Depression & Personal Insight

Hey everybody! I have a very special guest and someone that I’ve had on before. Ashley Mardell is here with us and I invited her to share her story about depression. If you haven’t checked out her videos about it I will link them below in the description at the end of the video because I really love the way she talks about it and and I know I’ve heard from many of you that you have a lot of concerns about depression. So, here we go! [piano music] So Ashley my first question for you is how did you even know you were depressed? I know that sounds kind of weird but I remember in your videos that you were saying you dind’t even want to use that word. And I’ve heard from a ton of my viewers that they don’t even know if they should use it ’cause they’re not “sick enough” or don’t feel “bad enough”. So tell us how you knew you were depressed. There are a couple of very telling signs that help me identify when I’m having an episode of depression. First: I find joy in nothing. Not a pretty day, not being in good company with friends I love, not any kind of success I have. And if I do encounter any of these things I just see them through a jaded, unappreciative filter. When I’m depressed, I see good things as fleeting, unimportant or stupid. Nothing can impress me, nothing can comfort me nothings can make me feel good. And the second sign that tells me I’m having an episode of depression is: I don’t feel like myself. It quite literally feels like I have a diferrent brain. As if I’ve morphed into a different person with a different way of thinking and different ways of viewing the world and I’m totally unfamiliar with this new person I’ve become. When I first enter into an episode of depression I find myself repeatedly thinking things like “Who am I?”, “This isn’t me, what’s happening?” Then only a couple of weeks after starting SSRIs my brain chemistry becomes more balanced and I recognize myself again. The way I think feels like me. I’m not constantly questioning “Who have I become?” “What have I changed into, I don’t know this person.” It’s not how I was a few weeks ago. Basically I know I’m depressed when nothings’s good and I’m not myself. That’s how I know. And you are super creative I’m always extremely jealous in your videos because you have all your little cardbord cutouts and I wish I had just like the smallest amount of that. But tell us a little bit about how creativity and art helped you in your depression and kind of helped you heal a little bit. Art and creativity are helpful because they give me purpose during my depression a time when I really feel as if I lack purpose. When I’m depressed I frequently ask myself things like “What’s the point, who even cares about me…?” etc. Making videos and putting my art out online was one of the only things that could help me answer those questions in a positive way. I remind myself my art helps and inspires many people and that certainly makes me valuable and gives me purpose. Art also gave me some thing to feel passionately about during a time when I otherwise felt pretty numb. And that purpose and that passion really helped pull me out of my depression. And lastly, how did you know that you needed to get back into therapy? I know that you talked a lot about how therapy helped you and then you took a break and then you moved back. Can you tell us a little about your process? Okay, I’m gonna take a risk and be really honest with this one. So the last question that Kati wants me to answer is when I know that it’s time to go back to therapy. Um, but truthfully I am totally still figuring out the answer to this question. Because what I typically do is, I put therapy off [laughing] as a last ditch effort in order to figure out my issues and recover from my depression or anxiety. I basically put therapy off as long as I can. And I don’t know why. ‘Cause it’s always helpful and I never regret going. It can just be really intimidating. And the fact that you’re going to therapy can sometimes feel like it’s legitimizing your problems and that’s scary. Also it can be expensive. There are a plethora of reasons that can make going to therapy intimidating or nervewracking and I usually find and think about all of those things and put it off until I can’t put it off anymore and then I go and I’m always so happy I went and I recover so much faster and it’s like this burden is like lifted from me. So I don’t know why I do the cyclical thing I do where I put off therapy then go to therapy finally and love the fact that I went to therapy and find it incredibly helpful. That’s what I do. But right now I’m really excited because I’m at this point in my life that I’ve never been before where I’m feeling kind of mentally off-balance but literally I emailed my therapist last night and I was like “Hey Jamie, maybe we can get together and have a couple sessions” And that’s exciting because it’s like one of the first times that I’ve reached out to my therapist before I’ve like hit rock bottom. And so like, that’s a good thing. So I don’t know I don’t know when the right time to reach out to your therapist is or to go to therapy is. A lot of people just go to therapy consistently even if they don’t have any really big issues or any really big problems. They just see their therapist every week because it keeps them healthy and I also think that’s an awesome thing to do. Going to therapy is definitely helpful for me though because I feel like I’m not dealing with all my mental problems alone. And I just have faith that I’m not going to overwhelm or scare my therapist away with all my issues. And sometimes that’s how I feel about my friends or the significant people I love in my life. I’m worried that I’m gonna like complain or vent or be so vurnerable that it just becomes overwhelming and they’re like “This is to much I have to leave!” But I just know that that’s not gonna happen from my therapist. My therapist is not gonna do that, my therapist is trained to listen to my problems, hear my problems and help me sort out my issues so that’s an anxiety don’t have to have that I’m gonna be vulnerable with this person, really open up to this person and then they’re gonna get overwhelmed and like be scared away and leave. So I guess that’s helpful, you have a person who’s gonna go through all of your issues with you and they’re not gonna run away. ‘Cause it’s their job and that’s what they love to do, that’s what they’re passionate about. Um… So yeah, it helps me feel like I’m not alone I don’t have to worry about scaring them away. It’s this huge weight off my chest of just being honest and being like… just admitting that I have these problems is taken from me. And I mean they’re an objective third party who’s trained and helping people sort things out. It’s just it’s really good. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It’s so powerful to hear other people talk about how they felt, what helped them and what helps them get through it now. Because I hear from a lot of my viewers that they’re afraid to go to therapy or wonder if they’re sick enough and i just can’t thank you enough for sharing all of your wonderful, positive content online. And until next time, Bye! Subtitles by the community

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