The Power of Depression in Shaping our Lives | Jane Krukiel | [email protected]

Translator: Robert Deliman
Reviewer: Denise RQ Depression is a scary thing. Being internally locked in your mind, forever falling into
the depths of yourself, hoping someone can save you is the worst feeling in the world. Our minds are powerful things because they influence our thoughts,
convince us that we are nothing. You essentially feel as if you were
on the brink of existence itself, and the only escape is death. No matter how mentally strong we are, human beings will always be vulnerable to the powers of depression
and the factors that cause it. Our environment,
our friends, and our family affect how mentally strong we are. We can’t predict how these factors will influence us
when it comes to depression. We can be relentless and resilient
in the face of depression. We must learn to manage
the tremendous power of our mind. We can stand together in unity, facing this disease head on. Today, I’m going to share
with you my story where I also fell
into the depths of depression. My depression came
as a result of not being ready for the realities of middle school. I wasn’t fully prepared for the impact that peer pressure, expectations
of conformity, and jealousy would have on me that were larger than myself. Rather than tackling these new challenges
with strength and determination, I let fear, anxiety, jealousy, and worry build up inside of me like a tornado. Every single day I returned to school to a place that had fostered
such feelings and emotions inside of me, and my mind took over my body. It convinced me that I was nothing
in comparison to my peers, that I could never do anything
to be like the person I wanted to be, and that life was too hard and difficult
for my sheltered being to cope with. As a vulnerable being, like we all are, I fell into the depressions
of my mind and of myself. I found myself falling, dug a dark, deep hole of nothingness; slowly being rid of all the hope,
and joy, and comforts of life. This path of downfall was inevitable. I couldn’t control what depression
was doing to my body. My bed became
my hiding place from the world. My tears became my only friends, and my thoughts became
the only people who would listen to me. Being in a depressive state was
one of the most terrifying experiences to deal with, but at some point, I realized I had
to crawl out of the depths of myself. Seeking therapy and medication, I slowly integrated myself
back into the daily patterns of life. I returned to school, but sought to fill my head with knowledge
not with the expectations of others; even as the thoughts
in my head persisted, I ignored them, and started being my own individual. I looked past the jealousies of life, and started looking toward the future and toward ways that I could build
myself back up again – the person that I wanted to be. Throughout this rebuilding process, I learned three invaluable tools that helped me recover from my depression and grow into the person
I wanted to become. Number one: face your fears. Depression always starts with the fear, whether that be at school, another
person’s death, your internal thoughts, or unpredictable circumstances. Regaining stability
and balance in your life means facing these fears
and being stronger than them, willing yourself to battle
against the odds and continue to live. This is the powerful experience because you defy the odds
of your own expectations and create your own path rather than being dictated
by the path of someone else. Number two: be yourself. Our mind and our thoughts are powerful influencers
in shaping who we are, Depression distorts this image of us by pitting us against
all that we aspire to be. Rather than listening to your thoughts and living up
to the expectations of others remain faithful
to who you are as a person. And don’t let anyone ever tell you
who you should be. And number three: work hard
towards what you want to accomplish. Depression allows us to feel like
everything in our lives is impossible, using the power
of our mind and our thoughts to regard our life as being pointless. Work hard towards what you want
to accomplish in your life, with determination and grit, which will help you crawl out of the hole
that depression has placed you in. Don’t let anyone ever tell you
that you can’t be successful. My experience with depression
has taught me so much in terms of handling future scenarios with less anxiety and better results now that I am in high school, where I have to use these tools
to get through each day so that anxiety, worry, and fear
won’t occupy my mind continually. High school is a place
that breeds jealousy, that offers rigid conformity
against individualism and self expression that teens feel pressured to follow; especially for girls, who are expected
to comply to society’s strict standards. It is even more imperative that we remain strong in the face
of challenge, and be strong. The vulnerability of human beings is becoming more and more profound
in the 21st century as social media, technology,
and changing cultures influence how we react
in the face of challenge. We can’t predict
what’s coming in the future. Our lives right now will definitely
be different in ten years through experience and emotional
will to pursue in the times of difficulty. Countless factors, such as our friends,
our family, and our environment influence how we react
in the face of challenge. They can help us thrive
in the face of adversity, but they can also act as barriers
and obstacles in our lives that we need to push through. In order to pursue, in the 21st century, we need to detect how these factors
influence our mental health. If they are affecting us positively,
then cherish them. But if they are causing us to make use feel negatively
about ourselves, then ignore them, and work to make yourself a more assertive
and controlling of your life. Human beings will always be vulnerable
to the powers of depression. Nevertheless, we can stand
together in unity and hope, facing this disease head on
for the sake of ourselves and others. Thank you. (Applause)


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