Honesty About Depression

While we were vacationing in Hawaii last week, we received heartbreaking news about our sweet neighbor. She lost her son to suicide. While we were vacationing and playing on the beach, a friend was unexpectedly losing her son. It broke my heart for her and for her son that he had hit the point of extreme darkness and felt like he had no way out.

That night, after attending his funeral, Steve and I went to the Imagine Dragons LoveLoud concert. Dan Reynolds, the lead singer, is on a mission to shed a light on the extremely high suicide rates in Utah and also among the LGBT youth community. Needless to say, suicide was a huge topic throughout the night and I left the concert deep in thought.

And the deep thoughtfulness continues still. I went home and began researching suicide rates in Utah. The numbers among the 10-17 year old range was heartbreaking. As a parent of a son and a daughter just starting out their young adolescent journey, my alarm bells were ringing. How do we prevent such heartbreak? Maybe it is a matter of being more open and accepting and honest about mental illness.

So here I go, being honest and open. I began looking back on my own teenage years….bear with me, I told you I am deep in thought so frankly, my mind is all over the place. Anyway, I started reflecting on my own young life. I remember having dark days, feeling consumed by shame for my “mistakes”, feeling not good enough or pretty enough or cool enough, feeling heartbreak in my relationships….depression was real for me. It was so real that I wanted to sleep my days away. It was a heavy and lonely journey. But I remember the day I went to my parents and bravely asked for help. I was met by loving and open arms that got me the help I needed. I got on medication and was able to talk through my emotions with a doctor. I was pulled out of the darkness and brought “back to life”.

Fast forward almost 20 years from that time and I lost my sweet baby boy. Those familiar feelings of darkness crashed into my mind like a freight train. Those feelings of not wanting to wake up were there and they were keeping me trapped in my bed. Luckily I recognized those lonely feelings immediately and before it got bad, I was able to ask for help again. So, 20 years later, under extremely different circumstances, I am once again taking those same medications. And I feel much more in control of my emotions. I still feel sadness and painful heartbreak, but I now feel like I can feel and then pull myself back to the light.

Upon reflecting, I feel so incredibly grateful that I had the courage to ask for help when I was a teenager. If telling my truth helps someone else, I will scream it to the world. I think the world can use a little more honesty, a little more kindness, a little more acceptance and a little more empathy. Every life is of value and I will try my hardest to let every person I love feel this.

We can all help prevent suicide. If you or someone you know is in need of help, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones.

9 thoughts on “Honesty About Depression

  1. Rachel

    ❣️💞 I’m
    so sorry about your friend’s son. I’ve also struggled with depression over the years & my dad & youngest brother have bipolar disorder. (Not to mention so many other friends & family who’ve had the whole range of anxiety &/or depression issues).
    Thanks once again for sharing your personal experience so openly & compassionately… (& with your hopes & actions to raise awareness & help other people!!) Big love to you always, Savanna 💓

  2. Cindy

    My daughter started dealing with anxiety when she began high school. It came only a few times a year. Then came her senior year. She started therapy during the summer. Once school started her anxiety was out of control. She started on meds. It was trial and error until we found the right dose. Unfortunately she went through depression as well trying to find the right meds. Some of her friends were very supportive, others not. Unless some people go through the same thing they do not understand. It’s hard to have sympathy when you don’t understand. She is doing really well now and going away to college in the fall. My heart aches for those who feel so isolated in this.

  3. Belen

    As a young woman (24) who has been battling depression I completely agree that mental illnesses are too stigmatized. I realized who my true friends were and who had by back. Many people just don’t understand when you say you are not in the mood (you don’t have the energy it takes) to go dancing, to a dinner party, to have tea. After Getting into a fight because of some bad things they said, completely disregarding my condition, I sent them this video. I told them I live with my not-so-little black dog. Hope it helps. Savanah always comforting to read your words, Cindy I hope The video helps.


  4. Nicole Prather

    Thank you for sharing. I struggle with depression and anxiety and have been on med for a couple of years. Millions of people silently struggle with this. YOU are brave for sharing YOUR truth and that gives others strength to not have to live feeeling “less than” and get help to live a happier life. Depression sucks and at times feels like sucking. There is hope. Much Love ❤️

  5. Ydelim

    I just cried. This right here, this honesty, just helped me. I would’ve never thought the dancing machine was going through this. I love your transparency, and this is from someone that has never seeked help but has made it to 42. It’s been really really bad at times, but I don’t think I will ever tell. Thank you.

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