More often than not, it seems that the struggles of terminally ill patients and patients locked in a losing battle with incurable diseases are genuine, but those struggling with the obstinate demon called ‘depression’ are ignored and hushed away! Sadly, people with depression attract labels that either indicates attention seeking behavior or a gimmick prone ‘states of mind’. ‘Depression’, ‘anxiety’,’ and bipolar’. are words used so often and in such loose contexts that they’ve lost their meaning, connotation and what they stand for. They stand for grave,perilous and agonizing states of mind. The statement that ‘they reflect the struggles, each day of the people who actually HAVE these ‘labels’ is actually an understatement.
1) No, I don’t mean to romanticize ‘depression’ but do not emotionally invest in people who tell you to ‘snap’ out of it or try to be more positive or even just ‘fuck it’.
You definitely don’t need someone to be telling you what to do. Instead, believe in someone who believes in you and walks the path with you and, has the ability to visualize and feel the path that is yours. Differentiate between people who ‘empathize’ and ‘sympathize’. People leave, friends change, but those who truly love you will never leave your side, irrespective of what you’re going through. Simply put, believe in the God who believes in you!
2) Getting out of bed can be a herculean task each day.
So pat yourself on the back every morning for making the effort to leave the secure confines of the bed and stepping out to face the big bad world while, keeping your head above water all through.
3) The lens of depression is not adjusted by the love of family and friends,unfortunately.
Sometimes even their convincing cries of reaching out to you and telling you how much they love you sound so hollow. Try and count your blessings, then, and count your friends and family in. I know that is hard, especially when you see yourself becoming aloof from your social circle and drifting away.....get them aboard! They will surely bail you out during the darkest moments!
4) There is no harm in bringing out, the inner Britney or the inner Kanye in you and letting your hair down.
You can count on music as being a live antidepressant and delectable soul food. Check out some fun YouTube tutorials on zumba, yoga or dance and try them out, even if you do it within the confines of your own room at home!
5) Get lot of rest and keep yourself hydrated. Keep a bottle of water or your favorite juices and drinks handy.
Depression does affect physical well being, too, and it is important to keep your body healthy for overall wellness. The fighting spirit will come best from a fit body! P.S. Chocolate always helps!
6) Make a journal and maintain it consistently.
Sometimes there's a lot brewing internally and tons of thoughts are constantly racing through your mind, or maybe even none at all. Either way, keeping a journal and writing regularly can be very therapeutic. It's also very insightful to go back and read past entries and reflect on how you have grown or changed.
7) Follow a ‘happy diet’.
Everyday, do one small little thing that makes you happy. It can be as small as painting your to nails, organizing your drawer, watering the plants or stretching for 5 minutes. These baby steps may seem small, but they can actually be a huge step to helping with depression, trust me. A little goes a long way!
8) Most importantly, it’s OKAY to cry your heart out, even if you don't know exactly why you're crying.
It’s OKAY to sometimes sleep too much or not sleep at all. It’s OKAY to feel too much or not feel anything at all. It’s OKAY to ask for help and go to therapy. Talking about depression doesn’t mean you’re weak. Don't let the societal stigma on mental health issues like depression stop you from conquering this battle. You’re a fighter; remember that! You are a warrior in battle with yet another life obstacle, the depression dragon. Remember back to a time before depression; remember what you were like. Be kind, be sensitive and be there for yourself first and for others, too. Acknowledge the fact that everybody around us is fighting a battle and celebrate the fact that you’re fighting the big, ominously obstinate demon and winning, each moment, each day, as you go about the mundane and the sublime rhythms of life!
If you or someone you know struggle with depression, please know that we care! We want to help you, and we want to be here for you. Talk to a professional or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help direct you to the right resources. If you or someone you know has suicidal thoughts please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255.
Nikita Bakhshi is a twenty something pop culture scholar and beach bum with altruistic beliefs, liberal views and a mind that lives and breathes fashion. Green tea is my elixir and picking on nuts, grapes and berries is my definition of meals! Catch me on Facebook, Instagram, and 7cups!
By: Megan Gillen
Self-empowerment the most important component to great self-esteem. Many women face troubles with each of these concepts in our beauty-obsessed world. However, it is safe to say that trans women struggle with self-esteem and self-empowerment the most. Trans women face some of the highest death rates in the world, and many of these deaths are due to suicide (source: avp.org). It is hard to forget the national news story of Leelah Alcorn, a young trans girl who committed suicide because of the way the world can react to trans women. In today’s times, self-empowerment for trans women is imperative to survival. I spoke to a friend of mine named Denny, who is a trans woman, about self-empowerment and how it impacts her daily life.
