We Cannot Continue to Overlook ‘High-Functioning’ Depression

digital painting of sketched beautiful girl in hat, acrylic on canvas texture

By Amanda Leventhal

I first saw a psychiatrist for my anxiety and depression as a junior in high school. During her evaluation, she asked about my classes and grades. I told her that I had a 4.0 GPA and had filled my schedule with Pre-AP and AP classes. A puzzled look crossed her face. She asked about my involvement in extracurricular activities. As I rattled off the long list of groups and organizations I was a part of, her frown creased further.

Finally, she set down her pen and looked at me, saying something along the lines of, “You seem to be pretty high-functioning, but your anxiety and depression seem pretty severe. Actually, it’s teens like you who scare me a lot.”

Now I was confused. What was scary about my condition? From the outside, I was functioning like a perfectly “normal” teenager. In fact, I was somewhat of an overachiever. I was working through my mental illnesses and succeeding, so what was the problem?

I left that appointment with a prescription for Lexapro and a question that I would continue to think about for years. The answer didn’t hit me all at once; rather, it came to me every time I heard a suicide story on the news saying, “by all accounts, they were living the perfect life.” It came to me as I crumbled under pressure over and over again, doing the bare minimum I could to still meet my definition of success. It came to me as I began to share my story and my illness with others, and I was met with reactions of “I had no idea” and “I never would have known.”

It’s easy to put depression into a box of symptoms, and though we as a society are constantly told mental illness comes in all shapes and sizes, we are stuck with a mental health stock image in our heads that many people don’t match. When we see depression and anxiety in adolescents, we see teens struggling to get by in their day-to-day lives. We see grades dropping. We see involvement replaced by isolation. People slip through the cracks.

We don’t see the student with the 4.0 GPA. We don’t see the student who’s active in choir and theater or a member of the National Honor Society. We don’t see the student who takes on leadership roles in a religious youth group. No matter how many times we are reminded that mental illness doesn’t discriminate, we revert back to a narrow idea of how it should manifest, and that is dangerous.

Recognizing that danger is what helped me find the answer to my question. Watching person after person, myself included, slip under the radar of the “depression detector” made me realize where that fear comes from. My psychiatrist knew the list of symptoms, and she knew I didn’t necessarily fit them. She understood it was the reason that, though my struggles with mental illness began at age 12, I didn’t come to see her until I was 16. Four years is a long time to deal with mental illness alone, and secondary school is a dangerous time to deal with it.

If we keep allowing our perception of what mental illness looks like to dictate how we go about recognizing and treating it, we will continue to overlook those who don’t fit the mold. We cannot keep forgetting that there are people out there who, though they may not be able to check off every symptom on the list, are heavily and negatively affected by their mental illness. If we forget, we allow their struggle to continue unnoticed, and that is pretty scary.

Source: TheMighty.com

Science finds Soil can Help Depression and Anxiety

By Tanja Taljaard

ScienceSoilDepression-hand-smiling2

How you can Benefit from Antidepressant Microbes in soil

A couple of years ago, a friend of mine was recovering from a serious illness. While reflecting on that time in her life, she mentioned how her garden, and gardening, played a big part in her own healing. Walking with her in her vibrant garden, I could see and feel how being surrounded by these beautiful plants and using homegrown, organic vegetables and herbs as medicine would be healing on many levels.

Most ardent gardeners will concur that the act of gardening can reduce stress and improve your mood. When you think about it, there are obvious benefits from tending a garden. You’re outside in the fresh air and Vitamin D producing sunshine (which helps regulate your serotonin levels), rather than being cooped up inside. But now science is proving through experiments that there are actual microorganism in the soil that affect our sense of wellbeing.

Soil
There are actual microorganism in the soil that affect our sense of wellbeing

Playing in the Dirt

There are actual antidepressant microbes in soil. Mycobacterium vaccae is found in soil, and activates the release of brain serotonin. Serotonin and dopamine are two chemicals that boost our immune system and keep us happy. Both Dopamine and Serotonin are neurotransmitters, chemical messengers in the brain. Dopamine affects your emotions, movements and your sensations of pleasure and pain. In the brain, Serotonin regulates mood, social behaviour, libido, sleep, memory, and learning. Interestingly, 95% of our serotonin is manufactured in the intestines, not the brain; therefore someexperts consider serotonin a hormone as well as a neurotransmitter. When you are gardening, M. vaccae is on your skin when you have your bare hands in the soil, you inhale it when you breathe, or it gets into your bloodstream through a little cut perhaps.

