty, messy, uninhibited, and true.
Persistent depressive disorder (formerly known as dysthymic disorder or dysthymia) is just what it sounds like: depression that persists.
Social anxiety still exists online. You’re still putting yourself out there and you feel vulnerable opening up, not knowing what response you’ll get.
This installment of our mental health resources column highlights Instagram mental health from authors who have appeared on OC87 Recovery Diaries.
“I can’t explain where I’ve been, and though everyone wants to understand, it doesn’t mean they comprehend. They can’t grasp where I am.” – Kathryn Rose Wood
I went from unhappy to miserable to struggling to overwhelmed to depressed and suicidal. First I was diagnosed with post-natal depression, followed by treatment-resistant clinical depression. Then came the biggest clanger of all, diagnosis number three: borderline personality disorder.
It took months of internal debate before I worked up the courage and the desire to at least give the depression and bipolar support groups a shot.
Groggy. Always groggy. Part bored, part feeling down. Seems I always have habits I either need to break or start—when I can get around to it. Maybe tomorrow, after my 8:30am nap.
This installment of our mental health resources column focuses on depression Twitter accounts including DBSA, Sad Girls Club, Heads Up Guys, Natasha Tracy, and Depression Notes.
Before I had a name for my mental illness — bipolar disorder and ptsd — this is what it felt like: playing diagnosis dress-up, trying on labels, seeing how they fit, and feeling lost — like there was nothing left in my closet to wear.
In Suicide: The Ripple Effect, Kevin Hines recounts the tale of his suicide attempt when he was nineteen years old, and then embarks on a journey to offer hope to others who may be struggling, and to hear stories from mental health advocates like him.
I failed the postpartum screening given, as protocol, by the hospital, and yet they sent me home.
I crossed seamlessly from ambivalence and malaise into an area I’d never been before: actively planning suicide.
I’m not an expert on mental health, addiction, or suicide. I’m a survivor.
Yes, I have been diagnosed with depression, OCD and borderline personality disorder. Yet, I am still a good person.
Mental health silent retreats have been an important tool in my recovery. They have allowed me to forgive, heal, and gain clarity.
I started writing songs about my feelings and sharing them with audiences throughout the country as a touring musician, under the name The Homeless Gospel Choir.
Podcast interview with PsychCentral.com podcast host, Gabe Howard, who suffers from bipolar disorder, but is in recovery.
I have bipolar disorder and I’ve written a book about my experience living with bipolar disorder and depression.
“I wrote the song “Becoming” about giving my mental health adequate attention and care, even while in a relationship.” — Emily Yacina
Rudy Caseres is a mental health advocate who lives with bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety.
As bad as my depression has been – and I’ve experienced more than 40 years of it – I have somehow, luckily, always found the magic of laughter within reach.
Depression tricks you into thinking that you are completely alone when, in fact, you are the opposite. No one is truly alone.
The memoir “Gorilla and the Bird” discusses how bipolar disorder affects work, family, and relationships. Podcast interview with Zack and his mom, Cindy.
When it comes to mental health, how we can become our own best friend in 2018? Here’s what we came up with. Happy New Year to you, friend.
Host of The Mental Illness Happy Hour, Paul Gilmartin has come a long way since doing stand-up comedy and hosting the TV show, Dinner and a Movie.
“I was hoping that Herbie The Love Bug would bring us some joy.” — Gabriel Nathan, Editor in Chief of OC87 Recovery Diaries
As I lie in bed, my thoughts spiral saying, “You’re a horrible mother. You’re a horrible writer. You’re a horrible person.”
Depression Facebook pages that share genuinely different content while still all speaking to what it can be like to live with depression.
“What could go wrong for someone who has panic attacks in large crowds at an event regularly attended by 20,000 people?” — Sheila Hageman
Episode 14 – “The Hunting Ground”: Recovering from Sexual Assault – an Interview with Documentary Film Subject, Kamilah Willingham
Interview with Kamilah Willingham, a subject of the documentary film, “The Hunting Ground.”
Depression tricks you into thinking that you are completely alone when, in fact, you are the opposite. No one is truly alone.
Managing bipolar disorder behavior involves more than medications. Changes in mood are affected by factors in our environment.
