Alek's Story Shame in Depression

I’m an outgoing, charismatic guy. So when people find out I’m diagnosed with major depression and severe anxiety they’re usually like ‘whaaaaaaaaaaaat’.

I have a natural optimism for life, which is targeted by this health problem.

When I first found out, I was determined to be open about it. This was a lot more difficult than I expected.
Depression is often seen as an excuse more than an illness.

I have depression because I don’t put in the work, or don’t think positively enough, or don’t have enough faith.

If it isn’t seen as an excuse, it’s seen as a character flaw.

The flaw being that I'm lacking somehow. That being outgoing is a lie, or isn’t the real me. And if they see that as the real me, anytime I’m quiet and reserved is seen as depression.

So naturally, I was afraid people would think less of me if they found out.
I still tried to be open, but there were cases where I felt compelled to be quiet because I knew I wouldn’t be the same individual in that person’s eyes.

There are also those that see me and think I’m a little puppy that will be hurt unless they are perfectly polite to me.

I want to remove the stigmas associated with depression.

I started More Than Shame to be able to say that I accept myself as I am and am willing to work for a brighter future.

I don’t want it to be an excuse, because I believe excusing it will limit my potential.

To say my potential is less than someone without depression is something I won’t accept.

This process of self-acceptance has taught me the strength that comes from being More Than Shame.
Fear fuels depression.
Unfortunately, we aren’t motivated by confidence as much as we are motivated by fear. Afraid to appear weak, unintelligent, incapable, and less than everyone around us.

Shame has manifested itself to me in many ways - depression perhaps being the greatest.

But pursuing acceptance and management of my health has allowed me to experience beauty in the world - where all I saw before was darkness, emptiness, and hopelessness.

It isn’t a cure - there is no cure. But I believe in hope and support. You’re not alone in this fight for life and love.

Let’s Cure the Silent Epidemic!

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