What is Depression?
By Carlee H.
In today’s world, there are more than 264 million people suffering from depression. When someone has a mental illness, it can be hard to get help – statistics show that about 65% of adults with depression get treated, while only 40% of children get treated. Depression is a complicated illness, with a myriad of different types of depression and treatments. It can sometimes be hard to tell if someone is suffering—even if its you! Some ways to tell if someone is suffering is the way that they act or talk. They might:
- Feel uninterested in activities and objects they used to love
- Start to have bad moods, be negative, or think the worst
- Feel worthless and unloved
- Not concentrate as well
- Have physical symptoms such as stomach aches, loss/gain of appetite, loss/gain of sleep, etc.
- Withdraw socially
These are just some examples, and there are many examples. Also, just because someone doesn’t show these symptoms does not mean that they aren’t suffering either. It’s best to get checked out by a medical professional if these symptoms are noticed in order to get professional advice and a proper treatment plan.
Depression is a serious illness, and it should neither be made fun of nor overlooked. Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses. It can lead to many things if it doesn’t get treated: self-harm, addiction, reckless behavior, and suicide. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US, and it’s the second among people within the age range of 10-34. Over 47,000 Americans die each year from suicide.
If you know someone who is suffering with depression, just remember that this is not something that can be fixed right away or with a little pep talk. It takes time, patience, and professional help. Here are some pointers to help you:
- Try to help find support, whether it is a call to a help line or helping them get into therapy.
- Support and help them in any way you can, whether it is to help with some errands or listening to their concerns in conversation.
- Make sure to take care of yourself. If you start to only care about that one person and aren’t caring about yourself, you could start to feel burned out and that one person could start to feel guilty about making you worried and blue.
- Make sure to learn about depression yourself.
- Know the symptoms.
- Don’t walk away and leave them to deal with it on their own.
- Don’t think you caused this and don’t take anything personally.
- DON’T think that you can fix them. Depression cannot be cured with a simple pill or medicine.
- Advice is not always helpful, but listening is.
- DON’T overlook what they’re going through, and don’t minimize what they’re feeling.
Numbers to call/text in a crisis:
If someone is talking about dying and/or acting unusual in a way that concerns you, please talk to them and get them help.
National Suicide Line: 1-800-273-8255
National Hopeline Network: 1-800-442-4673
For your school’s counselor’s number, check the message board
There are many more hotlines out there. Call one if you need to, don’t be afraid of judgement, that you’re worthless, or that they’ll put you in a mental hospital; you will most likely be anonymous. Your life is valuable – don’t take it away.