It’s not all sadness

By: Grant Goetcheus
Twitter: @goetcheusg

In today’s society, we hear the words mental illness a lot, especially when it comes to crimes. We use it as a crutch sometimes. We label someone as being ill and that makes it understandable as to why they did something wrong. But, how many can say that they know what it’s like to have that illness; to look at themselves in the mirror, and not recognize what’s in it.
I am one of those people. I wake up every morning and look at myself in the mirror. Sometimes it is accompanied by a pleasant thought, while others it is more of a negative response. More often than not, it’s just a nothingness. I look in the mirror and there is nothing in my head other than if I need to comb or not. That is what depression feels like. It’s not always about feeling sad. It is more about not feeling anything at all anymore.
According to, 1 in 5 Adults have a mental health condition. Even more shocking is that youth mental health is getting worse. From just 2012 to 2015, the rates increased from 5.9% to 8.2%.
I hear all the things that people say about depression. Oh, just be happy, but that will not help. I have tried that, and it did not work. I try to do the things that I love and they have no affect anymore.
That nothingness is so powerful that it spreads. Now the things that I loved to do and the people that I loved to hang out with no longer bring me joy or happiness.
Also, depression does not care what you own or the love that is in your family. All that means nothing because your mind makes those things lose meaning and value in your eyes. The value and meaning that we put on things is all in our minds and in society’s mind. Once you have this illness, the world around you changes. You see things different, you see people differently, your brain chemistry changes and how it processes the information that it gathers changes.
That’s what leads to the idea that suicide is the answer; it never is. All suicide does is transfer the pain from yourself to those that loved you. It is not easy though, it’s a struggle each day to find the good to keep going. Somedays are easier than other while there are some that make it easy to look at suicide and say, ‘why not today?’
Today things are becoming better, however. states, “More Americans have access to services… Access to insurance and treatment increased, as healthcare reform has reduced the rates of uninsured adults.”
It also seems like people are doing more research into mental illnesses and breaking the association with being mentally ill and being a bad person. I just want to live a normal life and get back to being me.

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