Last semester I found myself in a rut. I stayed in bed for days, had zero motivation to do anything productive and found myself questioning the purpose of life more than the average, post-modern college student. I was depressed, until I got some life-changing advice.
I never asked for his help, but out of the kindness of his heart, an acquaintance offered me brilliant advice.
“Just get over it,” said my profoundly knowledgeable acquaintance.
As I processed his advice I began to wonder why both my psychologist and my psychiatrist kept this secret hidden from me for months. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on professional help, I could have used that money for motivational posters as reminders that the chemical imbalance in my brain is actually just my fault.
According to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance approximately 14.8 million American adults have chosen to live lifestyles of depression. I can only hope that someday they receive the same groundbreaking advice that I did.
The truth is, those 14.8 million adults choose to be selfish. Instead of being depressed, they could just think about all the people that have it worse than them. Mental illness is, in fact, a competition.
I found a great website about a book called “Depression Is A Choice” with plenty of Do’s and Don’ts to instantly get better. The overly saturated, early 2000s layout was enough to get my serotonin levels pumping.
“Don’t talk in a weak, sad voice; Get some jokes off the Internet and tell them to somebody,” wrote A.B. Curtis, the author of the book. “Or tell them to yourself. Laugh out loud. It doesn’t matter if it is a fake laugh.”
If you already feel worthless and miserable, the next step is to Google some bad jokes and force yourself and others to awkwardly fake laugh without inflicting more self-loathing. What could go wrong?
Another great tip is to go ahead and throw out your eyeliner, all of your Nirvana albums and every article of black clothing you own. It turns out that only people who fit a very specific aesthetic can choose depression, so put on your armor of neon colors or pastels and play Spotify’s “Happy Chill Good Time Vibes” playlist repeatedly. This way you can just trick depression into totally ignoring you in the first place.
Most importantly, remember that every person who has chosen depression needs to hear your opinion about his or her mental health. It might not seem like they appreciate it at first, but they just need to get over it.
– May Olvera is a journalism junior