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What a 'Depression Eclipse' Feels Like

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We all know what the word “eclipse” means — or have an idea of what it means thanks to the solar eclipse from this week. From an astronomical point of view, this word makes sense — to obscure light from or to another celestial body. The length of totality lasted minutes today during the solar eclipse. In those minutes, the darkness took over. The sun was blocked during this time. It was still there and producing the same amount of energy, like it always does, but its light was blocked.

I believe this term can also be used in regards to mental health. For me, a mental health eclipse seems to last a whole heck of a lot longer than a few minutes. It could even last up to a few weeks, months, years, decades, etc. When I think of a mental health eclipse, I think of my depression. During a depression eclipse, you’re still living and trying to function. For some reason, there’s this dark haze that seems to make yourself feel down or dull… all the time. Sometimes it feels like it’s out of your control. Sometimes it feels like the whole world knows your light is being blocked. Sometimes you think about giving up because you don’t see or understand your purpose anymore. Sometimes people like to tell you to do one thing and then your light will come back.

It would be nice to know how long my depression eclipse will last because one of the hardest parts is not knowing when it will end. It would be nice if people treated me well during an eclipse. I’m not saying to view me differently, but to try to have more of an understanding of what I’m going through. It would be nice to be celebrated like a solar eclipse. People don’t judge the sun for not shining during those times of totality. Why do people sometimes get judged for feeling depressed or suicidal during their times of totality? Where are the thousands of people rooting for us when we have lost our light?

The one positive thing about both kinds of eclipses, celestial and mental, is that the light comes back. It takes a little bit of time to fully be itself again, but it does come back. No matter how long the light is blocked, it does come back! Keep fighting through the dark times and know there is light ahead of you.

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Thinkstock photo via teddyandmia.

Originally published: August 23, 2017
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