Oregon student's tattoo sparking conversation about depression - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon student's tattoo sparking conversation about depression

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Bekah Miles Bekah Miles
"Save me" "Save me"

A junior at George Fox University in Newberg is kicking off the new school year in a big way: through a viral Facebook post about her clinical depression and subsequent tattoo.

Bekah Miles had two words inscribed above her left knee. 

To anyone looking at her, it reads, “I’m fine.”  But from her perspective looking upside down at the tattoo, it reads, “Save me.”

“Last year I was diagnosed with depression and it was really difficult for me,” Miles said.  “I didn’t want to be afraid of it anymore and I didn’t want it to control me.”

She posted a picture of the tattoo to her Facebook page, and it spread like wildfire.

So far, it’s been shared by more than 300,000 people on the social media network.

Miles says her story has also since been picked up by BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, a news station in Brazil, morning news show in Australia, a radio station in Canada and by the web community co-founded by Zooey Deschanel, Hello Giggles.

“It’s been very overwhelming, but overwhelming in a good day,” she added.  “These are real people with real struggles and we’re just brushing it under the rug.  And that’s the real problem.”

Miles said she was inspired to share her story after a psychology class at George Fox University last spring.

“My professor talked about her own struggle with depression and I realized that such a person that I looked up to, that I know a lot of people looked up to, that was such an inspirational happy person all the time, that she had something like I did,” Miles said with tears in her eyes.

That professor was clinical psychologist Dr. Kristina Kays.

“I decided a few years back that it was something that would be important for my students to know, that It wasn’t just other people but it’s people they know and there is a way out,” Dr. Kays added

At the time, she didn’t realize how powerful her words were. 

But now, she’s proud to see her student inspiring so many others and working to take the negative stigma away from mental health and depression.

“You’re not alone.  We’re not alone,” Miles said.  “I mean clearly – there’s at least 300,000 shares of the post.  Clearly we’re not alone.”

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