Sierra Rose

Sierra Rose’s depression began in early adolescence, when she lived in a chaotic environment, moved frequently, and had some difficult family relationships. She also struggles with self-harming, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Her boyfriend is a huge source of support, and her cats bring her joy and keep her going in hard times.

Sierra Rose had a tumultuous early life with her brother, mother and a series of her mother’s abusive husbands and boyfriends who came in and out of the household. Sierra Rose’s mother was only seventeen when she was born, and wasn’t in a good position to provide a safe childhood. As a result, Sierra Rose was forced to grow up extremely fast. After she began self-harming at age eleven, and there was a series of conflicts with her alcoholic step-father, she went to live with her grandmother for a while. There she had a more stable environment, and began therapy, but issues with drugs and alcohol arose and she ended up back with her mother. She completed high school on line because drugs were very prevalent in her school district and her mother did not want her to be exposed.

Depression has always been a part of Sierra Rose’s life; she doesn’t know what it’s like to live without it. Sometimes depression makes it hard for her to get off the couch except to go to the bathroom, to get food, and smoke. There are weeks when she doesn’t leave the apartment. When she cycles into better periods she gets out and finds a job, which makes her feel great. But then depression will kick back in and suck all the motivation away, making it impossible to work. She also struggles with anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Sierra Rose never returned to her last job after she went to the hospital for a short stay because she felt suicidal. Though some things were tough about being an inpatient at the hospital, it was also very helpful – particularly the intensive therapy, group work, writing therapy, and art.
Sierra Rose lives with her boyfriend, who supports her both emotionally and financially. They have a third roommate too. Her three cats are a comfort and a joy; knowing she is literally everything to them also provides major motivation to get out to buy them food and litter and to take good care of herself in the long run so she can be there for them. Since her hospitalization she is getting along better with her mother. She hopes to continue with both medication and therapy as an out-patient, if her insurance provides the right coverage. Both of these things, and group therapy too, have been helpful.

One thing Sierra Rose has come to realize is that everything is temporary; life has its ups and downs‚ and to feel the good you have to feel the bad. She wants other young adults with depression to know depression does get better and that if you can stick with it, you can become a strong healthy human being and do anything you want in this world. She also recommends getting a pet because animals are perfect, they love you no matter what. Like straight up everybody should own at least one animal.

Sierra Rose’s animals were officially designated as companions, like therapy dogs, thus allowing her pets to live in her apartment without paying extra rent.

Age at interview 18

Gender Female

Age at diagnosis 11

Sierra Rose says not to forget the world can be at your feet once your circumstances change.

Age at interview 18

Gender Female

Age at diagnosis 11

Sierra Rose acknowledges that recovery is a constant effort and seeks friends who are equally committed to healing and who can help her stay on this path.

Age at interview 18

Gender Female

Age at diagnosis 11

Leaving the place where her depression began reminded Sierra Rose that painful circumstances can in fact be changed.

Age at interview 18

Gender Female

Age at diagnosis 11

Sierra Rose believes exercise would help her, but reluctance to exercise in front of other people and finding the motivation to go do it are both barriers.

Age at interview 18

Gender Female

Age at diagnosis 11

Sierra Rose says her cats are the main reason she went to the hospital for help when she felt suicidal.

Age at interview 18

Gender Female

Age at diagnosis 11

Because she worried that disclosing her depression would induce harsh judgments, Sierra Rose found that on-line relationships felt safer, because they were more under her control.

Age at interview 18

Gender Female

Age at diagnosis 11

Suffering from depression and other trauma helped Sierra Rose realize that she is connected to a universal purpose to help others.

Age at interview 18

Gender Female

Age at diagnosis 11

Sierra Rose says the hospital provided needed relief from life at home, and that both the therapy and education about depression available to her there helped a lot.

Age at interview 18

Gender Female

Age at diagnosis 11

Depression makes the risks of adult life feel more vivid to Sierra Rose.

Age at interview 18

Gender Female

Age at diagnosis 11

Sierra Rose wonders why it can be so hard and expensive to get help when feeling desperate, and why there is no short-term suicide watch.

Age at interview 18

Gender Female

Age at diagnosis 11

Sierra Rose says that growing a bit older has given her the perspective to realize that everything is temporary, including the worst parts of her depression.

Age at interview 18

Gender Female

Age at diagnosis 11

Sierra Rose who was experiencing abuse from her mother’s boyfriend describes telling her brother about her suicide attempt.

Age at interview 18

Gender Female

Age at diagnosis 11

Sierra Rose wonders why it is so insanely difficult to get help for depression.

Age at interview 18

Gender Female

Age at diagnosis 11

Sierra Rose says depression makes it hard to hold down a job.

Age at interview 18

Gender Female

Age at diagnosis 11

For Sierra Rose, the combination of poverty and depression made it hard to move ahead with important goals in life.

Age at interview 18

Gender Female

Age at diagnosis 11

Sierra Rose says depression makes it hard to hold down a job.

Age at interview 18

Gender Female

Age at diagnosis 11

Depression holds Sierra Rose back from all sorts of relationships.

Age at interview 18

Gender Female

Age at diagnosis 11

Sierra Rose has severe depression, severe anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and PTSD. Here she describes the lasting effect of a long-ago rape.

Age at interview 18

Gender Female

Age at diagnosis 11

Sierra Rose used self-harm to cope with anger.

Age at interview 18

Gender Female

Age at diagnosis 11

Lots of screen time and less face-to-face communication seem to Sierra Rose to be causing increased rates of depression among young people.

Age at interview 18

Gender Female

Age at diagnosis 11

Sierra Rose says if you are in a bad living environment it is hard to be mentally healthy.

Age at interview 18

Gender Female

Age at diagnosis 11