Depression is something millions of people across the world struggle with on a daily basis.
According to the World Health Organization, 350 million people around the world suffer from depression. In America alone, 9 percent of the country battles the issue, with 3.4 percent suffering from a major case of depression, according to WebMD.
But how do people overcome it? Here are nine true stories — and a few tips — from people who overcame depression.
Gervase struggled with depression twice in her life — both dealt with life and death.
The first time was after her brother died, and the second was after she gave birth to a child, who is now 14 months old. Her brother’s death resonated with her entire family, but it really hit her hard. It was a sign that everything doesn’t last forever, she said.
“The death of my brother changed how I prioritized people and events moving forward," Gervase wrote in a blog post. "I skimmed the fat from my life and made peace with my own demons."
Then, she met Kevin, and the two had a child in 2013 — Aria Rose. Her daughter's birth also spawned depression for Gervase. It wasn’t so much having a daughter that made her depressed, but rather her having to re-evaluate who she was as a person. She could no longer be the partier she once was. She had to be responsible.
But soon, little Aria helped Gervase rise up and overcome her depression.
“Aria is my compass,” Gervase said in her blog post. “My ‘why.’ She is the reason I quit my sales job in February 2014 and went full time as a life coach. My intuition would not be quieted. And I deeply respect that little voice. My life's experiences have taught me a powerful lesson about the undervalued strength to be found in our raw human connections our relationships.”
She also told Deseret News National that yoga helped her overcome her struggles, too: “Outside exercise is really the secret key to battling depression, as it gets endorphins pumping, which are needed,” she said.
Kate MacHugh is now 25. She’s an author and clinician.
But she only got to where she is now by overcoming depression as a teenager.
MacHugh said she was “harassed, humiliated and cyberbullied,” during her teenage years, leading her to go from being a happy and vibrant youngster to someone more angry and “sullen.” Once she became a different person, she slowly slipped into the murky waters of depression.
“It was the lowest I have ever felt in my life," she said to the National.
But everything changed once she went to college. The peers who had put her down and bullied her within the walls of high school were long gone, and she could finally start focusing on what made her unique and special. Instilling confidence in herself was what got her past depression and on a path to success, she said.
“I worked really hard to change the messages in my head,” MacHugh said. “I was led to believe that I was ugly, worthless, and disgusting. I internalized these messages and they became part of my identity. I began to tell myself that I was smart, loved and beautiful."
Jay Lowder overcame depression by finding God.
He was 21 when everything went south. He was dumped, he lost his car and he found himself unemployed all at once. Things began to spiral out of control from there. Depression settled in and Lowder turned to the bottle as a source of escape.
Things took a dark turn for Lowder. But with the help of his roommate, and religion, he overcome his struggle with depression.
He was invited to an event hosted by a preacher, and it was there that he rediscovered his faith in God and religion. It has helped him grow his faith as an evangelist.
He’s looking to spread that message now across the world.
Lenore Hirsch was 57 when she first felt depressed.
When her husband discovered that his previously beaten brain tumor was back, her life took on a darker shade. She struggled to function after his surgery to remove the tumor and couldn’t handle the problems associated with aiding her husband while also living in a small place: “I found myself having fits of crying I couldn't stop,” she said.
But how did Hirsch overcome that depression? By writing.
Once her husband passed away, Hirsch focused her attention on writing and building her career, which allowed her work through the demons that hung on her shoulder.
There was a time when Ingrid couldn’t get out of bed. She didn’t feel inspired.
Though many would say she is jovial and happy-go-lucky, there was a sudden change for her. She would just start crying in the middle of the day, and she didn’t know why: “I could feel that my hormones were taking me into a very dark place,” she said.
She turned to yoga and exercise for help, but that did very little in aiding her: “I would leave class feeling depleted and still sad,” she said.
So how did she overcome depression? She spoke with her nutritionist, who told her to start taking a natural supplement that helped her balance out her hormones and stray away from the darker emotions.
Kate Chapman, 44, used a variety of techniques to overcome her depression.
Her depression story is an ongoing one. Sometimes she will slip into depressed moods when she forgets to take care of herself personally, whether that’s emotional or physical care.
But when she uses massage therapy, aromatherapy and comfort foods, she steps away from the darkness and feels better. Chapman also spends her time doing more creative and artistic things, which limit her from falling into a dark place.
“I have found that when I use external and internal medicines in conscious combination, my depression stays a thing of the past,” she said.
Wendy Honeycutt started feeling depressed after her mother and brother died, and her 12-year-old son passed away.
Instead of letting depression take her over, she found nutrients that could boost her mood, and with those nutrients, she started leading a better life, she said. But there was more to how she recovered.
She also re-established her faith.
“My spiritual walk with Jesus has played a huge role in my battle with depression and my faith also enables me to live free of depression,” she said.
Kim Hardy’s depression started when she lost her business.
It was hard losing something she started from the ground up, and it hit her hard. She struggled with depression.
But as a wife and mother, “I had so much to live for,” Hardy said.
So now, Hardy is looking to help others beat depression. She recommends that people focus on themselves, acknowledge their depression and understand what battle they’ll have to wage. Then create a plan to beat it and understand it may be a bit of struggle. Lastly, she advises people to re-evaluate where they are in their own minds and how they think things are going in their life.
“Sometimes that was only 15 minutes to 45 minutes,” Hardy said. “Whatever time I had, I made me a priority. I discovered I loved this time I had to reflect, process and pamper myself. Today, I am a thankful woman.”
Drew Farnsworth isn’t very open about his depression, or his attempt at suicide.
When in college 14 years ago, Farnsworth almost died by suicide, But his roommate found him in time, and that’s where everything changed.
He went to college, got a degree and now owns two businesses. He thanks his family and those around him for helping him rise above depression.
“With the help of my family, many therapists, numerous pharmaceuticals, very good habits and a lot of time, I have been able to live a healthy and mostly happy life,” Farnsworth said.