Damsel in Depression

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Excerpt of article by Kati van der Hoeven (Lepistö) | Disabled Magazine

We all are different; we are all wired in a particular way. Even siblings conceived by the same father and mother, who grew up in the same environment can be very different. Just as our DNA is distinctive, so is the way we experience life. We all have different tastes, ideas and way of thinking that makes each and every one of us unique.

Depression is one of those conditions that is often generalized, even though it is specific to each individual who has it.

Depression can lead some people to be self-destructive, while for others it is simply a way of living. In general, the main goal of life is to be happy. And most people are striving to reach this goal (I am one of them), but that is not the dream of every person.

There are those who enjoy living in a low mood (a state of depression). On the other hand, there are those who spend their life trying to escape from depression, sometimes in a very destructive way. I can only imagine how it must feel.

For most people depression is just a state they go through, caused by certain life events. For these people, I have an advice that is base on my personal experience. “Although that depression seems like a big solid wall you need to tear down so you can get through it, it is not.” “Depression is more like quicksand, the more you fight it, the more you sink.” “The only way to get out of it is by staying still accepting the situation.” “There is no easy way out, but then again something that is fulfilling is always so much better than something that is easy.”

After the stroke I got depressed, (quite logical to get depressed when you realize that you are not going to be able to move at all anymore). I was depressed for a few months before I started the healing process (moving out of depression). It still took me a couple of years to reach a point where I could say that I was totally and utterly not depressed anymore.

It was a slow process, but it was worth it because I have learned so much about myself along that road. I grew stronger and wiser. I became resilient to insignificant matters; I have learned the value of things, and I learned that we all have a choice to make; to survive or to live.


Click here to read another Beyond Adversity post.

Thanks to Kati van der Hoeven (Lepistö) for writing the article and sharing her story; Disabled Magazine for committing its resources to publishing the story; Google for helping me find the article; and all the other people who, directly or indirectly, made it possible for me to include the picture and text I used in this post. 


  1. I was surprised that there was a population who could “enjoy “ living in a perpetual state of unhappiness” or sustained sadness, anxiety, worry, etc. called “low-mood”, form of depression.

    1. Esther, there is so much to learn about everything– art, music, astronomy, anatomy, physiology, history, language, communication, goal setting, organization, etc. One of the benefits of adversity is we now have time to learn. Although learning is more difficult now than it was before, I appreciate learning much more now than I ever did.

  2. I am moved by the damsel’s battle , and heroic efforts to get to where she is today. I hope her “depression free status” inspires others to do the same. Unhappiness does not have to be terminal. With counseling and treatment, there is hope for happiness becoming the new norm. The National Institute of Mental Health states more than 80 percent of people who experience depression can be effectively treated even those with severe depression. Unfortunately, nearly half of those with mental illness never seek treatment.

    1. Esther, although the numbers may be different, I believe many adversities are under reported. I don’t know if this is due to a lack of awareness, a perceived stigma associated with the adversity, or an actual discrimination against people with adversity. The statement “unhappiness does not have to be terminal” certainly applies to many adversities.

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