Elsie, 39, NYC, USA

“I live with Major Depressive Disorder. The philosophy I’ve adopted when it comes to living with depression is I have to force myself to participate in some basic life activities, no matter how down I feel. The only other option I have is unconditional surrender; I’ve been down that road and don’t want to go back again. The second piece of my philosophy is to have compassion for myself when I fall off.

I created a website for people to share their mental health stories because I want people to know they aren’t alone. I always assume people I come across in the world aren’t in as much pain as I am. It’s my default assumption. So my job is to start the conversation by saying I’m hurting a lot and this is what pain can look like. Excruciating pain isn’t always someone wailing in an institution or talking to them self on the subway. It’s not “us” and “them”, it’s “we”. I’ve encountered so many people who’ve gone through the same struggles. It’s enriched my life immeasurably, and today I feel better than ever.”


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