Soil on hands
Serotonin and dopamine are two chemicals that boost our immune system and keep us happy.

The effects of the soil bacteria were discovered accidently by oncologist Dr Mary O’Brien. She created a serum out of the M. vaccae bacteria and gave it to lung cancer patients to boost their immune system. She noticed that another effect of the serum was that the patients felt happier, more vital, and they suffered from less pain. Building on this, researchers Dorothy Matthews and Susan Jenks administered M. vaccae to mice and performed behavioural tests. Jenks says, “What our research suggests is that eating, touching and breathing a soil organism may be tied to the development of our immune system and nervous system.” They found that not only were the mice less anxious, they showed improved cognitive function by navigating a maze twice as fast as the ones that did not eat the bacterium. Matthews states “It is interesting to speculate that creating learning environments in schools that include time in the outdoors where M. vaccae is present may decrease anxiety and improve the ability to learn new tasks.”

Healthy Soil, Healthy Body

Mycobacterium vaccae is one of a vast spectrum of microbes that have been interacting and co-evolving with us. The well-being of our immune system and psychology is enhanced by frequent exposure, in our early childhood, to a diverse group of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and worms. Our gastro-intestinal tract develops a hundred trillion microbes over time, determined in part by genetics and in part by what bacteria live in and on those around us. Prof Graham Rook refers to these creatures, which interact with us through our skin, lungs, and gut, as “Old Friends”. He says that deficiencies in microbial exposure could be the key to the recent increase in chronic health problems, including autoimmune diseases and depression. There is undeniable evidence that we need a diverse range of these organisms (found in animals, plants, soil, water and air) for the optimal functioning of our immune and nervous systems. Read more about the brain-gut connection here.

Gardeners
The well-being of our immune system and psychology is enhanced by frequent exposure, in our early childhood, to a diverse group of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and worms

Green is good for you

Simply seeing or looking at plants, trees and nature impacts your mental, social and physical well-being. Researchers have found that even viewing representations of nature can help the body to heal. Roger S. Ulrich, PhD investigated the effect that views from windows had on patients recovering from surgery. He discovered that patients whose hospital rooms overlooked trees recovered better than those whose rooms overlooked brick walls. Patients who could see nature got out of the hospital faster, had fewer complications and required less pain medication than those forced to stare at a wall.

Happy gardener
Looking at plants, trees and nature impacts your mental, social and physical well-being

Gardening is a physical activity, sometimes quite a vigorous workout, as many gardeners would tell you. Gardens can create community. There’s also something magical about being part of the creative process, tending and nurturing seeds and seedlings into fully-grown plants. Permaculturist Robyn Francis talks about the Harvest High – the release of dopamine in the brain when we harvest products from the garden. “Researchers hypothesise that this response evolved over nearly 200,000 years of hunter gathering, that when food was found (gathered or hunted) a flush of dopamine released in the reward centre of the brain triggered a state of bliss or mild euphoria. The dopamine release can be triggered by sight (seeing a fruit or berry) and smell as well as by the action of actually plucking the fruit.”

Source: Upliftconnect.com

depression-treatment-943x345

Treating Depression: What Treatment Actually Works?

Treating Depression: What Treatment Actually Works?

SO FAR in the Learning Path, we have looked at a lot of background on what clinical depression is, how it works, and what the facts are as far as research goes. Now you will see what this knowledge leads us to know about depression treatment.

  • What are the drug treatments for depression and just how effective are they?
  • How effective are alternative approaches, such as therapy, at treating depression?

How to best treat depression?

Recent depression research shows that how we perceive our depression, what we actually think it is, is actually important in the efficacy (efficiency) of the treatment we undergo. What this means is that knowing all the facts about depression, really understanding depression, is incredibly important.

So if you have completed the Depression Learning Path this far, you will be well placed to make the most of whatever treatment you choose.

Research into treating depression

So much research has been done on depression, the right information is out there. However with so many vested interests, as well as different fields of study, it’s hard to get a clear picture of what is actually the most effective way overall to beat depression for good.

