I never thought at the age of 14 I would need to seek therapy. I never thought as an adult, I would have to return. I never thought I would be diagnosed with depression.

My name is Janelle, and I am that strong friend.

I’m in a good place, but have my moments. Everyone does regardless of a diagnosis; it’s a part of life. Challenges make us who we are, and are great learning tools to becoming a better self. I worry. I worry for those who are forced to remain silent. I worry, I worry for those judged because of the stigma. I worry. I worry for those who feel their lives are no longer worth living. Too many people…young, old, famous, non-famous, Black, White…the list goes on. It may be you that’s reading this. Know you are not alone.

I’m glad to see depression finally being discussed in the open. However, we should not be waiting on the next media suicide to start posting “Depression is real.” on Facebook and Twitter. So many of us are quick to discuss love and relationships, but not about mental health. It’s definitely not an easy topic to discuss, but the first steps include education. There are so many resources available, physically and online, to get those questions answered. The more educated we are, the more we are able to help ourselves, and to help others. It’s ok to not know, but it’s not ok to stay not knowing. I’ll even provide a piece of advice to get that head start on educating yourself: NEVER tell a person with depression things could be worse. The worst thing you could do is discredit that individual’s feelings (even though that might not be the intention).

There’s so much I could write, but wanted to keep it short and sweet (for now). I will however, leave you with this: Everyone has a struggle no one knows about. Be kind, always.

Much love!

-The Curvy Doc

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-8255