No Filter Needed

Junior copes with depression through Instagram posts


Followers: 900 and counting. One to two pictures daily. Three mental illnesses. Taylor Edson, junior, is overcoming those three illnesses through the followers and the pictures, all via Instagram. Edson found out she had clinical depression in 2011. Prior to that, she was getting fed up with the feelings she was having and finally decided to talk to her mom about what was going on. “I took a test and my results were severe,” Edson said. “They immediately put me on medicine.” After battling with depression, she was diagnosed with two personality disorders; borderline, and schizotypal. While she was struggling to find a way to cope with everything she was going through, her friend showed Edson her “venting” Instagram, where no one really knew her name, and where her friend could express herself. “She had one, and I said ‘oh, that’s a good idea,’” Edson said. Edson started up her venting Instagram with the intentions for no one to find out about it and where she could fully express herself without feeling judged. Through hashtags and quality pictures, she started gaining followers. She has felt the love of her followers by them commenting and liking her stuff, showing that they care. She returns the favor by doing the same to the people she follows. “One girl posted that she was going to kill herself, so I spammed her with comments showing that I cared,” Edson said. “She was glad I was following her because if I wasn’t she would’ve probably did it that night.” Helping others with her Instagram has become important to her. Her followers are helping her, so she feels like she needs to be there for them. “At that moment, you have to be alive to help other people.” Edson said. From the start, Edson never made the Instagram to get pity from anyone. She made it to get all of her emotions out. “If I were to post what I feel on Facebook, it would just cause drama,” Edson said. With her Instagram, Edson felt safe. That was until Edson trusted some of her close friends with her Instagram, letting them see her pictures and follow, only to have them reveal it to others. “I got mad,” Edson said. “I didn’t feel like I was safe on my Instagram anymore.” Edson never intended for anyone to find it, her name isn’t even anywhere on her Instagram. She had made the account so the people at school wouldn’t find it. Edson didn’t think her friends were going to tell anyone. “People said it was for attention,” she said. “They disagreed having an account like mine helps. One girl said I had no reason to be depressed.” If you were to look up her Instagram now, everything on her profile is private. If you were to request to follow her, she would most likely block you. “I thought about deleting it, but I put so much time and effort into it, that I just couldn’t give it up,” Edson said. “It’s kind of like a relationship. Instagram is my boyfriend.” It has hurt Edson to hear that what she has been going through has been labeled for “attention.” “Mental illnesses are NOT for attention,” Edson says sternly. “They’re real. They’re serious.” Though it has been hard for her, Edson believes it will get better. She tries to always find a reason to smile, and her followers on Instagram have helped her with that. They have kept her alive through the lowest points in her life.