"A lot of people think of depression as adding something, as if it's merely an increase in sadness.
Really, it's all about subtracting.
When I struggled with depression several years ago, I found myself incapable of feeling real joy, real excitement, or real pleasure. I found it hard to care about things that would usually have mattered deeply to me.
I lost my sense of self, and I lost my hope for the future. After a while, it didn't feel so much like living as it did existing. And when I realized that I couldn't imagine there ever being a light at the end of this empty, lonely tunnel, I began to think of suicide.
I considered it, frequently, over a couple of years.
I could delve into what was going on in my life at the time; the factors that exacerbated my situation, reasons that it felt like a solution, or the plans I formulated. But that stuff doesn't matter, and there's no point laying blame.
At the end of the day, my depression came down to brain chemistry, and I had neither the knowledge nor the support to deal with it.
I don't know why I decided to ask for help. I didn't really think that things could get better, but I guess I decided that I had nothing to lose.
So, I asked for help.
Miraculously... beautifully, I got it. And my world began to change.
Depression and other mental illnesses can still be scary topics for people to discuss.
There remains such a lack of understanding. This is why I strive to be open about my experiences, and why projects like the Stanley Sessions are so important. To anyone struggling with depression and thoughts of suicide, please know that you're not alone.
There are so many resources out there that can help, and even if it's hard to see, there really can be a light at the end of the tunnel."