Wanderlust

img_6941I recently starting hiking with my dog and I can’t begin to tell you how much we love it. Nature is just so freeing and I have been beating myself up for not doing this sooner. I am planning trips to better nature trails and hiking areas close to me, as well as even starting to plan and save up for trips that are a little further from me.

There are times when I have to stop and see what I am around, taking in the sounds and even the smells. It’s unreal.

I have heard for a long time that going out in the sun helps depression. For the longest time, I thought that was extremely stupid. I tried even, and it seemed to make it worse sometimes. But hiking is something that is truly helping because I am exploring the stuff around me; I’m not just standing around.

I think I finally found something that works, and now I want to travel the state and beyond to hike and one day, it will happen. And I can’t wait.

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Stop Spreading The Stigma!

I saw a post on Facebook recently that showed a picture of nature with the title “This is an antidepressant” and next to it was a photo of antidepressants with the title “This is a lifelong addiction.”

I can’t tell you how wrong this is in one blog post.

Because of ignorant people making this, posting it, and other ignorant people sharing it, the stigma of antidepressants remains strong. People, like myself, who take antidepressants are already embarrassed or ashamed that they have to take them, much less get called out on something like this. I don’t speak for all people; some may not be ashamed, and that’s great. But for those who are, posts like the one I am talking about make us feel so much more insecure about our mental illness.

Yes, I agree that nature is a natural antidepressant. But some people can’t go outside because of other disabilities, so antidepressants are the right solution for them. Is there anything wrong with that, or is it just that some people are so ignorant that if that person has to take a pill for their mental illness, that they are going to be lifelong addicts? Do you see how stupid that sounds? If it helps that person, what difference does it make to you? Why go around stigmatizing the thing that helps millions of people?

I’m not saying nature doesn’t help, because it does. We all know that serotonin levels rise when in the sun and outside and in nature. But what if it doesn’t help someone as much as another person? What if the antidepressant helps them more? Does that make them an addict? A crazy person? No, it doesn’t.

Some (actually, most) people who suffer with clinical depression can’t just “get up and go outside” like others think they can. It’s not easy at all. If you haven’t suffered from depression, you have absolutely no say in how someone takes care of themselves during a depressive episode. You don’t know what it feels like to hate yourself so much that you want to die. You don’t know what it feels like to hate yourself so much, you don’t feel as if you’re worth even getting out of bed. That feeling, that empty, worthless feeling, is real. “Getting up and going outside” is not easy, and people need to stop saying it as if it is.

Stop making people feel bad for what works for them. If a pill is what makes them feel normal, then so be it. Antidepressants are designed to help people feel like getting out of bed and trying to live normal lives. Antidepressants are not a “lifelong addiction,” so stop spreading those lies to people that will believe you. Nature is not an automatic fix for depression, but it helps a lot. I can speak for it. But it may not be an automatic fix for other people, so stop making them feel bad about it.

What works for you may not work for others. Stop judging people for it. Millions of people in the world take antidepressants, but people who spread the horrible stigma surrounding them and mental health as a whole truly are scum of the earth.

 

Logan Paul…

If you don’t know about Logan Paul, he is a very popular video creator on YouTube. His fans are mostly younger children to older adolescents.

He recently uploaded a video (it has now been deleted) of him and some friends going camping in Suicide Forest in Japan.

Suicide Forest is a forest in Japan where, to be blunt, people go to die by suicide. These people feel so depressed, so worthless, that they go to this forest and kill themselves. Some leave notes, others do not.

The forest is believed to be haunted, which is why it is somewhat of a tourist attraction to those who do not plan to die by suicide.

Thousands of people go in to this forest every year and kill themselves. Tourists come along and find their tents, their old belongings, etc but it has been somewhat of a rare occurrence for someone to see a victim of suicide still in the forest.

Well, Logan Paul did.

Because this guy is so insensitive, he decided to keep filming. He got close up shots of the victim. Because he blurred out the face of the victim, he thought it was okay. He and his friends then decided to laugh about it, claiming that is how they coped.

Now, I do understand that is how some people cope. But why put it in a video? Why keep filming? Why upload it for the world to see, all while knowing the fans are mostly younger children?

I take suicide, mental health, and awareness/prevention very seriously. It is my life. I, along with A LOT of other advocates, are not gonna stand by and let Logan Paul get away with what he did. He did not make a mistake. He made a CHOICE. He CHOSE to continue filming, editing, and uploading that video. He knew it was wrong and did it anyway.

When you know something is wrong and you do it anyway, it’s no longer a mistake. It’s a choice. That’s why I don’t believe his apology.

I feel like my purpose in this world is to educate and advocate about mental health and suicide prevention, and that’s what I intend to do.

I’m literally in college to make helping people and educating people about mental health and suicide prevention my career. This is what I want to do. This situation just hurts my heart.

Being Thankful

Today is Thanksgiving.

We cook a bunch of food, dress up, eat a mountain of food and desserts, watch football and the Macy’s parade, play backyard football, and then take a long nap. But what most of us forget to do is to be thankful, which is what today is all about. Why do we forget the reason for any holiday we celebrate? Is there a scientific reasoning?

Every day in November, I log into Facebook and say one thing I am thankful for. I admit, it actually gets more difficult as the days pass. I’m not sure why, because I am thankful for so much because I have so much. Why don’t I ever remember to remind my family on Thanksgiving to go around the table and say what we are thankful for?

It’s the material things that literally take over our minds and we forget that we are a spoiled people. Take “Black Friday” for example. We gather around the table and eat a mountain of food, and some of us get on Facebook and say what we’re thankful for, but then turn around and fight crowds for material things. I completely understand why people do it; material things just make people happy. I don’t have a problem with people being happy. What I’m confused about is why we make this a priority over everything else.

I want to challenge everyone reading this to stop what you’re doing and make a list of what you’re thankful for. It’s important. Why? Because every single one of us needs to stay grounded. We get too caught up in things that simply don’t matter or what won’t matter in the next 20 years.

Today, let’s be thankful for what we have. In your list, stay positive. Everyone has something positive to be thankful for. Make a list of 10 positive things you are thankful for. You don’t have to show me or anyone else. Keep it to yourself, or share it. It doesn’t matter. Just be thankful.

Here is my list of 10 positive things I am thankful for.

  1. I am thankful for God’s grace and love, even when I’m in doubt.
  2. I am thankful for my parents and all their love and help this year and every year.
  3. I am thankful for my sisters and brothers and their love and support.
  4. I am thankful for my nieces and my nephews for loving me through the depression. They are all young but show so much understanding when I am depressed.
  5. I am thankful for my pets – my cat, my 3 dogs, and 6 chickens – for all the love and entertainment they provide for me. Chickens running is the most hilarious thing to me!
  6. I am more specifically thankful for my service dog, Finn. His unconditional love and help this past year has been out of this world.
  7. I am thankful for shelter from the heat and the cold.
  8. I am thankful for food and water to keep me alive.
  9. I am thankful for the internet to keep in contact with friends and family not close to me.
  10. I am thankful for friends that support me and love me.
  11. Bonus: I am thankful for doctors – for me and for Finn – because they saved my life this year and they saved Finn’s life this year.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.