#WhoIAm: Sure, I'm Depressed - Aren't You?

Sitting in a dark room for hours at a time, sleeping instead of running errands or socializing, mood swings – are they characteristics that would describe you? If so, that’s OK. You’re not alone because I’m right there with you.

Depression can be a scary thing. It can be unpredictable, and it has the potential to morph into a multitude of other mental illnesses, if left untreated. A good thing about this generation, however, is that there are dozens of scientifically-proven treatments, and people are more understanding than ever.

It’s no secret that mental illness has a history of stigmatization, especially depression (and especially for women). It has been treated with methods ranging from lobotomies to orgasms, but it was always treated as a shun-worthy offense.

Think of Betty Draper from Mad Men. She could hardly convince her husband to allow her to see a psychiatrist because he was concerned about their reputation. When she was finally allowed, he would constantly call her psychiatrist asking, “What’s wrong with her? Why is this life not enough for her?”

Thankfully, recent generations are a little more understanding than in previous years. Although many families still look down on therapy, including mine, therapy has become less of a shun-worthy offense and more of a part of life. And thanks to awareness campaigns like World Mental Health Day, depression is no longer shameful; it’s normalized.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, Major Depressive Disorder affects more than 16.1 million American adults and is most common in women.

That means we are definitely not alone.

If you are feeling lonely or helpless, reach out to your loved ones or consider finding a therapist that fits your needs. Life is difficult, and having a mental illness is not your fault. Sometimes, we just need a little help to reach the light at the end of the tunnel.