Mental Illnesses (Part II): Depression

Jasmine Basila

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The ADAA (Anxiety & Depression Association of America) quotes that 322 million people suffer from major depression globally. Even if this is just a smidgen compared to the worldwide population, it is not something to be taken lightly.

I hear many people say that depression is a joke, an overreaction. It’s an absolutely revolting thing to hear. So, I shall take it upon myself to educate those who believe such a thing.

Starting off, I give you another statistic: according to publication, suicide is one of the top ten causes of death in U.S. Not even homicide is that high up the list. They also quote, “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gathers data from hospitals on cases of self-harm and of suicide each year…However, the some consider the number to be low because the stigma still surrounding suicide can result in underreporting.”

Stigma is a synonym for discrimination. Why discriminate against people who only need help? It is believed by a wide demographic that those who suffer from depression are “looking for attention,” and again, “overreacting.” If you agree with those statements, I’d like you to put yourself in their shoes.

You can never know the whole story about one person. The quiet stranger always sitting alone could be abused at home, resulting in them being so resigned. The boisterous and annoyingly unruly peer you have may not have a stable parental figure and was never taught right. The uptight and snappy teacher’s pet could be harshly pressured at home to never fail, and so is constantly stressed. You can never assume the whole story of someone’s life just because they aren’t someone who fits in your company.

The most common cause of depression is an unhealthy amount of stress, and that stress can be caused by a variety of things: schoolwork, abuse, social life– there is no invalid cause for depression. Sixty percent of suicides are caused by MJD (major depression disorder). The bulk of these deaths are in the 10-14 age range, and the third-most cause of death in the group. In fact, it is likely that at least one person in your classroom could be battling depression. Look for signs: drastic mood changes, withdrawal, lost interest in hobbies, extremely low self esteem, no motivation. These are all like klaxons that should grab your attention.

In any case, depression is a doubly serious problem. If someone is ignorant enough to believe it’s only a fad of sorts, I hope the statistics I’ve brought forth shed some light.

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Mental Illnesses (Part II): Depression