Seven ways depression doesn’t have to run your life

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It’s been more than a decade since I was finally able to reach out and get help for my depression. I found a medication that helped me gain stability, and I decided to give therapy a shot.  I’ve never been good at asking for help, however the support and guidance I got from my parents was really helpful in the initial years when I was still trying to find my emotional footing.  Both of them struggled with depression and had some great insights for me.  Here are some things that really helped me during that confusing time:

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No one has their life totally together in their 20s – even if their Instagram tells you differently.

InstagramWhy do we put so much pressure on ourselves to have everything together in our 20s? Where does that pressure come from and why do we care so much what other people think? I was talking to my family recently about attending high school reunions and my dad, who graduated high school in the 1960s, commented on how he didn’t even bother to go to his 5th or 10th year high school reunion; he had noticed at that point in everyone’s lives that people were still trying to impress each other and it wasn’t relaxing or fun. He said that the first reunion he wanted to go to was his 20th high school reunion because by then, when most people were older, they were more open to being honest about where they were and what was going on in their lives. Why was that? How come we feel pressure to live up to an idealized version of ourselves in our 20s and 30s? How come we care less when we are older? Is it because we have a lot more exposed vulnerabilities when we’re younger and are still trying to figure out where we want to live, what work we feel moved do in life, and who we want to spend our time with? Continue reading

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Is Depression Sneaking Up on You?

despair_000015321447SmallI remember the first time anyone ever talked with me about their depression. It was an incredible experience.  The person described the same extremely negative feelings I experienced about my life when describing her own. She even used the exact same words I’d used only days before when taking inventory of how I felt about myself. It was even more surprising to learn that there were other ways to think about life and that there were things I could do to help myself feel differently. Continue reading

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Why keeping friends after college is important—and how to keep them!

 

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Making friends in college is freaking easy.  We’re around people our age with a lot of similar interests (like your entire major and all the nerdy stuff people in your major do).  All your friends are generally within walking distance.  Everyone loves hanging out in groups and having events and going to dining halls.  You have at least one de facto thing in common no matter what: griping about professors.  It’s difficult not to make friends.  The hard part comes after you graduate.

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