Howie: Depression Part 2 (Electric Boogaloo)

Hey blog readers, it’s Howie Defranco here and today’s topic is depression specifically the second part of a blog I wrote last year. This blog has changed drastically from the idea had to write for this a month ago, for the better mind you as the part of depression we’re talking about is the after. If you’ve read my previous one you know I covered both causes and how it feels to be depressed and said that everyone goes through it differently and in different stretches of time. At some point though people need to stop being pulled down and need to stop feeling as though they’re drowning. Sadly that point comes to happen one way or the other, by taking their life or they’re life changing for the better.

You could take your life, you could it’s a quick easy end to your suffering and no one can blame you for doing it. However, you’re robbing the world of your life, your talent whatever it may be and whoever loves you of your love. Yes ladies and gents, your life matters because despite how it may be going right now it’s apart of the story it isn’t the whole story though. You thrived once, laughed once, felt joy, felt love, had hope, one of these things came into your life before and it may be staring you in the face right now. Looking to pull you out, or at the least give you ground to stand on. A person in your position doesn’t have to let it go, they might, or move on sure but if you can be reminded of the pain everyday and still feel good about yourself. You just have to look for that reason to smile. I mentioned that before to that taking it one day at a time was important and looking for your reason to keep going was too.

Once you find that though that bit of faith, you have to use it. Faith and hope and love are powerful emotions that can change you’re views for the better, I told you all in my last blog about that I thought I was starting to get better, I wasn’t I was just holding on to that piece of hope. I hadn’t changed anything in my life hadn’t fixed anything, still was doing things to forget the pain I didn’t want to be doing anymore. Then last month I took a leap of faith in myself, I applied for a new job at this point it was the biggest thing holding me back in my life. I stayed for a long time there because I was comfortable and I think that was a bad idea, I think it was just a reminder of everything that happened the last few years. Not to mention a constant stressor and that every day it chipped away at what little self esteem I had everyday.

So I took a leap of faith to change that get rid of it and I ended up proving to myself that I could do something like that. That I was strong enough to fix my life and pick up the pieces that people had left shattered. It all came from just finding one reason to go on everyday for I guess 5 years now it feels a lot longer.

However the purpose of this blog I need you whoever you are to understand. This is not someone saying hey look things work out, this not someone saying hey look at I fixed things. That is not the point and if that’s what I conveyed I owe you an apology. For the purpose was to say things come in time, pain doesn’t necessarily go away it gets pushed to the side. You can’t push it all at once though, it takes a bit every day. Every day you have to push it a millimetre, a centimetre, a metre, a kilometre away, until it’s far enough away. Far enough that you can remember and feel the pain without feeling the suffering.


Howie Defranco Talks Psychopaths

Hey blog readers, it’s me Howie Defranco and today our topic is Psychopaths. Now what is a psychopath well defines it as,
  “a person with a psychopathic personality, which manifests as amoral and antisocial behavior, lack of ability to love or establish meaningful personal relationships, extreme egocentricity, failure tolearn from experience, etc.”
Which is a very distinct definition from the derogatory term we use which is an insane, obsessive possibly violent person. Fairly different aren’t they, when you put it that way, well actually both ways you have an idea of both people in your head.
Person A: a not well adjusted member of society who seems to not want to be around other people, obsesses over themselves and can never learn.
Person B: Someone who is well frightening and unpredictable to you, examples would be a stalker or a psychotic person.
Which by the way is the proper term for person B not psychopath as a psychotic is the one who is dangerous. Psychopaths where as are more of an outsider to society than anything else, I know two in my life who have developed both in two very different ways.
One is a person who in high school was a very obsessive, methodical person, who acted like they had feeling for others. They made though every relationship about them, every plan about them and she did not give others a second thought usually. She acted and still does act like she’s the centre of the universe and she never learns no matter how many people leave her. As well she always believed everyone outside of a small group of people were always out to get her and that it was her against the world.
That’s one way a psychopath can turn out is a person who is stuck as one, I still hear about her every now and then and she hasn’t changed sadly, while my other example has.
In high school he was distant from everyone and more than anything concerned for himself over everyone else. He still doesn’t learn from his mistakes always having chose that his first idea is the best and to stubborn and self absorbed to listen to anyone else. Although nowadays he’s more open with people, he chooses to spend time with them, has a loving relationship and at heart is a good person. At the same time though he has a massive ego still that well is hard to bruise, unfortunately meaning he does not know much about bring humble.
If you identify as a psychopath, #1 don’t take it as an insult, it’s not and anyone who uses it as one is probably unaware of the difference. #2 try, just try every day, find a partner, make some friends, try thinking of others, or being humble. After all were just people

