Checking in: If you're struggling with depression and need to talk, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). There are trained counselors who can help. For a list of crisis lines around the world, go here.
Why we don't discuss depression
People are quick to stigmatize depression as a form of personal weakness or lack of willpower, especially in America. But that's not true. Depression can be a multilayered beast.
Sometimes it is triggered by anxiety, which brings intense panic, a sense of loneliness, and other symptoms. Family background and genetics are a part of the equation too. Childhood trauma can also make people vulnerable to future mental illness.
It's time to share our stories
Depression isn't a 'one-size fits all' type of experience. To be diagnosed, people need to meet any combination of five of nine criteria — which include fatigue, irritable mood swings, weight change, and lack of concentration. It's complicated, but it's also treatable.
Mental illness can affect our interaction with everyone and everything, but it doesn't have to define us. More than 16 million US adults experience at least one major depressive episode in a year. We're not alone. Let's start sharing our stories.
Ready for a GoatTalk?
Our mission is to create a space where people can have open, authentic conversations about important issues, like mental health. Here's how it works:
1. Sign up: Fill out the form below and sign up for a 30-minute one-on-one video conversation today 6pm PDT (yes, today April 21, 2017). Rest assured, your answers are confidential.
2. Get matched: We'll anonymously match you with someone who's also interested in talking about mental health in America. Plus, we'll email you guiding conversation questions.
3. Chat: Join your GoatTalk at 6pm PDT. After it's done, let us know how it went. That's it!
If you have any questions, send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.