Much of what you read here is based on a massive meta-study controlled by the US government, incorporated the findings of over 100,000 individual pieces of research. The research was carried out over a fifteen year period. (1)

The research compared the use of depression medication against various types of therapy. It also looked at how effective each treatment was at preventing further episodes of depression.

By comparing this volume of depression research on a “like for like” basis, we get a pretty clear picture of the most effective way of treating depression.

Treating depression with drugs

It’s possible that, like millions of others, you may be taking drugs (antidepressants) of some kind to treat depression. Antidepressants are often the first treatment option prescribed by health professionals.

By understanding that antidepressants actually treat what is a common symptom of depression, rather then the condition itself, we can begin to understand some key facts about antidepressants, namely:

  • Why antidepressants are only effective in around one third of cases, and partially effective in another third. The other third of cases get no benefit at all.
  • Why the rate of relapse is so high when depression is treated with antidepressants alone?
  • For many people, the side effects are more unpleasant than the depression itself, so they discontinue treatment.

We’ll also consider why, if these drugs are as good at beating depression as we are told, is depression on the increase, and sufferers treated solely with antidepressants have an 80% chance of having a second episode of major depression?

If depression is making you feel really bad, the relief that antidepressants can sometimes bring can be very welcome. However, if you want to have the best chance of avoiding a relapse further down the line, it is essential you get the right kind of therapy, or skills training. We’ll look at this later in the Depression Learning Path.

The cart before the horse

One of the main reasons given for depression being described as an illness (and therefore to be treated with drugs) seems, at the least paradoxical, if not misleading.

It is reasoned by some that the high rate of relapse after drug treatment indicates that depression should be treated as a chronic disease, i.e. treatment by long term, high dosage medication.

This is the explanation used, rather than the fact that drugs do not treat depression, merely the symptoms.

Yet, if we consider:

  • The average length of depression, if left untreated is 8 months.
  • Depression medication, typically, has to be taken for 6 weeks before it is known if it is effective or not, and then continued for 6 months.
  • Citing relapse as a reason, some treatments recommend a “3 phase approach’ which can last well over 2 years.
  • Other treatments, such as a combination of cognitive, behavioural and interpersonal therapy, have a much lower rate of relapse. (We recommend that relaxation techniques are also used, to calm the emotions and allow a faster, more effective participation in therapy. It is also essential that the patient’s lifestyle is checked to ensure that their basic emotional needs are being met.)
  • Also, we should take into account the side effects of drug treatments, which we will come to soon.

source

4 WARNING Signs of Depression You Need to Be Aware of

depression

Who hasn’t felt a lonely or sad at times? We all have days when we feel down, blah, or overwhelmed with life, and we may even go through periods when we have a really tough case of the blues. If we take a closer look, however, there’s often an identifiable cause behind those feelings; a loss, an emotional or physical blow of some kind.

Grief over the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship, the loss of a job, a financial setback, or some other type of extreme hardship may cause us to feel a bit hopeless and miserable temporarily. Having those feelings doesn’t necessarily mean we’re depressed—it might just be our normal and understandable reaction to life’s hardships.

So how do we know if we, or someone we care about, are suffering from depression rather than just ordinary sadness? It’s not always easy to tell the difference. The short, quick answer is that sadness is a temporary emotion, usually with a recognizable cause, while depression lasts for longer periods of time; sometimes forever, and often for no discernible reason. Perhaps the most important indicator of depression is that it interferes with the ability to lead a normal life.

Recognizing depression can be extremely difficult, and the quick definition oversimplifies a very complex problem. There are many signs of this condition that you may have not considered, and to make it even harder, the signs and symptoms vary greatly from person to person, as does the severity. Worse, it’s harder to notice the signs when you are in the midst of depression already, which is why other people often notice before the depressed individual does.

The warning signs are there, but knowing what to look for makes it much more likely that you will spot them sooner.

What to Look For: Signs That You or Someone You Care About May Be Depressed

If you notice several of these symptoms lasting for more than two weeks, seek help. Even one of these symptoms that just won’t go away is a flag to speak to a professional.

