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My Old Friend Depression

 Depression is one of the phrases many are labeled with as children before we hit adulthood. Apparently in America having an excess of emotional discharge, is the equivalent of being textbook depressed. For me I was told many times as a child and teenager, I should find someone to talk to. The part that confused me, was why all of the adults in my life treated me like an Alien and couldn’t talk to me themselves. If a Therapist decides they can’t figure you out, you’re immediately prescribed lethal life-altering “Drugs” as put on the labels in stores. Most of the children who I grew up with, now experience “Depression” almost every day of their lives. I for one found it hard to understand when their lives seemed to be so much better than mine on the surface. I was always asked the question “Why are you so happy if your homeless”.

It wasn’t that I was always happy, it was the fact that I would always make the most out of unfavorable situations. Situations many have yet or may never experience. But why were so many people I know falling victim to this notion of depression? It really seemed as tho many of them had no choice as to if they couldn’t control their own mind. This confused and fascinated me at the same time, so “I went running for answers” as Kendrick Lamar would say.

As I started to dig in on finding out the cause of this phenomenon, I started with my generation the 90’s babies. Many of whom were subject to test pills like Ritalin, from foster care kids to overactive ones' parents couldn’t handle. From what it seems, the generations prior were taught to all be the same and less responsive to the world. Why do I say this? Because it makes no sense why a child who thinks differently, would need to medicate. Parents like many others before, yell at their children for being too excited or having an abundance of energy! It's one thing to teach children growth and structure, but never to dumb themselves down. Getting back to the issue at hand. Many of my friends who experience terminal depression were direct products of the overconsumption of drugs. Drugs that with all the side effects, permanently alter the states of developing brains.

They say the first 7 years of a child's life are the most important. Aristotle said, “Give me a child until he is 7 and I’ll show you the man”. Now, this may not be entirely true but there is some truth to it. If these medications can have lasting and fatal effects on adults, it's only common sense it’d be worse on children. Who approved this? Many friends in fostercare I interviewed, have expressed pills being a major role in the development of states of mind unnatural to children like depression. There are many other reasons for depression, but I have noticed in millennials the rates are higher. Good family or not! Many were forced to take downers to control their behavior. I’m not a professional but there does seem to be a link in this and why so many millennials abuse pills and drugs as adults.

This all goes back to the idea of learned behavior. So many are chemically altered as children and form codependencies apparently no one thought would happen, so when stress comes or they get over emotional. The learned behavior kicks in and says double down on some pills to calm down it's all they know. This is also apart of the reason why so many of the homeless folks are mentally ill, they were once children who didn’t stand a chance against the chemicals. Yes, I have and do experience my own forms of depression but to me, it's not depression. More like a way of my mind, body, and spirit letting me know its time for a change or something is out of balance. When I was younger I diagnosed myself with manic depression because so many had always told me I was bipolar.

From there would begin my years of believing I had a problem I didn’t actually have. For me it wasn’t the medication they tried to put me on, it was the idea I had a problem and was different than other kids that created this idea of depression for me! Countless years went by the same for me as I believed this was who I was, doomed to the same fate as most other street kids. See the thing parents don’t realize is, what you feed your children's minds they absorb the most because they look up to you the most! If your kids are wild, there are a plethora of things for them to engage in to expel their energy and tire out! If their disruptive talk to them, most of all look at yourself, more times than non they mimic your every action and emotion. Children are highly empathic so be gentle with them and they are gentle with you! Trust me it works, I work with kids who’ve been in and out of juvenile detention centers and they love and respect me.

In the end, the key here when it comes to depression for me is first, to start by identifying the cause and realize you are living the effects. But you don’t need to! None of us are permanent and all subject to growth in some form or fashion. It may sound far-fetched but in my opinion, depression is a state of mind. For those who struggle with this concept and feel it's beyond your control, know it doesn't have to be. Take a walk, hit a hobby shop, do volunteer work, etc. There are so many ways to get out of your head and out of your comfort zone.

I find that many who struggle with a form of depression, tend to be overthinkers. People who tend to torcher themselves with their fears and self-doubts. I’m here to say get out of your own way, take a stretch and breathe. You are doing amazing and you’re probably just and perfectionist, I’m sure you don’t see your own skills. Don’t let what others say or have taught, trick you into believing you're less than amazing! Break free from those restrictions, there’s a whole world outside waiting to meet you! I believe in You!

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