Lately I've been noticing a lot of commercials that Bell has been sponsoring for their Let's Talk campaign. In case you don't want to click the link, what they're doing is that every text message sent and long distance call made today, Bell will donate 5 cents to mental health programs. One of their intentions is to erase some of the negative stigmatism behind depression and to get people talking about it.
To be honest, that's something I struggle with sometimes. It's not something I talk about a whole lot. A lot of times because it's hard for me to admit. I like to pretend I'm pretty strong and not bothered by a lot. And depression makes me feel weak and powerless.
I first felt the affects of depression when I was 12 but didn't see a doctor and get diagnosed till high school. I tried to manage it in various ways, some not so healthy choices like drinking every day. When I moved away and started attending college they expected their students to be sober for the 8 months of school. I respected this and recognized it was probably a good thing for me to do. It was hard though. And I was no longer able to hide my emotions by drinking myself to sleep. I eventually realized I needed some professional help and ended up on anti-depressants and weekly counselling sessions.
Years later I'm no longer taking pills or seeing a counsellor but am working at managing my depression in other ways. Some people have a hard time understanding depression. They talk about it like it's something you can snap out or should suck it up and grow up. This frustrates me and I don't think is helpful in easing the negative stigma of mental illness. So I applaud Bell today for making an effort to get people talking about it. Because sometimes a little support can do more help than you'll ever realize. But that's a story for another day.
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