Mood changes

What to look for:

  • Persistent agitation
  • The inability to relax
  • Lashing out at others
  • Unexplained irritability
  • General persistent sadness
  • Frequent crying with no reason
  • Mood swings
  • Constant frustration
  • Disproportionate anger
  • Short-temperedness
  • Aggression

Negative attitude

What to look for:

  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Everything seems to be going wrong
  • Constant negativity
  • Inability to see the positive side
  • “Why bother” thoughts
  • Feeling worthless
  • Persistent guilt or shame
  • Extreme self-criticism or self-blame

Changes in activity or energy level

What to look for:

  • Persistent fatigue
  • Continual low energy levels or sluggishness
  • General feeling of moving in slow motion
  • Stop exercising even though you enjoy it
  • Tire easily
  • Restlessness
  • Constant pacing or fidgeting

Loss of interest

What to look for:

  • Loss of interest in hobbies
  • General detachment
  • Disinterest or avoidance of communicating or spending time with loved ones
  • No longer enjoy things that used to bring pleasure
  • Refusal to go out or decline social invitations
  • Feelings of emptiness
  • Neglecting responsibilities
  • Changes in sexual activity or interest

Brain fog

What to look for:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Inability to remember details, names, numbers
  • Fuzzy thinking
  • Hard time making decisions
  • Find easy tasks difficult
  • Forgetting appointments
  • Can’t seem to focus
  • Have to reread sentences or pages

Sleep disturbances

What to look for:

  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Constant waking at night
  • Sleeping longer than usual
  • Frequent naps
  • Pattern of going to bed earlier or staying up later than normal

Changes in Appetite

What to look for:

  • Loss of interest in eating
  • Consistently missing meals
  • Persistent emotionally triggered eating
  • Bulimia and anorexia are often symptoms of depression

Physical symptoms

What to look for:

  • Persistent aches and pains that won’t go away with treatment
  • Chronic unexplained stress
  • Increased self-medication

Reckless behavior

What to look for:

  • Binge drinking
  • Drug use
  • Reckless driving or speeding
  • Taking unnecessary risks
  • Taking too much medication
  • Risky sexual behavior

Thoughts of dying

What to look for:

  • Preoccupation with death
  • Thoughts such as “Things would be better off without me.” “I don’t think I can make it through another day.” “It would be better if I had never been born.”
  • Sudden desire to get affairs in order
  • Thinking about ways to kill yourself

If left untreated, depression can worsen, causing the gradual destruction of life, and not getting treatment can be life-threatening. The inability to recognize the signs of depression is often the biggest danger, but once you become aware of the signs, you need to find help. There’s nothing weak about needing help to feel better, and it’s not unreasonable to want to be happy. Proper diagnosis and treatment is the only way to combat depression—it won’t go away on its own. Watch for the signs in yourself and in those you care about, and don’t let depression go untreated.

 

Source: lifehack.org

HOW TO MAKE LAVENDER LEMONADE TO GET RID OF HEADACHES & ANXIETY

lavender

So many people suffer from anxiety and headaches these days. I believe this to be a mixture of our lifestyles and many of the changes that are taking place in our world that are pushing people to question what we’ve been doing as a society repetitively for many years. You know what I mean… that feeling that there is something more than just going to work, making money, coming home, eating and repeating it all. It may sound cliche, but it’s evident.

Deep down we can feel it, that something isn’t quite “right” with our world anymore and there’s a certain sense of freedom from it all that is calling us from deep within ourselves. Not knowing what that feeling is exactly or what to do, we sometimes will feel anxiety or overwhelm as we look at our lives. How do we deal with these things? There are a number of actions we can take to address the core issue which you can explore here.

It’s important that we begin to explore this feeling inside. That knowing that things can be different, that our world doesn’t have to be the way it is. Whether it is people getting fed up with the 9 – 5, feeling disconnected from themselves and others or feeling the desire to do what we love and are passionate about, our patience with avoiding these things is continuously growing thin. It’s time, it’s time to explore it!

Other than inspiring people to begin that exploration and letting them know “you’re not crazy, many people are feeling this too,” I also wanted to share something simple that can aid us while we are making more long-term adjustments.

Lavender Lemonade

Pure lavender oil is an incredible essential oil to use for your own health and wellness. It’s among the gentlest of essential oils, but also one of the most powerful, making it a favorite of households for the healing properties and uses of lavender essential oil. Lavender oil  has a chemically complex structure with over 150 active constituents, which explains its effectiveness at helping with a lot of health ailments. Lavender oil possesses amazing anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antidepressant, antiseptic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, analgesic, detoxifier, hypotensive, and sedative properties.

