Ilda's powerful voice against stigma: tells what depression is in schools in Tenerife

From school to school, that’s how Ilda wants breaking down the stigma around depression. She, who knows what it is to live with this mental health problem, uses her testimony to tackle ignorance from an early age. Of course, for the Tenerife woman, standing in front of the adolescents and narrating their experiences has “a face and a cross”: “Every time I do it I expose myself to my own memories, to all the bad things that I have gone through. But if with that I can make another person feel identified, not feel alone and be able to take the step of asking for help, for me it becomes something super gratifying “.

“The more information, the more understanding”, considers this volunteer from the non-profit organization Afes Salud Mental, who laments the fear that one suffers when it comes to verbalizing that one is going through a depression. Thoughts like “what will they say”, “fear a possible rejection” or knowing that there are still those who mistakenly think that “going to the psychiatrist or psychologist is crazy” are brakes that prevent people from asking for or receiving help.

Ilda recalls that throughout a person’s life depression can come “for various reasons or different enemies”: “It can be due to the loss of a loved one, due to being bullied, being rejected or due to a host of things. Thus, little by little the void is reinforced ”.

In her case, she realized it was time to pay attention to her mental health when she began to lose interest in everything and wanted to spend more time lying down than standing. For her, one of the most complex parts of depression is “knowing that the rest of the people neither see it nor understand it, because it is not reflected in an analytic. And so it is very difficult to explain it ”.

One day, he decided that he had “hit rock bottom” and went to his family doctor for help, who referred him to professionals in Psychology and Psychiatry. Since then he has lived through the days with some “ups and downs”, but he copes with it “much better”. “Depression is like an internal wound that, although you cannot see it bleeding or anything, it hurts and hurts. That is why it has to be treated ”, describes Ilda.

In addition to the professional help she receives, the support she has had from her closest friends and her family is added, something she considers “very healing”, since for her having an environment where she can “vent without feeling judged has been so or more important than medicine itself ”.

It was his psychiatrist who told him about Afes Salud Mental as an option to do activities and keep his head entertained. With them he began to give awareness talks in the schools of Tenerife and realized that transferring his testimony about an “invisible” problem that “still remains taboo” to adolescents is a powerful way to improve society.

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