Simply Because We Are Human: A Memoir by K.J. Joseph, is available in paperback, audio, and eBook.
Details can be found at https://www.kjjosephwriter.com/
Why did I tell my story about my lifelong struggle with clinical depression? I wanted to tell my story to help others and assist in breaking down the stigmas that are associated with mental illness. I know from experience that these stigmas can keep people from getting the help that they need to live their best lives. Deciding to get treatment can be a matter of life and death.
If someone has high blood pressure they wouldn't think twice about treating the problem with medication. Why is it so taboo to treat mental illness when the brain is the center of a human beings well being?
cover art by Michelle Williamson
My story starts at age eight and will continue on throughout the rest of my life. Clinical depression isn't something that is cured. It is treated with hard work and a person's own personal treatment plan. For myself, the difference between a healthy life and craving death is as simple as taking medication each morning. There are many simple things a person can do to keep oneself less susceptible to a negative downfall. These things can help anyone. Some things I do to help prevent a depressive episode are eating healthy, drinking little alcohol, getting exercise (specifically running), making sure I get enough sleep, and drinking lots of water.
The biggest battle for me was accepting that I had a mental illness and that medication was needed. I could be fine for years with out medication and then one day hit a wall out of the blue for no reason other than my brain chemistry. It took me awhile to accept that I would need to be on medication for the rest of my life. Through the years I would stop taking my medication because I would start feeling better and that was always a recipe for disaster.
Why every human being can relate and understand my story? This story isn't anything new, in fact, it is a very common story that is relatable. Every human goes through difficult times. There are many other examples and combinations of how people experience the same thing.
For example it can be a situational event like some form of trauma, the loss of a loved one or job that triggers the mental darkness. It can be a biological struggle such as becoming ill with cancer, alcoholism, or the imbalances of hormones during or after a pregnancy. Spiritual loss is one that many experience. For a person to not feel any connection to a religion or the cosmos can make life feel meaningless due to the unknown. Like myself, it can be psychological such as having a mental illness like clinical depression, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder etc.. . . These are just some of the many examples. For myself and many people it is a combination of some sort through life. It is important to acknowledge that all examples are just as serious as the next.
Nobody is alone. Reach out for help. Do it for yourself. Love yourself.