Season two of the Love, Me series has been spotlighting LGBTQ+ individuals who are struggling to overcome severe treatment-resistant depression. In the series, notable people within the queer community open up about their experiences with mental health, document their struggles, and share how they continue to deal with depression on a daily basis.
During this new episode of Love, Me, organizer, speaker, and writer Eliel Cruz talks about growing up in a Christian household and starting to deal with homophobia as a young kid. “I think folks generally misunderstand depression to be only situational sadness,” Cruz explains. “Depression can show up in a multitude of ways, whether it be a really messy room, or me not having the energy to cook for myself, or struggling with personal hygiene.”
Cruz has taken numerous steps to manage and navigate his depression, such as talk therapy, medication, and listening to his body. Due to his upbringing, it took Cruz a long time to find a sense of community and embrace his queerness despite his feelings of isolation and sadness as a result of coping with depression.
These hurdles have resulted in Cruz becoming an advocate for these topics, writing stories about his journey, and being surrounded by loving and authentic individuals within his community. As a result of sharing his story and having these deep-rooted friendships, he is helping other LGBTQ+ people realize that they’re not alone in their struggles with mental health. Because it is such a specific thing to deal with these issues as a queer person, Cruz’s specific lens is critical to be shared with others.
Thankfully, Cruz’s experiences and knowledge are put front-and-center in this new episode of Love, Me, which will undoubtedly be inspiring and healing for many LGBTQ+ viewers who face similar issues on a recurring basis. Destigmatizing the topic of depression within the LGBTQ+ community is more vital than ever, and it is stories like Cruz’s that need to be spotlighted in times like these.
If you have or are contemplating suicide, please know there is a well of support out there to help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255 can be reached 24 hours a day by people of all ages and identities. If you are a trans or gender-nonconforming person considering suicide, the Trans Lifeline can be reached at (877) 565-8860. The Trevor Project is the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ+ youth (ages 24 and younger). Trained counselors at the Trevor Project Lifeline can be reached 24/7 at (866) 488-7386, by texting START to 678678, or via the TrevorChat instant messaging service at TheTrevorProject.org/Help.