As a trans woman, what does self-empowerment mean to you?
‘My self-empowerment comes from reclaiming my story. My transness is a huge factor of my identity. For me to openly say “Yes, I am a woman of transgender experience” is my way of saying
“I know who I am best, therefore I will narrate my own journey.”
For transgender people, self-empowerment is also a responsibility. If you do not put your needs first, whether that is coming out to yourself and the world, medically transitioning, or correcting legal documents, the world will sweep you off your feet and fight to let you ground yourself. Sometimes, I just have to do what I need to do. Significant or not, it will always be empowering in that it is my own personal choice.’
What are some things you do to keep yourself empowered?
‘I find existing is empowering in itself. With the amount of trans sisters who are killed every few weeks, staying alive and open about my transness is dangerous. But I learned to shift my mindset and see this as a wonderful yet painful privilege—to wake up every morning and continue on with my advocacy. In order to keep myself feeling empowered, I deal with my dysphoria strategically. I felt dysphoric about my face, so I got my ears pierced; I hated my hair, so I got a more feminine haircut; I wanted to medically transition, so I called my local doctor and started hormones. In short, I tackle the issues I have one by one. It’s frightfully easy to feel overwhelmed by the amount of issues that comes with being trans, but I am lucky enough to be able to deal with them in this way. I learned patience from this.'
You’ve had more experience with physically transitioning than some trans women. Do you have advice for these women and how they can feel empowered?
‘Yes! I actually started hormones at the age of 18, and in the first few months, I found myself getting frustrated. The changes that were happening were too slow paced for me. But I soon realized a few things: 1. A slow transition or a fast one, I am a woman regardless. 2. I am very young. Many of my trans sisters transition at mid-age. Everyone’s transness is different, however, they are all valid. Just because I transitioned earlier in my life does not mean my trans womanhood should have a higher value. We must destroy the idea that a “passing” trans woman carries a more “heroic” story than trans women who get clocked more often, because that means we are imposing cisgender beauty standards on transgender people. One thing I have learned is that gender is not about labeling as this, or looking like that, but more about comfort. Do whatever it takes to feel comfortable in your own home that is your body.’
From a small-town suburb two hours away from New York City, Megan Gillen loves to write about everything and anything. A poet with slam poetry experience, she also loves art history and is passionate about women’s and gender studies, coffee, and the television show Twin Peaks. Find her on Instagram.
When it comes to dressing right for our body type, we tend to put most of the focus on the clothes we wear. We don the A-line dress when we want some volume in our hip area, we choose wide leg pants to show off our legs in the best possible light and we wear V-necks when we have a large bust.
What most women forget however, is that accessories have as much of a hand in accentuating our shape, so we must give as much attention to them as to our clothes. Whether you want to make your bust look smaller or your ankles thinner, the right accessories can help you do that, so that you can look your best while adding a new twist to the clothes you wear.
There are several ways accessories can help make your body shape shine and the following are a few tips on how you can get things started…
Jewelry works wonders. If you have a large bust and you want to minimize it, then layer delicate necklaces with small pendants to fill that area with tiny details. On the other hand, if you want to create the illusion of a bigger bust then a statement necklace will help you do so. When it comes to your hands the same idea goes. Stack thin rings on your fingers and wear delicate bracelets when you want to create the illusion of thin wrists and fingers, while chunky accessories will create the illusion of a thicker frame.
The face is the first thing people will look at so you want to show it off to your advantage. There is a wide variety of sunglasses and reading glasses for women of different body shapes, you just have to understand the shape of your face and determine the frame that suits you best. If you have a square shaped face for example, then you should go for more rounded frames and if your face is more rounded then strong squared frames will suit you best.
When the stomach area is a bit of a problem for you, then be careful of the belts you wear. Thick belts will make you look bulkier in your stomach area. On the other hand, if you want to create a thicker waist, tying a thin belt around your waist is a great way of accentuating it.
The same idea goes for shoes. If you want to create the illusion of thicker ankles, then go for chunky platforms that have been so on trend this season and you can even rock sneakers with a skirt or a dress. When the opposite is the case and you want to create as much of a thin area around your ankles then thin straps and heels is the way to go.
Unless you want to come across as carrying a haversack, if you have a petite frame you should avoid accessorizing with hold all bags. When it comes to a heavier frame, choosing bags that are structured, rather than shopper bags will create the illusion of a sleeker and more elegant presence.