Think of a happy thought. Any little happy thought. That’s one of my favorite Disney quotes. It comes from Peter Pan when Peter is trying to teach the Darling children how to fly. Many people think all it takes is faith, trust, and pixie dust which is true but something people forget is they first have to think of a happy thought.
My happy thoughts tend to be simple but pleasant ones. Like the time I went down to California to visit my cousins for the first time. sleeping on their couch in the living room with the windows open; I had never felt so free in my 16 years for life. Or even certain moment from when I was in treatment, or the story when my little sister thought the rapture had happened and she had been left behind. Happy thoughts like these often help ground me when in moments of panic or when I’m in a triggering situation.
It has especially come in handy by helping me with my depression. I am not currently depressed but I know the signs. When a person is depressed hopelessness, a loss of interest in things, being overly tired or suffering from insomnia, a loss in appetite or overeating are all signs of the mental illness.
It’s hard having a body that wants to live but a mind that wants to die. It swallows you whole and consumes your entire being. Acting without mercy. Destroying your potential and future if given the slightest chance, inching within your brain until a black cloud covers your mind. When your worst enemy becomes the words in your soul. They fire at you in the middle of the night when your defenses are down. When you’re in between alertness and sleep, desperate for the escape that slumber offers. The words that you fear most are heard. They echo between your ribs.
The stigma that comes with Depression and other mental illness is a hard thing to accept and a heavy burden to carry. I personally don’t mind being called crazy because who isn’t a little insane and why deny the truth? What I can’t stand however is people not being patient. I need time to recover from my depressive state that sometimes plagues me. I can’t just snap out of it in an instant. I wish it was that easy. But between medication and therapy I’m getting better but what helps the most is happy thoughts, those help. Laughing with friends helps, smiling helps.
- In the United States 1 in 10 Americans suffer from depression.
- Major depression is the most common mental illness in the US.
- And as of 2012 80% of those diagnosed do not receive any kind of treatment.
- Nearly half of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with some form of an anxiety disorder.
- Women are twice as likely to struggle with depression as men.
- An estimated 121 million people in the world currently struggle with some form of depression.
- As many as one in 33 children and one in eight young adults have clinical depression.
These statistics are scary but true and it is times like this that I am reminded of Anne Frank. Who even though she was battling her own depression that was told through her diary entries, was able to look around at the beauty in the world and be happy.
It may seem silly to think of a happy thought when there is so much hurt and suffering in the world but we have to remember that there is still good in it. A baby’s laugh, the look of wonder in a toddler’s eyes, a young person’s first love, how the sun shines bright at all times even when covered by clouds. These are all happy things that can be overlooked very easily but you have the chance to see it and let it impact your life in a positive way. You only have to open your eyes.