Florida researchers have found that lavender oil benefits include reducing anxiety and lowering pulse rates in nursing students taking stressful tests. And in hospital settings, lavender aromatherapy has been demonstrated to decrease pre-surgery distress and to be more relaxing than massage or merely resting.(1)

Lavender essential oil has medicinal properties as well. It has been shown to reduce depression, improve insomnia and ease labor pains. And anecdotal evidence suggests that lavender oil benefits those with headaches, hangovers, sinus congestion and pain relief.
“Much prior research on lavender has focused on the administration of lavender via an olfactory route. The anxiolytic activity of lavender olfaction has been demonstrated in several small and medium-sized clinical trials.46-53 The efficacy of aromatherapy of lavender is thought to be due to the psychological effects of the fragrance combined with physiological effects of volatile oils in the limbic system.54 These calming effects of lavender oil and single constituents may be the origin of the traditional use of lavender. Lavender oil olfaction has been shown to decrease anxiety, as measured by the Hamilton rating scale,51 and can increase mood scores.



The following are selected examples of clinical trials on lavender aromatherapy:

  • Dunn and colleagues demonstrated anxiolytic activity of lavender oil aromatherapy in patients in intensive care units. Subjects received at least 1 session of aromatherapy with 1% lavender essential oil. Significant anxiolytic effects were noted in the 1st treatment, though 2nd and 3rd treatments did not appear to be as effective.47
  • Alaoui-Ismaili and colleagues found that the aroma of lavender is considered by subjects to be very pleasant and is correlated with changes in the autonomic nervous system.56
  • Tysoe and colleagues conducted a study of lavender oil in burner use on staff mood and stress in a hospital setting. A significant number of respondents (85%) believed that lavender aroma improved the work environment following the use of the lavender oil burners.57
  • Diego and colleagues demonstrated that people receiving lavender oil (10%) olfaction for 3 minutes felt significantly more relaxed and had decreased anxiety scores, improved mood and increased scores of alpha power on EEG (an indicator of alertness), and increased speed of mathematical calculations.58
  • Lewith and colleagues investigated the effects of lavender aromatherapy on depressed mood and anxiety in female patients being treated with chronic hemodialysis.59 The effects of aromatherapy were measured using the Hamilton rating scale for depression (HAMD) and the Hamilton rating scale for anxiety (HAMA). Lavender aroma significantly decreased the mean scores of HAMA, suggesting an effective, noninvasive means for the treatment of anxiety in hemodialysis patients.
  • Lavender aromatherapy, with or without massage, may also reduce the perception of pain and the need for conventional analgesics in adults and children, though more rigorously controlled trials are needed.60″ (2)

DIY Lavender Lemonade with Lavender Essential Oil

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw honey
  • 12 cups pure water
  • 1 drop lavender essential oil
  • 6 lemons, peeled and juiced
  • Lavender sprigs for garnish

Directions

Mix all ingredients together and chill. Add more water or raw honey if needed.

Other ways you can use Lavender Oil for Anxiety and Headaches

  • Mix 5 to 6 drops of Lavender essential oil to your bath water if you have dry skin.
  • Diffuse 10 to 12 drops of Lavender into the air during your workday for natural stress relief.
  • Add 2 drops of Lavender per ounce of your favorite lightly scented, unrefined organic oil (like almond oil or olive oil) for a body oil with all the benefits of lavender for improving your skin, relaxing your mind, warding off insects or helping you sleep.

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22517298

The Blur of Bipolar Disorder

I’ve always been the type of person who has trouble staying still. Constantly moving from one thing to the next, or at least wanting to. It’s hard for me to make a decision because I can’t choose just one thing or focus on one thing. And the worse things get, the faster I want to move. The less I want to slow down or stop or be quiet. I move as quickly as possible to the next job, the next bottle of wine, the next person, party, hobby. I can’t even focus on a 20-minute television show for more than five minutes. I can’t do what I love — reading or writing or digesting a film or a record because that would involve me being still and I can’t be still because that means addressing what is happening. Admitting there is a problem. Realizing I’m once again broken. So I speed. I zig and I zag and I am too much. I drink too much. I cry too much. I buy too much. I go as fast as I can for as long as I can until I can’t do it anymore. Until I physically can’t take another step. Until I can’t feel too much anymore.

Until I’m done.

Until I am broken and all I can manage now is to turn off all the lights and sleep and try and remember how I got to this point.

