Batman writer Tom King told Inverse, “When you’re in that kind of depression, the first thought is ‘I’m the only one who’s ever experienced this’ and if that’s your last thought, you drown under it."
After all, approximately one in five American adults experience mental illness in a given year. And depression has many different causes, including impaired mood regulation by the brain, genetic vulnerability, stressful life events and chronic health problems, according to Harvard Health Publications -- all of which are outside of a person's control. It has nothing to do with being "strong" or "weak."
While it may not seem like a heroic task, what makes a person strong is choosing to get out of bed in the morning when every fiber of your being is telling you to hide under the covers. It's putting on pants, when all you want is to stay in pajamas all day. Strength is going into work or taking that exam, when you'd rather stay home. It's choosing to go to the gym or eat healthy, when you'd rather cry on the couch and drink wine. Strength is finding the silver lining in your mental illness and using it to help others.
And, most importantly, strength is choosing, each day, to keep living.