Howie Defranco on Insanity

Albert Einstein once defined insanity, as doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result, therefore sanity would be the opposite. Wouldn’t it? Sanity would be defined by one of the smartest people in our history as trying the same thing over and over again expecting the same result. It could also be doing something different every time expecting different results, which makes true sanity unobtainable. For despite all our differences and all our advancements, we are nothing more than creatures of habit, and we all at one point become complacent with insanity. It’s a weird thought but there’s no better way to talk about insanity then to state right off the bat that we’re all insane.
Hi I’m Howie Defranco and as you can tell I’m starting this blog a bit differently than my normal ones because we’re talking about insanity. There are two types of it in this world the first is above and we’re going to talk more about it and the other being less theoretical insanity more of the needs to talk to someone now before bad things happen. The second one of those is what you would use as a derogatory term for as my favourite definition goes “someone or something that doesn’t make sense to you.” It’s not necessarily crazy or outlandish it’s just not in your wheelhouse and it can lead to people being flamboyant or people turning out like well let’s say Joker (it’s an extreme example but entirely possible). The reason I combine the derogatory term with this definition is because those are the people you’d call insane most of the time.
People who have gained notary as insane like that really need help, whether it be therapy or just someone to talk to before things go bad and they need to open up to. After all insanity is just what can come of a mental disorder, depression, ptsd, schizophrenia to name just a few can lead to people becoming insane. I take you now to 1979 in San Diego where we have one of the most famous school shootings in the world. When a sixteen year old girl killed two people and injured eight more on a Monday morning, Brenda Spencer was tried as an adult for her actions and leading up to that she had been found to have trauma to her brain and it was suggested she had depression. During all of this though she was contacted as she hid in her own home by a reporter who asked her, why she was doing this. Her response was simply I don’t like Mondays. There have been plenty of shootings like this since and people like it need to be given help, so they can become members of society again.
Now let’s jump back to the theoretical insanity, you know the one that says we’re all insane. It’s true though we all are, just look at what we try to do every day. Reach our goals, whatever they may be most people continuously push through to reach a goal by doing the same thing over and over with no change to the results. How about just our interactions with people, most of the time no matter what result we want, we talk to them the same way we normally do and our disappointed when the result doesn’t change. You probably can think of more examples of these instances we are insane but you know what stinks to high heaven the fact there’s nothing we can do.
We’re going to be insane we’re gonna go out there and just try to change how we do things because there’s not much else we con do

IvyBelle Talks Depression

“Everybody feels these moments of sadness and moments of loss and sometimes I think everybody can relate to sitting alone and feeling like crap and a friend of yours comes up and starts like, you know, ‘come on, feel happy,’ and you don’t want that. Sometimes it’s alright to let yourself live in a moment and let yourself be upset about something and so that you can show yourself that regardless of how low you feel, you can always rise out of it, but not in that moment. And so the song ends with the lyric, ‘I believe we all fall down’ but I don’t say ‘but we get back up’. It’s just, sometimes you fall down and sometimes you feel low and that’s okay.”    – Andy Biersack
(in reference to the song Lost It All )

Talking about my experience with depression is hard. Ive been staring at this blank page for hours not sure where to start or what to say. I can say that it’s not something that is easy to talk about. I can’t really explain how it all started or what triggered it, because I don’t really know myself. All I know is that I was never really happy. If I was, it would maybe be a day or an hour and then I would just hit rock bottom again. It wasn’t that I was ungrateful, it’s just that it seems like I didn’t know how to be happy. It wasn’t a familiar feeling. Still today I’m not really sure if I will find true happiness one day. If I’ll actually wake up in the morning be happy about my job, not fight with my mom, not just sit and just feel sad or always be angry. Some days I worry that I’m going to lose my job because every day I become more and more aggressive. This filter that I once had doesn’t exist anymore. I see my manager’s reaction to what I say sometimes and I can tell she’s not too happy about it. I know if I keep this up, I won’t have a job soon.

Happiness is hard for me to find.I’ll be somewhere with a friend or family, and yet in the back of my mind, I just miss someone, or just want to sit at home and not do anything. I’ll be sad about something that happened years ago or I’ll just get irritated. My mom would bug me a bit and I would snap back even though I know shes joking, I just can’t control myself. Every time I move I keep telling myself, this time I’ll be happy! This time, my depression will go away. But the next day, sadness and anger comes back.

