Couple all of that with the fact that as an area of study, mental health was not always regarded as important. Thankfully, this has changed in recent years. The thing is, mental illness of any kind has a pervasive effect. Depression even changes sleep patterns. And unless you or a loved one has experienced it, it's difficult to truly understand. The worst thing anyone can do is tell someone to "just snap out of it." People aren't always encouraged to discuss it but that's one of the most important things someone can do when they are struggling.
I realize this isn't the most pleasant topic to discuss but somehow, that seems to make it even more imperative. As writers, we always discuss innovative ways of improving our work and nurturing our craft but often, the most important thing for all of us is to take care of ourselves first. Reach out to your loved ones for support. Offer yourself to them when they need you. Be good to yourself. Distance yourself from anything toxic.
Most importantly, know if and when it is time to seek outside help or to tell your friend/family member that it's time. There are professionals who are trained in coming up with customized therapy plans. Research has also shown that exercise and healthy diet can alleviate some symptoms. Don't fear that you are alone or that you have to let anything spiral out of control.
Photo: Late night editing