A therapist writes with humor and passion about her struggles with panic attacks, generalized anxiety disorder, and an eating disorder.
Adesola Ogunleye, a Nigerian American immigrant who lives with depression and anxiety, is interviewed on this episode of OC87 Recovery Diaries on the Radio.
“When you make a choice to put yourself out there, you’re empowering yourself — and you’re empowering others.” – Gabriel Nathan
Still, I resisted. For several years, I didn’t want to accept that the push and pull of depression was a permanent part of me.
After traveling with depression, I know that I am a powerful being who overcame the dragon blowing fire into my brain. I fought, and I won.
I focus my work on helping folks navigate sex and depression on their own and with their partners so that everyone feels supported and safe.
Dr. Erin K. Stair’s new book, Manic Kingdom, is a “harrowing, breathless, and beautiful journey” that will leave you spellbound.
This disassociated state, where you plan your death as though you were planning Tuesday night’s dinner, is one of the many shades of depression.
I should probably explain a few things. I’m not crazy. I suffer from major depression, as well as generalized anxiety disorder. I’m basically a shut-in.
Laura Farrell reviews Seth Gillihan’s book, Retrain Your Brain: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in 7 Weeks, an interactive guide to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
how an everyday encounter with a stranger on the street can morph into a paralyzing prison-like mental trap of repetitive, obsessive thoughts.
These five depression TED Talks share our agenda to inspire, build bridges, and bring light to the shadow that enshrouds mental health challenges.
I put a lot of thought into how to make the web-series Katie and Shaun responsibly. The portrayal of anxiety and depression is true to my experience.
My eating disorder lied, denying any inquiry that there was something wrong. After residential treatment I did outpatient with a dance movement therapist.
Glenn Holsten discusses the making of his mental health documentary film, Hollywood Beauty Salon.
I will always struggle with depression, but finally I feel I am done clearing the land and am ready to plant the seeds that will become new growth.
In celebration of our new podcast, we’ve rounded up 22 mental health podcasts that are doing their part to #buststigma around mental illness.
I wrote a song called “Everything Will Kill You” inspired by all the times that I’ve fearfully prepared myself for tragedies that have never actually happened.
Bud and Laura interview Philadelphia artists Abby Squire and Rosie Carlson about how art and mental health affect one another.
After my bipolar diagnosis I got married, got divorced, lost my job due to the stigma of mental illness, and attend two assisted outpatient hospital programs.
“Honey, I will be checking on you every fifteen minutes.” I stared at her, puzzled, until she leveled me with a four-word gut punch: “You’re on suicide watch.”
I’m talking about my depression, not in vague terms any longer. It is a problem. It has a name. My boys know that name and I hope they’ll be stronger for it.
It all hearkens back to storytelling, to this desire we have to relate something. To let people know who we are, or were, or wish we were, or fear we are.
The severity of my depression in the wake of losing my job solidified the notion that, for people with mental illness, having a job can make all the difference.
This is the third in a series of videos of men who have participated in the Philadelphia’s Engaging Males of Color BEyond Expectations storytelling project.
In my eating disorder, I loved to push myself, to bring my body to the edge and watch which way it fell. More liquor, more dancing, more starving.
Sitawa Wafula is a Kenyan mental health blogger and advocate for people living with mental health conditions and their families.
I don’t know if my depression, anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive disorder will ever go away.
“I’d really love to interview my depression,” Mike said. And we were off. Watch Mike Veny do the (near) impossible: interview his depression.
Mike Veny is an advocate who speaks boldly about his journey with mental health. Mike Veny is also a lifesaver. The first life he saved was his own.
Danielle Hark created Broken Light Collective, a website for photographers from all over the world who are living with or who are affected by mental illness.
Shireda was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. That solved some of the confusion. Support at The Attic, an LGBTQ youth center, and Horizon House helped next.
It took a year for me to find the courage to google “bipolar disorder.” On some level I knew I needed professional help, but there were a lot of risks.
I’m at peace with the fact that I unlocked my secrets about living with bipolar disorder. I’m not the first one to be bipolar, and won’t be the last.
I have learned the tools and techniques with which to deal with the many facets of my OCD, including being able to laugh at it once in a while.
