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

Jane Krukiel

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.

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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.


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.


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