I have, for a good chunk of my life, struggled with depression. And, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), I’m not alone: an estimated 17.3 million adults in the United States have had at least one major depressive episode. Due to the pandemic, it seems to be increasingly common. The CDC reports that symptoms of anxiety disorder and depressive disorder increased considerably in 2020 when compared to the same period in 2019. This means that there are a lot of new people dealing with depression since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic began at the beginning of 2020.

As someone who has been dealing with depression on and off since 1997, I have a few pearls of wisdom to share. I don’t say this for sympathy, but to bring the truth into the light. My hope is that my experience will help you feel less alone. Even though it is uncomfortable, it’s so important that we break the stigma around mental illness and mental health. When we do, we tear down the barriers to care and the sense of isolation that many of us face.

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