An Open Letter to Depression

Just a note, this letter may be tough to read – especially if you feel like you could write your own letter to depression or know someone who could. If this resonates with you, don’t hesitate to reach out and seek help. Seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. And there are lots of resources on campus to help – including the Mental Health Service at the University Health Center and free therapy sessions at the Counseling Center. You can also call the HELP Center at 301-314-HELP – a hotline where you can talk to a trained peer counselor about whatever may be troubling you.

an openletter todepression (2)

Dear Depression,

I wish you would crawl in a hole and die. Because that’s what you make me feel like doing.

I wish you would show up on my skin like acne does so that people would know you are real and not an excuse I am making up so I don’t have to get out of bed in the morning.

You too, Anxiety, stop being so invisible and intangible so that people can understand why I have these conversations in my head and why I can’t fall asleep because you are making my heart beat mile a minute and making me fear and hold on to silly things that won’t really matter in a month.

And quit it with the negativity.

Stop making me feel inadequate; like I am failing now and will fail at everything I pursue in the future. Stop telling me I will flunk out of graduate school and that I don’t even deserve my acceptance.

Stop holding me back.

Maybe if you moved out of my brain as I have been asking you to for years there would be room for better study habits, for focus and an attention span that doesn’t get interrupted by the constant message of: “YOU CANNOT DO THIS.”

Just STOP. Stop telling me that everything is going wrong.

Stop telling me that I won’t make it to 30 because I have no purpose and I won’t be able to handle life when I leave the shelter of my university.

Why do you make looking into the future turn into a full blown anxiety attack? Stop making me downplay everything I accomplish with explanations that it was handed to me or that anyone can do it. Stop acting like a shield and deflecting any compliment I get as a lie or a nicety.

And for the love of god, leave my body alone. It is what is, stop trying to convince me that everyone is judging it, they really don’t care.

Get out of my eyes, making me cringe at my reflection and spend the day in self-loathing reflecting on my lack of will power, wishing I could be anorexic again.

I refuse to believe you that people only like me when I’m uncomfortably thin and wasting away.

And you know what, you can turn off the shower. Don’t expect me to get into it, sit on the floor and cry like before, wondering what the hell is wrong with me and why I feel so hopeless and  purposeless and so unwanted – even when on paper my life is pretty blessed.

We’re over. I’m turning you in. I’m going to stop blaming headaches, cramps, or being too busy on why I can’t leave the house or why I am just plain incapable of smiling today.

Why should I hide you? Why should anyone hide you?

You are a bully and life-wrecker. Why is it so stigmatized to rat you out. There are drugs and therapy to treat you.

You are REAL.

It’s out now. You’re depression. You’re anxiety. You’re a wrecked body image. You’re out in the open and …

I hope everyone sees you for what you are: a treatable mental health condition.

Good riddance,

This entry was posted in Emotional Wellness. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to An Open Letter to Depression

  1. Jane Jakubczak MPH, RDN, CSSD, LDN, University Health Center Dietitian/Nutritionist says:

    Dear Jen, Thank you so much for writing such a powerful message that will certainly help many struggling with depression and those who love them! You are quite an inspiration!

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