“Real depression isn’t being sad when something in your life goes wrong. Real depression is being sad when everything in your life is going right.” – Kevin Breel
The hardest part of life with depression and the recovery journey is realizing that maybe you’ll never reach the end. Maybe the journey is the destination.
I’ve been hospitalized for depression so thick and so bad, my doctors didn’t think it was safe for me to go anywhere else.
I hope, in reading my story about coping with depression, you will be strengthened in your own journey and feel comforted that you are not alone.
It felt like I got hit by a truck. Immobilized. Debilitated. That basically sums up my experience battling depression. It has been a long struggle.
I am still in the process of healing from PTSD, anxiety, and major depression with the help of a psychiatrist, a therapist, and the love of my life.
Recently, I underwent a slight psychological break. Determined to claw my way out of the darkness, I began to write about my journey and experiences.
Postnatal Depression affects 1 in 10 women, yet many people still ignore or hide their symptoms. I did this, and it turned out to be a terrible idea.
I once heard anxiety compared to a superpower. Once I stopped being so ashamed of it, I saw that anxiety was my superpower too.
I have bipolar disorder. Today, it is a big chunk of who I am, but thanks to these three bipolar coping skills, I know it is not the only chunk.
I joke about men’s mental health because, sometimes, I don’t know what else to do. Of course, the stigma against men’s mental health is not funny.
I finally I agreed to ECT (electroconvulsive therapy). I was both intrigued and terrified. After my ECT treatments I started to feel like a human again.
Confronted with debilitating depression, anxiety, and a life filled with chaos, I was led to a spiritual solution to manage my mental health meltdown.
Over the 15+ years we’ve know each other, friendship and recovery have been intertwined. Being a person, being a friend, is constant work.
Race gender and mental health were discussed intersectionally at the 2015 Gender Spectrum conference, featuring the original video A Journey Within.
I have learned what works for me in helping diminish the severity of my symptoms. Getting help with medication and therapy has been part of my treatment.
Lauren Dicair recounts her experience dealing with depression and anxiety in college after growing up in the suburbs with parents who were junkies.
Rachel has been on her own since high school. She has fought to overcome depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety.
To cope with depression, Grace Kim set out to do something scary every day, and the Best Day Project was born, giving Grace a new perspective on life.
Ron Thompson is a fascinating guy — an artist with a pen, a poet with words. His video, Drawn to Forgiveness, incorporates both of these strengths.
Healing Hurt People works with young people in Philadelphia who are seen in the emergency room for violent injuries (gunshot, stab, or assault wounds).
A recap of the 5 most popular posts on OC87 Recovery Diaries from 2014 plus the OC87 Recovery Diaries team shares what helped us along throughout the year.
I was 14 and my mother, in the depths of depression, sat in our living room crying. This experience began a director’s journey into documentary film.
As someone with Asperger’s Syndrome, it’s very difficult for me to take the perspective of other people. Recently, I made a breakthrough in this area.
It’s okay to not always know how to navigate complex memories, emotions and traumas. The Perks of Being a Wallflower was a gift in teaching me these things.
Evan Kaplan of Child and Family Connections talks about new services for parents with mental illness and other mental health challenges and their children.
Is art more important than mental health? Laura Farrell shares her own mental health art and says that mental wellness is more important than creating art.
Video from the Hollywood Beauty Salon documentary: Remembering neglect in foster care, alcoholism, and mental illness, Darlene talks to her inner child.
Monica, a young transwoman, talks about her experience with mental health challenges, homelessness, and finding her chosen family at The Attic Youth Center.
“I would not want to change my life, even all the negative and bad stuff, because it actually made me who I am.” —Rachel “Hollywood” Carr
I don’t really want to share any of this. My mind is like a pendulum swinging from, “I don’t have any mental health problems and it’s a sham to pretend. . .
Interview with Rachel Kunstadt about Sing Away The Stigma, a musical theater event that uses real people’s journeys with mental health as inspiration.
“I’m recovering from addiction, major depression, ADHD, and HIV. If I can come out of 28 years of addiction and prison, you can do it too.” – John Rocco
In OF TWO MINDS, Liz recounts her lost years of extreme mania and depressions as well as the effects of electroshock treatments.
Behind the scenes of Bud Clayman’s documentary OC87: The Obsessive Compulsive, Major Depression, Bipolar, Asperger’s Movie.