Ian Thorpe opens up about his struggles with Depression for Young Minds Matters, a newly created series by Huffington Post.
Thorpe has suffered from mental health issues since a teen. While he understands how privileged his life is and has been, he’s open and honest about the struggle to see that reality at times. Those suffering from mental illness are not always able to separate themselves from the darkness of depression that can plague them and discolor their world view.
On understanding his, and our, fortunate access to people that can help he writes:
Having all of this and still not being capable at times to enjoy, embrace and experience life in a substantial or meaningful way that gives a true sense of satisfaction, really troubles me the most.
Ian struggled with that guilt. The guilt of privilege and success while perhaps not truly being himself.
Weighed down by guilt and a revulsion for who you are leads and perpetuates the cycle of depression, where self-loathing feeds the darkest part of your mind, playing and toying with your emotions that make it nigh on impossible to leave the house or even your bed. You withdraw from society and your friends. Unable to work, you are left in solitude with yourself and the emotions that have incapacitated you.
Ian is aware at the end of the day it is his responsibility to change his mindset and take necessary steps to maintain positivity and his health. Part of which is accepting the cards you’re dealt, then making adjustments to live your best life.
If you concede to your illness and accept its reality you fall into the trap of not only being depressed but also taking on the depressed mindset.
Previously I had conceded that I only wanted to be content. I had felt in some way that I was undeserving of happiness and that I should be realistic with my expectations. Now I choose to want and expect more from myself.
Read Ian’s full contribution to Young Minds Matter.