Stigma Fighters: Jasmin Pierre

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Stigma Fighters: Jasmin Pierre

My Name is Jasmin Pierre. I am from New Orleans, Louisiana and I am 26 years old. When my parents divorced, I was five. I was raised in Louisville, Kentucky for 12 years by my mother. It wasn’t until about the age of 17 I started feeling different. Some days I just didn’t feel like myself and I wasn’t sure why.

I was a teenager, and I figured it was just a phase; I’d get over in time. When I graduated high school I moved back home to New Orleans to be closer to my dad. I loved being back home. New Orleans had always been one of the biggest places in my heart. My dad was close to heart too. Even though I was raised by my mother he was still always present. Now I would get to spend even more time with him.

I enrolled in college and my brother helped me with finding a part time job working at Papa John’s. Things were off to a new and better start. However, the older I got the worse the feeling that started at 17 became. I was 20 years old when I was first diagnosed with clinical depression. I started seeing a psychiatrist and was put on antidepressants.

It was one of the most confusing times in my life. I had completely changed as a person. I always felt so negative; so hopeless. It had become hard for me to concentrate at school and my job. It didn’t take much for me to become angry. My friends noticed that I was behaving differently, but they didn’t know what was wrong; just that I had become difficult and always sad.

When I found out I had clinical depression I had no interest in learning more about it. I hated going to see a psychiatrist. I hated being on antidepressants. My dad told me it could help me get better, which is the only reason I continued the treatment plan. As time went on I still felt like things were never going to get better.

When I went to see my psychiatrist, I would barely speak. I just would tell him what I thought he wanted to hear so I could hurry up and get out of there. The antidepressants were not at all making me feel better either. I was starting to feel worse. The dosages of my medication were changed twice.

When I still didn’t feel a difference, I just quit taking them altogether. I stopped going to the psychiatrist. I was determined to handle depression without help. I didn’t like discussing my emotions with anyone and I couldn’t stand the medication. I figured this was something I just had to deal with on my own.
It wasn’t always bad. Sometimes I was fine for months at a time. Other times I felt like I was in a dark place that I couldn’t escape from. I’ve always believed in God but I wasn’t very close to him. When I turned 22, I joined a church here in New Orleans called “Spirit and Truth”.

It wasn’t the first church I’d ever been a part of. However, it was the best church I’d been apart of. The pastor really cared for (and still does) the people in his church. I found a place I could come every Wednesday and Sunday that took my mind off everything.

Things were ok for a while. I was still in school and still working at my part time job. I dated on and off and just enjoyed being home. New Orleans just has a different type of feel to it. If you’ve ever visited you would understand what I mean. From the Palm trees and the very, VERY hot summer days to the awesome food and the people. Riding the streetcars from uptown to downtown, hearing musicians randomly play in the streets, crazy football fans of the home team, my beloved saints. I just loved being in New Orleans.

Everything was getting better. That is until my grandma died in 2012.
I was now 23 years old and I felt like my world have caved in. I lost one of my best friends. My grandma was someone who I could talk to about men, sports, tv, current events, almost anything had just left me. Her heart gave out (congestive heart failure) and I felt like mine did as well. Things started to spiral out of control again.

I was doing ok with hiding my depression for a while, but losing her triggered it. At the end of 2013, my little sister, who was only six years old and suffered from cerebral palsy, died in her sleep; and right before Christmas at that. It was something none of us expected. Hard situations (I found out) had a way of making clinical depression more intense.

Church and my growing relationship with God was the only thing keeping me from losing it completely. I was trying so hard not to fall apart. At the start of 2014, I (yet again) wasn’t myself. However, I tried to hide that from everyone. I would pray and hope for things to get better.

Six years later, I am still living with clinical depression. The absolute worst of it came in 2014 when I almost died. This video I created spreads awareness and also gives my personal testimony of how I got through everything and came out even stronger. I made this video to help people realize they can come out of the darkness and find the light again.

It is my mission to make this video go viral. Over 350 million people suffer from some form of depression around the world. I want people who are suffering with depression to know that they can and will come out victorious as long as they have a faith in God, a faith in themselves, and they NEVER EVER give up.

By | 2015-03-20T09:19:04+00:00 March 20th, 2015|Categories: Depression, Stigma Fighters|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Kitt O'Malley March 22, 2015 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    Jasmine, thank you for sharing your testimony. I am so very sorry that you lost your sister. I send you my love. I hold you, your sister, and your family in my heart, thoughts and prayers. <3

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