I didn’t really think much about the fact that I have depression until I looked up the symptoms of depression.  Theres days that I hear my alarm go off and I just roll over and try to ignore it-  but unfortunately, I need to pay my bills, rent, food, etc…  motivation is something that I lack big time! It’s something I struggle with. Im passionate about a lot of things but it hard for me to reach my goals, it’s a constant battle with myself. There’s days I wake up and just start crying, not wanting to get up, tired of hurting, tired of struggling. When I looked up on google the symptoms of depression this is what I found:

What Are Symptoms of Depression?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, symptoms of depression may include the following:

  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
  • Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
  • Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
  • Irritability, restlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex ( Depending on person )
  • Overeating or appetite loss
  • Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment, etc…
  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts


When I read the symptoms it definitely helped me understand why I was/am being the way I was/am. Ive heard that you can take medication and I’ve tried it, but it didn’t really work for me. Ive had therapy, it made me feel better for that one hour. I told myself that one day ill be able to walk out of there with a smile and be “fixed”. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Ive had therapy for 3 years and I don’t regret it. My therapist was great, taught me things about life, and made me understand things that I didn’t know before. Helped me be wiser. When I told people I was in therapy they would look at me like I’m crazy or like I’m mental. I had to tell my friends that I had therapy because I kept telling them that I had a doctor’s appointment every 2 weeks and they thought it was weird until I told them that I wasn’t actually going to see a doctor.

“Here is the tragedy: when you are the victim of depression, not only do you feel utterly helpless and abandoned by the world, you also know that very few people can understand, or even begin to believe, that life can be this painful.” – Giles Andreae

One of the feeling I hate is feeling helpless. You see a friend or family member hurting and you feel bad, you want to take their pain away but at the same time you feel awkward because you’re not sure what to do. That’s when the feeling of being helpless comes in. I can sit here and be someone’s therapist – give advice cause in that moment I’m not thinking about me, Im thinking about someone else’s issues. Sometimes I think that I’m not worth it. When I’m in a relationship I tell myself “why is he even with me? Im broken, I’m depressed and lost.” Even my friends, I wonder why they are even my friends. All I do is either talk about my problems or I shut them out. I feel like I shouldn’t be talking about my problems because I feel like I’m a burden or sometimes I feel like they will judge me even though they don’t. It can be really frustrating.

Some days I go without eating or I’ll over eat… but then when I look in the mirror I keep seeing that I’ve gained weight and I tell myself that I’m ugly. Some days I’ll get irritated about little things or everything and it just cuts my appetite. Food is not the only reason why I’ve gained weight, it’s also because of how stressed and depressed I’ve been. Every night I try to go for walks, try to just forget everything by listening to music when it’s late and quiet out. I don’t really do it to get in shape. I do it because I need to get away from everything.

Sleep is my only safe haven. It’s the only place where 80% of the time I can have dreams and be happy without anyone telling me what to do or judge me. A place where I don’t have to worry about work, people, money, my depression, thinking about self-harm, all that goes away and that’s why I like to sleep. I love to sleep. Most of the time I can sleep for more than 12 hours and yet I still want to sleep. Even though I like sleeping, sometimes I hate it. When nightmares come around it’s a painful time, I can’t wake up from it until it’s done. Whatever feeling I have, injury or etc., I feel the pain when I wake up. For example if I get stabbed in my nightmare, when I wake up I will feel the pain exactly where I got stabbed. Waking up is a relief at that point except for the pain. However, when I have dreams waking up is painful because it reminds me of that everything was just a dream. Sometimes the hardest thing is to wake up after a nightmare and feel like you’re also living a nightmare. Some days I can’t sleep or I don’t want to sleep. Too many things are on my mind or I’m scared of what the night holds for me. I’ll go to bed crying not sure why, just this heavy feeling in my chest.

“There are many who don’t wish to sleep for fear of nightmares. Sadly, there are many who don’t wish to wake for the same fear.”

― Richelle E. Goodrich, Dandelions: The Disappearance of Annabelle Fancher

Over the years, I lost interest in all the things I was passionate about. Still today even though I love music, acting and writing, I seem to have loss interest, motivation for. When I was a kid, that’s all I cared about. Told myself I would be in the showbiz but today I’m 24 and Im just working in a store full time and trying to finish college. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still something I want to do – sing, act, write, but I struggle with getting out of bed. I don’t sing, play piano, write poetry, or act anymore. For someone who struggles with depression it’s really hard. We often get told that we’re lazy, we don’t care enough, that we expect people to just hand it out to us and honestly, hearing that frustrates us.

