Depression nothing to be ashamed of

Chadwick Harrell


Striving for it is inevitable. Achieving it is impossible.

Hoping for it is without a doubt the fastest way to make yourself miserable.

It is a common misconception among this generation that in order to be successful, one must be perfect. Until we realize that the search for perfection and happiness are complete opposites, we will never reach peace.

For months now, I’ve been asking myself why I’m generally not happy with my life. As far as I’m concerned, I’m in a good place in life.

I’m in school perusing a better life, I’m single and living on my own, I have a great job and my friends are a pretty awesome group of people.

So with all this good in my life, why is it that I wake up in the morning with this great feeling of dread?

Honestly, I have wracked my brain for months going over every aspect of my life with a fine toothed comb. Today I found the answer.

Funny enough, the answer came to me in the form of a completely random meeting with one of my professors.

This day will forever burn in my memory as a day of liberation. With one simple phrase he changed my life and I’m sure all he meant to do was motivate me to turn in an assignment that is way overdue. (Thanks by the way)

My professor gave me a short speech that I won’t go into detail about. The gist of it is this: I was striving to be perfect and it was draining my ability to do anything because of fear that I wouldn’t achieve it.

Striving for perfection isn’t wrong; it keeps us going. But, allowing failure to cripple you is not healthy, mentally or professionally.

When he said those words a light went off in my head. He was exactly right.

Without knowing it, I had completely allowed my entire life to shut down because I was afraid of being inadequate. I allowed the stress of life pull me into a deep depression that debilitated my ability to function.

After that meeting, I walked around campus and thought about this new information.

So, I began doing research. Humans are born with the innate urge to either fight or run. Following the urge to run every time you fail will only drive you into a dull state of being.

Atelophobia is the fear of not being good enough or imperfection.

I’m no doctor so I won’t diagnose myself (or anyone else), but I was surprised to learn that there is a name for what could possibly be a big problem for so many people.

Atelophobia causes severe depression whenever the sufferer feels that they have failed to meet their idea of perfection.

It is a recipe for failure because as we all know, perfection is impossible.

Failure to meet those perfect standards will cause misery and a loss in self-confidence, which causes a person to avoid any situation or task that he or she perceives as a possible challenge.

There are many causes for atelophobia, but the most common is our society’s constant redefining of perfection. We define perfection in some way and then proceed to demand that this standard is met.

It’s not on purpose, it is just the human way.

Speaking from personal experience, I can say that feeling sucks.

I don’t know how many of you are feeling the same as me. I wanted to share an experience with you and hopefully cause a few more lights to go off.

The mission to achieve perfection is an aimless one that will only end in disappointment.

I fully expect that the road to accepting a better way to live will be challenging, but I would advise anyone who may suspect they are suffering from atelophobia to seek the help of licensed professionals as a precaution.

Depression is not something to be ignored.

t is a serious issue that requires more work to get over than one might expect.

Our campus has an excellent counseling center whose expenses are covered in your tuition.

Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, just like allowing yourself to suffer when help is so readily available isn’t smart.

Religion can be spoken about freely, yet we tread softly when publically mentioning it.

But, the hardest idea to grasp is that having the right to spread religious awareness is certainly not the same as pushing beliefs on others.

While people reserve the right to practice religious freedom and to speak without restraint about any faith they choose, forcing others to listen isn’t freedom of speech; it’s harassment.

There are over 127 major religions and seven billion people on earth with seven billion different views of God. Some love Him, some fear Him, some question His existence and some are still searching for Him.

Some will decide that God plays no role in the trials and tribulations of life, while others will find faith the moment they see their newborn child take the first breath of being.

Whether we discover where we spiritually belong in a pew on Sunday morning or on a lonely drive with no destination, the journey to finding or forgetting God is what determines our views. We can’t be told what and who to believe in, or to even believe in anything at all.

What we learn, who we meet and the challenges we face are what we remember when we stand before Him, not the church members that knock on our front doors, or the people that stand in the quad condemning us all to hell.

And if the church goer at your front door changes your perspective, let them. Be baptized in one church, change your mind, and be baptized in another. Let what you learned in biology class make you question evolution and the powers above.

Learning from life experiences and questioning God’s ways isn’t sin; it’s human. It’s human to change emotionally, mentally, and spiritually when physical surroundings change. It’s human to simply be curious and indecisive.

Faith only exists because there are people that believe strongly enough in it to make it a reality and a way of life. Without doubters and differences, the strength of religion would never have anything to be measured against.

Because of that, religion without true belief is weak.

Never practice out of habit, don’t follow just because your parents or friends do, and don’t ever think one religion is superior to another. In a time that seems to have the explanation for everything in a test tube or on a database, people believing in any God at all is a miracle in itself.