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What's the worst part of depression? These Twitter users are speaking up.

#TheWorstPartOfDepressionIs is an essential mental health hashtag.

Like most mental illness, depression is widely misunderstood by those who don't live with it.

I, like tens of millions of others, live with depression. To me, one of the most challenging aspects of depression is the simple fact that most people — even the most well-meaning — won't really understand. And try as they might, they won't be able to help.

One of my favorite illustrations of this comes from a comic by Robot Hugs. The comic imagines if people treated physical illness the way they often treat mental illness.



You wouldn't respond to someone injecting insulin to treat their diabetes by saying, "I don't think it's healthy that you have to take medication every day just to feel normal," so why would you say that to someone taking antidepressants? Comic by Robot Hugs.

Too often, depression is seen as simply feeling sad. That isn't accurate.

Everyone gets sad. It's totally normal. Having a down day doesn't make you "depressed," just like cleaning your house doesn't make you "OCD" Taking these clinical terms and assigning them to situations that don't apply dilutes what they really mean.


This is Sadness. She's similar, but not the same as depression. GIF via Disney/Pixar's "Inside Out."

It helps to make sure we're all using the same definition. So, without further ado, here's how the World Health Organization describes depression (emphasis mine):

"Depression is a common illness worldwide, with an estimated 350 million people affected. Depression is different from usual mood fluctuations and short-lived emotional responses to challenges in everyday life. Especially when long-lasting and with moderate or severe intensity, depression may become a serious health condition. It can cause the affected person to suffer greatly and function poorly at work, at school and in the family. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide. Suicide results in an estimated 1 million deaths every year."

Perhaps the best way to understand the "hidden burden" of depression is to listen to the stories of whose who have it.

People are using the hashtag #TheWorstPartOfDepressionIs to describe what it's like living with depression.

It's a powerful, diverse look at how varied — although tied together by a few common threads — these stories are.

To some, the worst part is the overwhelming need to pretend nothing is wrong. People are told to "put on a brave face," "try to have fun," or simply to smile to overcome their depression. Trying to follow this advice can be emotionally exhausting.


For others, the worst is the feeling of being in a standoff with your own mind. As this Twitter user says in another tweet, "#TheWorstPartOfDepressionIs fighting a disorder that wants to kill you."



In many situations, those living with depression feel physically or emotionally exhausted. The depressed mind frequently uses this as a way to make you feel even worse.



For others, it's something else entirely. Sometimes it's hard to pinpoint an issue. Instead, it's a combination of so many things.


But whatever the worst part of depression is, it's nice knowing there are others out there fighting the same battle.

And to those cheering from the sidelines, the tag provides some great insight that you might otherwise have missed out on.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Memories of childhood get lodged in the brain, emerging when you least expect.

There are certain pleasurable sights, smells, sounds and tastes that fade into the rear-view mirror as we grow from being children to adults. But on a rare occasion, we’ll come across them again and it's like a portion of our brain that’s been hidden for years expresses itself, creating a huge jolt of joy.

It’s wonderful to experience this type of nostalgia but it often leaves a bittersweet feeling because we know there are countless more sensations that may never come into our consciousness again.

Nostalgia is fleeting and that's a good thing because it’s best not to live in the past. But it does remind us that the wonderful feeling of freedom, creativity and fun from our childhood can still be experienced as we age.

A Reddit user by the name of agentMICHAELscarnTLM posed a question to the online forum that dredged up countless memories and experiences that many had long forgotten. He asked a simple question, “What’s something you can bring up right now to unlock some childhood nostalgia for the rest of us?”

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