I’d love to be able to say it gets better, but unfortunately it doesn’t happen for everyone.X Some people never truly get over depression. I, myself am still struggling with depression but it doesn’t mean you will never feel that moment of happiness. It doesn’t mean that no one will get over depression- some people overcome it and others keep fighting. Depression doesn’t make you crazy, worthless or unloved; it makes you resilient. If you need help or support, don’t be afraid to ask for it.

Stay strong. Stay you. Stay beautiful. Keep fighting.
Ivybelle – XOX –

Brian’s Take on Depression

Depression is one thing I think no one should go through alone. It’s terrifying and deadly, depression as we all know will kill a lot of people. We often feel alone and upset; some of us feel physical pain, emotional pain, and don’t want to wake up in the morning or do anything because it just upsets us. To be honest I battle with depression and it sucks. There are days where I want to not wake up and just sleep, as well as not leave my house but I have to force myself to get up and leave. I realized when you stay in an area for a long time and isolate yourself you will go  insane at times, I personally did and it was the worst feeling ever.

I love being alone most of my times don’t get me wrong; but when I do it all the time it haunts me because I’m isolated in my own thoughts and those thoughts are scary. The things that I was going through in my life and the current situation I’m facing right now has its ups and downs. Sadly I have grown to accept that depression is something that I can’t get over and don’t know if I ever will. All I can do from my experience is do something everyday to keep myself occupied and stay busy whether that’s through working out, playing soccer, or even work in general.

One thing for sure is that you are not as alone as you think you are, there is a lot of people out the in the world that are dealing with depression. We can fight it by talking to a councilor, a close friend, or even a family member. When you talk out what you feel it’s better than holding it in because what happens next is you’re going to explode and regret the things you did. We all have a story and you’re lucky because your struggle and past will change a life. You can over come depression by not letting it get to you and live the life you want to live.

– Brian O’Connor

Education For Educators On Mental Health -Marie Olsson

“Kids are falling through the cracks and nobody notices it. That to me is what’s wrong with the school system.” – Melinda Gates

The educational system is rich in topics for us to learn: English, math, science, etc.; however it is lacking in the education on learning disorders and mental health for the school staff.  School can be difficult for youth as it is, which can be heightened further with undiagnosed issues or educators not understanding how they affect a student’s learning process. I believe if educators had a higher level of training in understanding how learning disabilities and (at least the most) common mental health diagnoses affect how one learns and/or focuses, along with how to spot them it could make learning easier for the youth that are struggling.

When I was in school I was going to see a therapist and I had fairly regular appointments, which unfortunately meant I had to leave early from class those days to make the appointment. The teacher I had that block was very understanding on the matter; however my vice principal was not as lenient. My vice principal one day pulled me into her office wanting to know where I went when I had to leave early, to which I responded honestly telling her I went to see a therapist and where my appointments were. From there she went on to demand to know who they were with and wanting to speak to them.  When I told her that she had no need to know that information, she threatened me with expulsion. For  her to talk with my therapist I would have to first give my therapist permission to talk with her, which I was not comfortable with. My vice principal pulled up the page of therapists who worked at the facility I was going to and was trying to figure out which one I was seeing, she went as far as to try and contact all of them, I felt like all my rights were taken from me at that moment. My parents were dragged into this mess that was created and it went from ugly to worse.

At the time I had not been officially diagnosed with anything specific besides ADHD, we were still working on diagnosing what we now know is bipolar type II but at the time had just labeled as depression. This is information I was not very willing to share with many people, nor was it of anyone else’s concern at the time, as it was not impacting my learning besides having to leave early from class. However it got me thinking that if that is how my vice principal handled my situation how would they handle another student struggling with a mental disorder. My vice principal’s blatant disrespect for the confidentiality between a therapist and client concerned me; how would they handle a similar or worse situation with another student.  Their careless, insensitive, and under educated approach to the matter could cause a lot of unneeded stress and damage to someone’s mental state.

When it comes to one’s mental health and how others actions affect the person dealing with a mental disorder it can feel like you’re running through a mine field if you are not fully aware of what repercussions your actions can bring.  Which is why I think the educators should be well educated on not only mental health but also the legal boundaries surrounding mental health. Whether or not a student wants to share that they are struggling with their mental health, the people we put in charge of their education should be fully aware of what boundaries (legal or personal) they cannot cross and fully equipped to help their student’s excel even if they are struggling with their mental health.

No one should be alone when they need someone there the most.  Sometimes having a teacher put the effort in making sure you have the tools you need to succeed makes the difference between graduating or not.

Stay Strong. Stay Brave. Keep Fighting Lovies,

Marie Olsson xx