Happy Friday, loves! TGIF!
Today the World Health Organisation marks World Health Day. This year’s theme? #DepressionLetsTalk.
I am no psychologist or therapist, so there’s no room here for me to even attempt to say I understand just how serious clinical depression is.
According to the latest estimates from WHO, more than 300 million people are now living with depression, an increase of more than 18% between 2005 and 2015.
One thing that we all do (I’d hope) is look at & read the news. A reoccurring topic shown on newspaper headlines, news sites (and lately, videos) is suicide. More specifically teen suicide.
[Depression] can cause the affected person to suffer greatly and function poorly at work, at school and in the family. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide. Close to 800,000 people die due to suicide every year. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds.
Recurrent depressive disorder:
I will focus on the low self-worth symptom, and a large part of why many girls today carry around an extremely low self-esteem. So, I want us to chat a bit about feelings of worthlessness, before they lead to feeling depressed; which can, at its absolute worst, lead to suicide. Yes, it can get that serious. And for some, it has. Today I will address our frenemy, social media.
Depression & Social Media Use: I’d Love It If You’d Like Me
That quote got me thinking, though. Not about how we use social media to ‘show off”, but how we sometimes use it to gain acceptance and approval. How different would we feel if we didn’t need people to like the things we do on social media? Would we still like ourselves?
And I don’t think anything is really wrong with the online feature of ‘liking’ something. For example, if you post a picture of a new lipstick you’re trying out, it’s great to know that your friends who tapped ‘like’ or ❤️ think that the color looks fab on you and brings out your features, or they’re thinking about trying it themselves.
Where It Starts to Get Ugly
The trouble starts when
the likes you get the likes you don’t get start going to your head. I’m talking really start getting to you; worrying you, stressing you out, and actually making you feel irrelevant or worthless.
Honesty hour; I’ve actually been in that place. Yes, I’ve actually been the girl to delete a post if it only gets five likes. I’ve been the girl checking on my latest selfie, every five minutes, to see how many people ‘like’ it. I’ve also been the girl to frantically beg a friend to untag me in a picture where I look, in my opinion, less than stellar. Don’t even get me started on how I’d feel if the picture has been up for days and I saw it too late.
Then (and I’ll admit it took me some time) it dawned on me;
There was so much more to my life than how I looked in a picture, or how many people liked or commented positively about me.
How’d I get there, though? A few things began, slowly, to make sense. I thought I’d share them with you!
Let’s Take A Different Route
Instead of feeling down about waiting on that notification that a ‘like’ or ‘comment’ to come through though, I found other things to do. I focused on what I was good at, and focused on those that know and love me in real time, in real life. All of that was done off the phone.
I challenge you to try it, girls. Put the phone down (remember that Digital Detox we talked about? Hehehe?) and do something else that you love. Writing poems and songs? Painting? Playing guitar? Singing Selena Gomez covers? All good.
But there’s even more you can do. I’ve got something for you if you really don’t see yourself putting the phone down. Instead of waiting for attention and affirmation about your photo, why not use that time to send your friends a quick iMessage or Whatsapp message of encouragement? Never know, they themselves may be feeling down today.
Your heart, your peace of mind, will thank you for it. Here's to truly loving you, whether or not you get those likes. Click To Tweet
Don’t forget to check out the WHO’s video on Depression: A Focus on Adolescents and Young People
Remember, “depression can be treated. The first step is talking.” (Video source: http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-health-day/2017/videos/en/)
Have an amazing day, lovelies!