Committed: A Note to My Savior

by Sylvester Gaskin

Hey you,

I had a long day at work, and I’m glad you’re finally home. I’m happy you had a good day at work and you had fun at your new yoga class. You’re sitting on the couch, eating your dinner, and I can’t stop thinking about how you saved me. You’ve heard me talk about it many times, and you don’t believe me. But it’s true; you’ve saved my life more times than I can count. And I’m thankful.

Continue reading

Time to Accept

by Carly Masiroff

medicine bottle with pills spilled out around it

Acceptance.

This word keeps popping up in my life like one of those moles in the whack-a-mole arcade game. But why? What does it mean?

It’s no secret my mental health has never been on the straight and narrow. I try to hide it as much as possible and pretend my two friends, Anxiety and Depression, are not sitting on my shoulders at all times asking me to come out and play. But they are there. I’ve accepted they will always be a part of my life. But that doesn’t mean I have to accept their offer to play.

Continue reading

Treatment

by Lisa Latronica

If you’re like most people, you have a picture in your head of what treatment for mental illness looks like. Maybe that image is a counter full of pills. Maybe it’s lying on a couch talking to a doctor with a clipboard. Maybe you think of stark white walls and people in hospital beds. And successful treatment means you don’t need medication or a therapist any longer.

There’s a whole list of stereotypes when we think of mental health treatments, and just because we’re in higher education doesn’t mean that we don’t have assumptions, too. I’ve been in treatment for anxiety and depression for four years and for an eating disorder for almost a year, and even I fall victim to jumping to conclusions about my own treatment. Like a lot of people, I thought that once I started medication and talked to a therapist a few times, I would be magically better and back to “normal.”

Continue reading

Finding Beauty in the Distortion of My Mind

by Carly Masiroff

This one moment when you know you’re not a sad story. You are alive. And you stand up and see the lights on the buildings and everything that makes you wonder. – Perks of Being a Wallflower

I have always had an insatiable need to help others. When I saw a problem, I tried everything in my willpower to fix it, even if it ended up with unseen consequences. I needed to make others happy. I never knew why, I just knew I had to do it. To any ordinary person, even my closest friends and family, I seem to be tenaciously facing the world by day, while hiding a dark secret by night. Continue reading

A Secret 35 Years in the Making

by Paul Porter

I now understood that real secrets were lonely. They planted themselves inside of you and expanded, until you felt like that was all you were-a lonely little secret, isolated in your experiences.

Yvonne Woon

This post is dedicated to:

Kristen Abell, whose beautiful Pecha Kucha continues to inspire professionals in our field, and empowered me to write and share these thoughts: I admire you.

The allies of the mental health community—family and loved ones who help ease the feelings of pain, fear, frustration, and anxiety associated with mental illness: I salute you.

The 61.5 million Americans who experience some form of mental illness in a given year: I’m one of you.

Continue reading

The Two Faces of Depression

by Gavin Henning

I’m sitting on my therapist’s sofa, physically and emotionally distressed. “I need to try something different,” I told her. In the year we had been working together, she had never seen me this upset. But this time felt different. This time was different. My wife and I had another fight about my drinking and my detachment. I thought it was the breaking point in my life. And our marriage.

Continue reading

I’m Not Ready…Yet: Why I Won’t Publicly Own My Depression

The author of this post chose to remain anonymous.

I’m not ready….yet

A year ago at this time I was doing what I had been for years – ending another semester, looking forward to the summer, and thanking God that I had made it through another school year alive. You see, for most of my life I had been managing…strike that…masking…depression and anxiety. No medication, no therapy since college, just maintaining on the belief that I had nothing to be depressed about so feeling depressed was wrong. Continue reading

A Letter to My Son

by Kristen Abell

Dear Aedan,Kristen holding a sign: I am stomping out stigma because I want my son to live in a world free of that judgment

It’s been just over a year since your father and I tried to explain my depression to you. I still remember you stepping tentatively into our bedroom after Daddy talked to you and saying, “Mommy, I’m sorry you’re sick.” You hugged me as I did my best to hold back my tears…again. You told me it was okay if I cried, you understood if I needed to do that.

Continue reading