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She was tired of just letting the depression consume her. So she set up her camera and took these.

She had an uncanny sense that she should document her recent bout of depression. I'm glad she did. Photos by Alicia Shao.

Alicia decided to do more than just be at the mercy of depression when it strikes.

She documented it. From the photographer herself:

"This is a series of self-documentation with regards to depression. It started with the first photo. But it somehow articulated how I felt, but couldn't express in words. I then spent the next 2 hours setting up cameras, trying to capture those moments. So far this has been going well, and it's helping others understand what I am going through. Also, it has been a strangely liberating experience, because I feel like I'm no longer carrying this weight alone and people finally understand me. I hope this somehow helps you too." — Alicia Shao

Her images paired with facts about depression from DoSomething.org make a powerful combination.

"Roughly 20 million people in the United States suffer from depression every year."


All images by Alicia Shao and used with permission.

"1 in 4 young adults will suffer an episode of depression before age 24."

"Many creative individuals experienced depression, including Ludwig van Beethoven, John Lennon, Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, Georgia O'Keefe, Vincent van Gogh, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Sylvia Plath."

"Depression is a common mental disorder. Globally, more than 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression."

"Continuous exposure to violence, neglect, abuse, or poverty may make people who are already susceptible to depression all the more vulnerable to the illness."

"Depression affects all people regardless of age, geographic location, demographic, or social position."

"Over 8% of adolescents in the United States suffer from depression at a given time."

"There are interrelationships between depression and physical health. For example, cardiovascular disease can lead to depression and vice versa."

"People who are depressed are more prone to illnesses like colds than non-depressed people."

Depression isn't in your head. It's a real thing, and there's real help.

Alicia's images are hitting close to home for many, which isn't surprising given the prevalence of depression in our society. If you need some help managing depression, (800) 826-3632 is a hotline that can help in the U.S. (there is a link further below for more resources in the U.K., too).

As common as this affliction is, everyone could stand to see this. If not for themselves, then for someone they love.

Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy asked his Senate colleagues the questions millions of Americans have after a mass shooting.

Another school shooting. Another mass murder of innocent children. They were elementary school kids this time. There were 18 children killed—so far—this time.

The fact that I can say "this time" is enraging, but that's the routine nature of mass shootings in the U.S. It happened in Texas this time. At least three adults were killed this time. The shooter was a teenager this time.

The details this time may be different than the last time and the time before that, and the time before that, and the time before that. But there's one thing all mass shootings have in common. No, it's not mental illness. It's not racism or misogyny or religious extremism. It's not bad parenting or violent video games or lack of religion.

Some of those things have been factors in some shootings, but the single common denominator in every mass shooting is guns. That's not a secret. It's not controversial. It's fact. The only thing all mass shootings have in common is guns.

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Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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