May is Mental Health Awareness month, so I wanted to post something near and dear to my heart while there are a few days left. I’m modifying my signature dear debt letters and writing one to depression. Some of you may know that I’m a mental health advocate who is passionate about helping others. I’m passionate about mental health because I’ve suffered on and off from depression for half of my life and know the pain that this invisible illness can inflict. Lately, I’ve been dealing with another spell, and though I’m high-functioning, it still affects my day-to-day life. If you’ve ever experienced depression, you are not alone. If you have not experienced it, become an ally for friends and family that are dealing with depression. They need your support and most of all, your understanding.

Dear Depression,

I thought you were gone and we said our goodbyes, but you came running back to me. You came with all your baggage and said, “I’m here to stay.”

You made yourself at home, nice and comfortable. I tried to tell you I didn’t want you here, but I could barely open my mouth to say the words.

I tried to pretend that you weren’t there and go on with my life until you threatened to ruin everything. I found it hard to work because all my energy was going to you. My relationship suffered because you would get in the way. I stopped taking care of myself because you tried to tell me “What’s the point?”

As soon as you came back, everything changed. I started questioning myself. My confidence was shot. You clouded all of my interactions and made a mountain out of a molehill. Joy was a long lost friend, replaced by your best bud, Anxiety.

You brought an impending sense of doom that is hard to shake. And I hate you every day for making me feel this way. I wish more than anything I could “just snap out of it” or “just be happy” or think “positive thoughts.”

But it’s not that easy. Though it’s difficult, I am committed to defeating you, Depression. Why? Because I did not work this hard to get here to have you fuck up everything.

So, yes, I’m spending money on therapy. I’m even considering medication.

I’ll do whatever it takes. I know I can’t “cure” you. I can’t wish you away. I have to manage you, day in and day out. But this fight is not over. I am on to you, Depression.

I know that you are a liar. You’re irrational, illogical, and conniving.

And most of all, you are not welcome here.

With resilience,

Melanie

P.S. If you’re struggling with depression or any other mental health issues, there is NO shame in getting help. I have found affordable therapy sessions through OpenPathCollective.org. You can also go to your local graduate school to get affordable counseling sessions. Your health insurance may cover some assistance as well. If you’re considering suicide, please call 1-800-273-8255 or text 741741.

Melanie

Melanie is a freelance writer currently living in Portland, Oregon. She is passionate about education, financial literacy, and empowering people to take control of their finances. She writes about breaking up with debt, freelancing, and side hustle adventures at DearDebt.com.

Currently she puts more than 50% of her income towards debt, while living a frugal, fun life. In addition to her love of personal finance, art and music, she is also a karaoke master. Follow the adventure @DearDebtBlog.

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20 responses to “Dear Depression, You Are Not Welcome Here”

  1. Thank you for writing this, Melanie! I’ve struggled with anxiety, depression, and emotional eating since high school. I’ve been on medication for a few years, but I started relying on a therapist, personal trainer, and body positive group last year. All the extra effort and expense has been 100% worth it. Some days are still difficult, though. I’m thinking of you during this tough time. XO
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    • Melanie says:

      Thanks for sharing your story too. You know how tough it is. I was on medication 10 years ago and have managed without medication during other bouts of depression. This one is different, though, and I feel like I might need it.

  2. Melanie, thank you for writing this and for being a mental health advocate. People who have not experienced depression for themselves may not realize how it robs you of so much and how difficult it can be to treat. I have been wrestling with it for quite some time. I hope we’re both able to get away from its grasp soon.
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    • Melanie says:

      Oh Gary, I’m so sorry you are dealing with this too. It’s tough for people who don’t have it to understand just how much it can affect your life. It has a firm grasp on everything. I am trying to be kind to myself. It can be a vicious cycle. I feel bad, then I feel bad about feeling bad. Ugh!

  3. Brent says:

    Hi Melanie,

    That was REALLY good. I have had anxiety and depression issues all my life. I finally threw in the towel started medication 15 years ago. It was THE best thing I ever did.

