Woman Wednesday: Lindsey Kappen

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I’ve “known” Lindsey for a while. She became a pseudo-NDUltimate alum, but it wasn’t until our time at Ultimate Peace this summer that I actually got to know her. While she’s obviously a kick-ass athlete, being strong isn’t always about the weight you lift at the gym.

“There is a stigma around mental health marking it is as a weakness. There are still people who blame the victims of suicide, calling them selfish. It's been said that people with depression can just get over it. It's simple to fix- just stop being sad. It's all in your head. Mental health is still such a taboo topic because it's so misunderstood.

I'm a strong woman because I have depression and anxiety. My mental illness doesn't mark me as weak, it allows me to be strong.

In college I was ashamed of my mental health. During my senior year I became pregnant unexpectedly and immediately decided adoption was the best course of action. After having my son, I experienced post-partum depression. I told myself I just needed to suck it up. My life could be much worse. I had a roof over my head, food in my belly, and was earning a college degree; I was much better off than many. I refused to admit I had a problem. I convinced myself the negative thoughts and feelings I had were normal. By ignoring my mental health I destroyed multiple relationships and fell into a deeper depression.

I eventually was able to recognize I had a problem and worked to correct the issue. Struggling with depression doesn't make someone weak. It isn't something to be ashamed off. You aren't ashamed of having the flu, why be ashamed of having depression? Once I finally realized that, I was able to start healing. Even though I still struggle, I've come to accept my mental health as something I can talk about and not keep hidden.

Making it through the bad days to experience the good ones is what makes me a strong woman.