How I Turned My Depression From a 'Weakness' Into a Strength

Coming to terms with the fact I was depressed was the most difficult part of improving my mental health. Although I had known some friends and family members who struggled with depression, I didn’t want to use the label on myself. It’s seen as a weakness. Unfortunately, sometimes if you are open with your struggles, you can be viewed as less than. What I’ve found is that couldn’t be further from the truth.

There comes a point when you can’t hide anymore. I like to be the person who has a smile on my face when I walk into a room. I like to be the person who is full of energy. I like to be the person who can get hit and get back up again. I like when people see me as energetic, stable and strong.

There came a point where I couldn’t be that person anymore. It was eating me alive trying to be that person. It felt like I was flexing my muscles, with a big smile on my face, while simultaneously sinking into quicksand, terrified and hoping no one would notice.

A turning point in my mental health recovery came when I stopped caring so much about how people perceived me. Whether or not they saw me as a pillar of strength didn’t matter if on the inside I was rubble. Acknowledging my weakness was the first step in turning my depression into a strength. By being open about the loneliness, sadness and lack of purpose I was experiencing, I was not so scared of them.

I decided to wear the label of depression, to let the world see my struggles and to let the world see me overcome them. Depression is a part of me, but it does not define my character. I will not let the stigma overcome me and I will not play the part of the victim.

Being beaten down by depression also let the strength I needed to get better shine through. It’s a strength I found within myself and I know everyone has. It’s not always easy to find the strength and it may be something I’ll need to call upon many more times throughout my life. But I know it’s in there.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Depression

Five guys singing on a beach landscape

How a One Direction Song Helped Me Through My Depression

Music is known to have strong healing and therapeutic properties. From playing music to a baby in their mother’s womb to listening to music while cleaning the house, music has the ability to completely change a person’s mood. I could easily listen to dubstep on the way to work, Maroon 5 or Beyoncé at work, [...]
Young woman on sofa

How to Get Yourself Out of the House While Dealing With Depression

One of my strategies for managing chronic depression is getting out of the house every day. When I’m having an episode, most days I open my eyes, sigh with frustration and then begin the battle of my inner dialogue. Oh, another day. Time to get out o… Close your eyes and stay in bed. Just [...]
teresa and bunchy ray donovan

Last Night’s 'Ray Donovan' Episode Sent a Powerful Message About Depression

Showtime’s “Ray Donovan,” a story about a family of Irish descent from Boston now living in California, typically filled with exciting celebrity cover ups and family disputes surprised us last night with its newest developing story: one about depression. Last season the youngest of the Donovan brothers, Bunchy, married a strong female wrestler named Teresa. Her personality was that of a [...]
Sketch Illustration Drawing of Beautiful Woman with Long Hair

Depression, Anxiety and Stress

I know these. I know these when I’m exhausted from not sleeping – because I didn’t fall asleep until 3 a.m. and I woke up multiple times from nightmares. Yet, my alarm is set for 6 a.m. – so I can shower and shave my legs before I start my day. This way I can [...]