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The Power of Depression in Shaping our Lives: Jane Krukiel at TEDxYouth@Wilmington (Transcript)

Jane Krukiel – TRANSCRIPT

Depression is a scary thing. Being internally locked in your mind, forever falling into the depths of yourself, hoping someone can save you is the worst feeling in the world.

Our minds are powerful things because they influence our thoughts, convince us that we are nothing. You essentially feel as if you were on the brink of existence itself, and the only escape is death. No matter how mentally strong we are, human beings will always be vulnerable to the powers of depression and the factors that cause it. Our environment, our friends, and our family affect how mentally strong we are. We can’t predict how these factors will influence us when it comes to depression.

We can be relentless and resilient in the face of depression. We must learn to manage the tremendous power of our mind. We can stand together in unity, facing this disease head on. Today, I’m going to share with you my story where I also fell into the depths of depression. My depression came as a result of not being ready for the realities of middle school.

I wasn’t fully prepared for the impact that peer pressure, expectations of conformity, and jealousy would have on me that were larger than myself. Rather than tackling these new challenges with strength and determination, I let fear, anxiety, jealousy, and worry build up inside of me like a tornado. Every single day I returned to school to a place that had fostered such feelings and emotions inside of me, and my mind took over my body. It convinced me that I was nothing in comparison to my peers, that I could never do anything to be like the person I wanted to be, and that life was too hard and difficult for my sheltered being to cope with. As a vulnerable being, like we all are, I fell into the depressions of my mind and of myself.

I found myself falling, dug a dark, deep hole of nothingness; slowly being rid of all the hope, and joy, and comforts of life. This path of downfall was inevitable. I couldn’t control what depression was doing to my body. My bed became my hiding place from the world. My tears became my only friends, and my thoughts became the only people who would listen to me.

Being in a depressive state was one of the most terrifying experiences to deal with, but at some point, I realized I had to crawl out of the depths of myself. Seeking therapy and medication, I slowly integrated myself back into the daily patterns of life. I returned to school, but sought to fill my head with knowledge not with the expectations of others; even as the thoughts in my head persisted, I ignored them, and started being my own individual. I looked past the jealousies of life, and started looking toward the future and toward ways that I could build myself back up again – the person that I wanted to be. Throughout this rebuilding process, I learned three invaluable tools that helped me recover from my depression and grow into the person I wanted to become.

FACE YOUR FEARS

Number one: face your fears. Depression always starts with the fear, whether that be at school, another person’s death, your internal thoughts, or unpredictable circumstances. Regaining stability and balance in your life means facing these fears and being stronger than them, willing yourself to battle against the odds and continue to live. This is the powerful experience because you defy the odds of your own expectations and create your own path rather than being dictated by the path of someone else.

BE YOURSELF

Number two: be yourself. Our mind and our thoughts are powerful influencers in shaping who we are. Depression distorts this image of us by pitting us against all that we aspire to be. Rather than listening to your thoughts and living up to the expectations of others remain faithful to who you are as a person. And don’t let anyone ever tell you who you should be.

WORK HARD

And number three: work hard towards what you want to accomplish. Depression allows us to feel like everything in our lives is impossible, using the power of our mind and our thoughts to regard our life as being pointless. Work hard towards what you want to accomplish in your life, with determination and grit, which will help you crawl out of the hole that depression has placed you in.

Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you can’t be successful. My experience with depression has taught me so much in terms of handling future scenarios with less anxiety and better results now that I am in high school, where I have to use these tools to get through each day so that anxiety, worry, and fear won’t occupy my mind continually. High school is a place that breeds jealousy, that offers rigid conformity against individualism and self expression that teens feel pressured to follow; especially for girls, who are expected to comply to society’s strict standards. It is even more imperative that we remain strong in the face of challenge, and be strong.

The vulnerability of human beings is becoming more and more profound in the 21st century as social media, technology, and changing cultures influence how we react in the face of challenge. We can’t predict what’s coming in the future. Our lives right now will definitely be different in ten years through experience and emotional will to pursue in the times of difficulty. Countless factors, such as our friends, our family, and our environment influence how we react in the face of challenge. They can help us thrive in the face of adversity, but they can also act as barriers and obstacles in our lives that we need to push through.

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By Pangambam S

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