If you’ve been feeling a little bit crazy lately, that’s okay. You aren’t alone. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, more than 300 million people suffer from depression and more than 260 million people live with anxiety disorders–while many live with both. It’s a statistic that should come as no surprise when every news alert on our phones gives us heart palpitations if it mentions anything related to Trump, but it’s still cause for reflection, which is exactly what Marina Diamandis of Marina and the Diamonds has done today.
In an increasingly digital world, mental health is becoming an achievement, not a given.
— Marina Diamandis (@MarinaDiamandis) October 10, 2017
To mark the annual World Mental Health Day (and her birthday), Diamandis posted a heartfelt message about mental health on Twitter and took to her Marina Book website to pen a heartbreakingly personal essay about her struggles with depression. “I lived most of my life feeling like there was something deeply wrong with me,” she begins. “Everything I did was somehow geared towards fixing the parts of myself I thought were bad or ‘broken.’ There was also an odd safety in being broken.”
As she dives into her own thoughts about depression and reminds readers that “you’re doing your best,” she then goes on to list three methods she’s used to decrease her periods of depression. For Diamandis, help came in the form of meditation, exercise, and, most importantly, identifying with thoughts. After Electra Heart in 2013, she began meditating as a way to combat feelings of burn-out after reading a five-minute explanation online. Since then, meditation has helped her decrease negative thoughts about herself and, through this, she began to exercise more and go running.
It’s in her last point though about identifying your thoughts that we should all jot down and keep in our back pocket or, you know, our Notes app since it’s not 2004 anymore. “The reality is, I still deal with depression, but my reaction to it is different. I am more aware of its mechanisms so I don’t take my thoughts as seriously,” she explains, before ending the post with this inspiring take on the stagnation of depressive thoughts:
“Our culture has taught us to see happiness as some kind of end goal, but for me, the best thing about it is that it doesn’t stick around forever. Human beings need to experience some level of suffering in order to evolve emotionally and consciously. And though depression often feels like you’re stuck, or stagnating, it can also be a healthy way of your mind telling you that something isn’t quite right, and that it’s in the process of changing. We tend to view sadness as something unnatural, or negative, but perhaps viewing it as a necessary process might help us accept the low periods, and move through them more easily.”
Read the full essay here.