This is Taboo Topic Tuesday, a weekly series that tackles a “taboo” subject and gives tips on how to talk about it with your vinas (sans judgement). Have an idea for a topic? Tweet us @ilikevina using the hashtag #TalkingTaboos, and we’ll get talkin’!
Getting close to someone faces many challenges, one of which can be disclosing if you’re dealing with a mental illness. For me, having depression is not something I frequently openly discuss, however once I feel comfortable enough with a new vina, I think it’s an important part of me to share. Plus talking about depression is the best way to realize you’re not alone in your struggle. Opening up the conversation with your friends may bring you closer to someone similarly struggling.
From my personal experience struggling with this illness, one key tactic for managing depression can be opening up to your vinas, your partner, or other supporters in your social circle (besides getting professional help, of course). We all know by now that vulnerability is the thing that can bring you closest to your vinas, and part of being vulnerable is opening up about life’s difficulties. Remember that you are not alone in this.
In addition to bringing you closer to your vinas, reaching out to your community can have amazing mental health benefits. Helping dissolve feelings of loneliness, discouraging long periods of unhealthy isolation, and encouraging yourself to be social and active are just some of the few positives. Remember, seeking support from your community and/or mental health professionals is not a sign of weakness – it’s a sign of strength. Self care is THE most important thing, so please don’t forget to love yourself and to always take care of yourself.
Have a friend struggling with depression? Keep in mind that it’s not your job to “fix” or “save” them, but rather offer acceptance, compassion, and understanding. Emotional support, a hug, and letting them know they’re going to be okay will go a long way in the route to recovery.
Do you have any additional advice for how to make these conversations easier? Tell us in the comments! Don’t forget to tweet us your ideas for a future Taboo Topic and participate by using the hashtag #TalkingTaboos.
(Feature illustration by Emma Olswing)