    I started a blog on it years ago to help people who deal with panic attacks and depression. saneadvice[dot]com

    You can lick it Melanie. There is help and medication does work as long as you ween off the SSRI very slowly if you ever quit taking it. Remember it’s just your mind playing it’s games and never forget you are not alone.

    Eckhart Tolle changed my life forever when I read The Power Of Now because his entire message is to not take our thoughts that seriously.

    I used to say to myself in a panic attack “you can’t trust your mind” – because the ego and mind love to imagine all sorts of bad things, when in reality the world and life is so beautiful.

    I use to say that if your thoughts are positive and you’re grateful for the sky, the stars, the grass, trees, animals etc. you feeling truth. If you mind is thinking shitty things it’s a lie.

    Thanks to Paxil and Eckhart Tolle I found a way to find peace. It doesn’t mean we’ll always be happy, but we’ll be at peace.

    Best wishes.
    Brent recently posted…Allentown PA: Another Debtor Wants a $10000 Consolidation LoanMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed it, Brent! I’ll have to check out your site! I was on medication for 7 years from age 16 to 23, but I did make the mistake of stopping abruptly. It was so horrible that I vowed to never go through that again. I’ve had bouts of depression since then but always managed without medication. This time it’s worse. I might need to go back and quite frankly I’m scared. The side effects can be awful. And uncertain. You have to find the right fit, the right dosage and the right medication. The trial and error process can be exhausting. But then will it be worse than what I’m already dealing with? Probably not. I’ll have to check out that book, it sounds amazing! I want to take myself and my thoughts a lot less seriously.

  4. Thank you for sharing your experience! Depression is so hard to overcome and it makes getting out of debt MUCH harder. Keep fighting the good fight!
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  5. Wow, thank you. As someone who goes through anxiety attacks, I can relate to some of what you’re saying. Here’s a few extra hugs and I know you got this girl.

  6. Janet Fazio says:

    I’m so glad you posted this. The average time people suffer with symptoms of depression before they get treatment is 10 years. We have to do a better job talking about and accepting depression as a real disease. No one would expect someone with cancer to suffer that long. It’s sad to me that mental health issues have such stigmas surrounding them

    • Melanie says:

      Wow, I had no idea! That is incredible. I believe it, though. I hate the stigma around it too which is why I’m doing my part to end it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Janet!

  7. Hi Melanie, Thank you for putting this topic on the table. There are staggering statistics out there and about 80% of Americans are unhappy.

    This isn’t something that is experienced in modern day tribal societies…. They call these tribal communities, the ‘true affluent societies’. This is why I came up with my blog name for Primal Prosperity… chasing money and ‘success’ does not always bring deep satisfaction. They are good goals to start, but we have to find health and happiness also.
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    • Melanie says:

      Wow! I believe it! I am so curious as to why modern society is so depressed…maybe we feel more disconnected. Love what you said about finding health and happiness. I’ve realized all the money in the world doesn’t mean anything if you’re not happy and healthy.

  8. Chonce says:

    You are so brave to put this out there Melanie. I don’t know exactly what you’re going through or how you feel, but you’re so strong!

    I know you can get through this. Kudos to you for wanting to be healthy and happy and not letting depression get in the way of that!

    • Melanie says:

      Thanks, Chonce! I feel anything but strong, but persevering regardless 🙂 I am trying to remember that this is temporary and get the help I need.

  9. A brave post, Melanie. Thank you for shining a light on depression. Anything that stays in the darkness is so much more powerful. “I know that you are a liar. You’re irrational, illogical, and conniving.” I have only this week come to recognize how sinister depression can be. I had a difficult interaction with a friend who is depressed, and I was shocked at the lies she was convinced of and being guided by. There seem to be levels of depression – or maybe levels of depression management. So much is still not understood about it, but with more open discussion, we’ll pave the way forward – and into greater light.
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    • Melanie says:

      Thanks, Ruth. Yes, depression can be so powerful and completely shift your thoughts and the way you see the world. It’s really hard to overcome. There are multiple levels of depression that’s for sure. It can be situational, genetic, biological and more. There’s not a one-size-fits-all classification or how to manage it. I am getting help and just started a medication that will hopefully help me climb out of a dark place. As always, I appreciate your kind words.

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