Scott's story: depression to expression
I never thought I would be in a position where I would be sharing my story about mental health. I was never aware that this term existed until I fell into a deep depression when I was 18 years old.
I had no idea what I was feeling, but what was more mysterious was why I was feeling this way. When I was unable to get out of bed or eat, I knew there was a problem.
I immediately spoke to my roommate at the time and was taken to counselling services at my university where I had my very first therapy session. My therapist then led me to a psychiatrist, one I still see to this day.
I was diagnosed with clinical depression and generalised anxiety disorder approximately 11 years ago, and have built a foundation of tools and strategies, learning how to deal with these diagnoses successfully.
This doesn't mean that I do not get depressed or anxious or have cured these illnesses. I believe a big part of recovery is still experiencing the emotions but relating to them differently and not identifying with them as strongly.
My story is not defined by a diagnosis but by what I did to escape darkness and heal from these illnesses. We have a choice in how we relate to our past and with work and practice, I found gratitude and meaning in my experiences.
"My story is not defined by a diagnosis but defined by what I did to escape darkness and heal from these illnesses. We have a choice in how we relate to our past and, with work and practice, I found gratitude and meaning in my experiences."
I feel extremely fortunate because I have always been a curious and ambitious person for my entire life and although weeks and months went by that were beyond difficult, I still wanted to problem solve and figure out how to best understand depression and anxiety.
I’ve learnt that everyone is different in how they recover from a mental illness but also how they define recovery as well. There is no mind that is exactly alike and this means treatment can vary drastically between individuals.
In my experience there was never one single thing that brought me out of darkness and panic. I took a very holistic healing approach to recovery and experimented as much as I could with therapy, mindfulness, meditation, medication, exercise and diet.
It was a combined effort from a variety of disciplines and with the help from friends and family I can honestly say I have become exponentially better at dealing with depression and anxiety.
Blessing in Disguise
I now use my experience to provide both meaning in my own life and to help those who are struggling. I started a company called Depression to Expression where I have created over 600 mental health videos over the past five years for free on YouTube. I also give talks to both schools and businesses about the importance of mental health and wellbeing.
Depression and anxiety seem to have been a blessing in disguise.
"Depression and anxiety seem to have been a blessing in disguise."
We need your help
We're dedicated to finding and addressing the sources of mental health problems so that people and communities can thrive. We can't do this without your help. Please consider a donation today.