Because by this point all I can remember are blurs.

A blur of me sitting in my car in the rain and crying on the phone while my boyfriend tries to understand why I’m crying.

A blur of me huddled under the covers while my dog remains loyally cemented to the foot of my bed keeping watch.

A blur of me dashing out the door with nowhere to really go because I want to avoid talking about anything that matters with my roommate.

A blur of seeing my mom’s name show up on the phone screen and turning it over so I can pretend I never saw the call.

I remember something about laughing but it’s faint and I can’t remember what was so funny. Something about music but none of the songs make me feel anything. Something about reading but nothing on the pages grabs my attention. Something about nature but
I don’t want to leave my bed. I drive over a bridge and for a moment imagine what it would be like to go over the side. Would it hurt? Would I feel something, anything?

And then I’m in a long abandoned antique mall’s parking lot screaming and choking because I wished it would actually happen. That it would all be over. That I would maybe feel something when I hit the water. But I also don’t want to feel anything or think about anything ever again.

I want everyone to leave me alone but I sob when I think my wish might actually come true. I dream about being surrounded by people and all of them hate me. I dream about everyone I love leaving me and screwing me over. I wake up screaming and scared and shaking. Most of all I wake up angry. I carry this anger around. I wrap myself in it. My journal becomes a scribble of messy, heavy bits of prose and lyrics. I’m angry with myself for letting this happen again and I want everyone to be angry with me, too. I want to feel
something, anything. I stand outside in just a t-shirt. I can see my breath but I’m not cold. I still don’t feel anything. And then all of a sudden I realize I’m sitting on my bed while my roommate sits on one of the numerous mounds of clothes that covers my floor.

“This is the lowest I’ve seen you.”

I get lunch with my mom.

“You just don’t seem like your usual sweet self.”

I’m listening again.

Everything is coming back into focus.

I talk on the phone with my boyfriend and don’t spend the entire time in tears.

“I love you.”

And I believe him.

I return texts and phone calls. I sing in the car. I read. I sit on a bench for an hour enjoying how the sun feels hot on my face. I walk outside and shiver because of the cold.

I get up at 7 a.m. and eat a bagel. I spend time deliberately, delicately picking out what to wear. I’m being put back together. But I’m still not there.

The pieces are settling back together. I am settling. I feel quiet inside and I don’t mind.

I stop trying to pack my days full of things one right after the other. I am caught off guard by the scars, but I have a hard time recalling exactly how they got there and am grateful that was a blur. I am grateful because the monsters that terrified me in my dreams were just that — fantastical monsters. I am grateful that though they don’t understand why I can’t pick myself up or crawl out of bed they want to and they try. I am grateful because while he doesn’t understand why, he holds me while my mind moves too fast and everything is just too loud. I am grateful because while she doesn’t understand why, she shares a pint of ice cream and her couch with me while I talk until I have nothing left to say and then it’s OK if I don’t say anything at all. I am grateful because they do understand, at least a little.

I am grateful because they know how it’s going to end and still they stand by patiently, so very close, waiting to push me back up again and again.

A Tattoo Artist Has Been Offering Free Tattoo To Cover People’s Self-Harm Scars-Best Life Insurance Program

An Australian tattoo artist has been flooded with emails and requests after she posted an offer to give free tattoos to those who wanted to cover up self-harm scars.

Inspired by a friend, who had initially started self-harming to cope with an eating disorder, Whitney Develle posted her message on Facebook and Instagram, offering her services for free. Once her post went viral, she was overwhelmed with requests for cover ups; she’ll be giving only 50 free sittings and has pledged to offer discounted tattoos to those left.

 

 

Speaking to 9News, Whitney explained that the surge in requests was “humbling but also heartbreaking”.

 

“I have been up late most nights [since] with a close friend replying to each and every person,”

 

Keen to raise awareness and reduce the stigma associated with self-harming, Develle has called out to other tattooists to come and help her provide all of those who’ve requested a tattoo and keep up with demand.

 

“The hardest part was that statistically probably 98 percent of [those who had written in] were people had self-harmed. Majority of them were too scared to speak with a tattooist out of fear of being judged”

 

Develle hopes that her efforts, and the courage of her friend and others to come forward will spark a dialogue about the importance of speaking to someone and getting help if you’re self-harming.

Share the Amazing News With Your Friends 🙂