Life is a lot different than in generations in the past.
Once upon a time, you used to be able to live well with just one person providing the income.
Nowadays, it’s often imperative that both parents work in order to sustain their families.
Top that with shuttling the kids back and forth to this practice and that practice and also helping them with their insane math homework.
In addition, there’s the sad state of national media and trying to keep up with all the social obligations we now impose upon ourselves and each other.
And thanks to social media, we have to spend time making it seem like our lives are perfect because social media tells us that’s what we’re supposed to do.
It’s enough to make one mad. And it is… literally. Studies show that major depression rates are on the rise for Americans for all age groups, especially teens and young adults.
And being overly busy it to blame.
“Many people are worried about how busy they are,” said Dr. Laurel Williams, chief of psychiatry at Texas Children’s Hospital. “I wouldn’t say that social media is responsible for a rise in depression — more the being rushed and lack of connections that we have in the structure of how we live lives now.”
Brittany Ernsperger found herself desperately trying to keep up with all the tasks allotted to a mom like her. The more she tried and didn’t, the worse she felt.
It ended in a meltdown.
She shared her story so that others know they aren’t alone.
“This is what depression looks like. No. Not the clean dishes. But that there were that many dishes in the first place; that I’ve gone 2 weeks without doing them,” she told Love What Matters. “Three days ago I sat on the kitchen floor and stared at them while I cried. I knew they needed to be done. I wanted to do them so bad.”
“But depression pulled me under. It sucked me in. Like a black hole. Rapidly, sinking quick-sand. I walked by them morning and night and all day long. And just looked at them. Telling myself that I could do them. Telling myself that I would. And feeling defeated every day that I didn’t. Making the depression only that much worse because not accomplishing something that needs to be done is failure,” she said.
And Ernsperger really beat herself up about it.
“Worthless. Failure. Piece of shit. Incompetent. Stupid. Lazy. All things that roll through the mind of someone with depression. All. Day. Long. Throw anxiety on top of it, and you’ve got yourself a real treat,” she explains. “Being scared your husband will leave because he thinks you’re lazy. Being scared to let people into your home because they’ll think you’re nasty.”
And it’s not just the laundry, it’s ordering out for pizza because you don’t feel like cleaning dishes or cooking.
Every task —dressing yourself, the kids, laundry, etc.— it all ends up feeling like a nightmare.
But the fact is that “Somedays it doesn’t get done at all.” But is that really depression? For some yes, but others maybe not. Is it just a fact of life that we need to accept that sometimes everything doesn’t get done?
Maybe we should just be OK with not being perfect and getting everything done some days. Because it really is OK to not be perfect.
Give yourself a damn break.
But if you find that what you are dealing with is depression and something that you can’t solve by being a little easier on yourself, you should seek help. And so many don’t because mental health is still considered taboo.
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“Depression is something that ‘strong’ people don’t talk about because they don’t want people to think they’re ‘weak’. You’re not weak. You’ve been strong for so long and through so many things, that your body needs a break,” she explains. “I don’t even care if the only thing you did today, was put deodorant on. I’m proud of you for it. Good job. I’m in your corner. I’m on your side. I’m not looking for sympathy, not in the slightest. But I am letting everyone know that I’m here for you. I get it. If you need someone to talk to, I’m always here to help.”
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