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Real Story

Advice from a depression survivor

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My story of my depression treatment

My name is Jalen, I’m 17 years-old and a high school senior. I’m a track athlete who loves to write and also rides horses. I was published on here talking about how writing helped me sort out my feelings during my depression. In the past few months things have taken a turn for the bright side, but other times it hasn’t been great. Currently, I’m on an upswing though; so what better time to share my advice?

I recently found out that I may be moving again. Anyone who knows me knows that moving really sends me into a tailspin. Mostly because of how the enormous amount of moving I did as a kid affected me emotionally. Not to mention it’s my senior year. So this news really set me off, and I did something I didn’t think I’d ever do. I cut. I relapsed after almost three years or so of being clean.

I really considered not telling my counselor because it kind of felt good to have a secret again, and I was embarrassed. So I was fighting myself over essentially, helping myself recover or continuing on a path that we all know gets worse. So, I confessed, I was a little embarrassed but my counselor reassured me that it was nothing to upset about. Things have started looking up from there. I stopped cutting (one week clean!) and I’m back to writing again!

Getting through these past few weeks and the weeks to come is definitely going to ba a challenge for me because it’s a situation over which I have no control. So I’m working with my counselor to make it as safe as possible for me.

Something that I’m just discovering works really well is getting out and doing something. I know when you’re depressed sometimes, let’s be honest, most of the time we don’t want to do anything other than lie on the couch and sleep.

Recently I’ve joined a riding team, and have gotten a weekend job. BOTH are depending on me to be there. I find that this has helped because even if I don’t want to be there; they need me there. This really helps kick my butt into getting up and going out, whereas before I would have just canceled and gone back to sleep.

I know that one of the many symptoms of depression is losing interest in things you used to take joy out of. That’s a big one for me, I always isolate when I’m on a downswing. Trust me, there have been many times when I just wanted to call off work, pretend I’m sick, or skip my riding lesson, just because I’m didn’t think I would enjoy myself. However, my mom has been making me, and I always come home at least a little happier.

So my message to you would be to find those skill sets that really work for you. Mine happen to be writing and being active, so find your own special skills and start kicking depression’s butt!



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