Society’s Definition of Depression
Depression is common around the world today. Depression can mean different things for different people. For example, I view depression as having an off balance of chemicals in your brain. If you look up depression on Merriam Webster website, the definition is “a mood disorder marked especially by sadness, inactivity, difficulty in thinking and concentration, a significant increase or decrease in appetite and time spent sleeping, feelings of dejection and hopelessness, and sometimes suicidal tendencies.” That definition gives you a list of signs and symptoms to be aware of. I believe there are different levels of depression, for example, depression only and then depression combined with mental illness. To me depression is when you are depressed for no reason like just being sad. While at other times you are depressed for a long time but you are perfectly fine. When you start to spiral out of control, you may suffer from depression with mental illness. Everyone will suffer from depression at some point in their life. But, when a person is depressed all the time, it can be a sign of mental illness as they are frequently intertwined. Depression can make you think that you aren’t good enough or that you did something wrong. Society today makes it seem that mental illness isn’t a real problem. Its view is that people who have mental illness or depression need to get over it and get on with their lives. Sadly, depression sometimes leads people to thoughts of taking their own lives. Many kids, teenagers, young adults and elderly people are committing suicide every day because they feel lonely and depressed and are afraid to ask for help from anyone. There needs to be more awareness and acceptance of depression and depression combined with mental illness.
Personally, I have known some people who have taken their lives from dealing with depression or depression combined with mental illness. At one point they were completely fine and then suddenly they aren’t here anymore. It is a terrible thing to think how they got so sad and depressed that they thought that choosing to take their own life was easier than seeking help. Sadly, they think that’s their only option at that moment in their life. They didn’t realize the devastation, hurt and sadness that will be left behind for family and friends; those people who loved them. It hurts because when you know that person you feel terrible because you didn’t realize they were going through such a hard time. The guilt that family and friends have is hard to deal with as you feel as though you let that person down. My favorite quote is “Sometimes the happiest people are the people who are hurting the most.” The most depressed people could be the ones that always make you laugh or smile and they always try to make you feel happy when they aren’t.
As a society we need to be more accepting and to not shame people who struggle with feelings of depression. Also as a society we need to be more accepting and to not shame people who struggle with mental illness. Society is so hard and judgmental against how people feel. From personal experience I have had my friends say that I could talk to them but I don’t because I don’t want to bother them or get judged for not knowing what is wrong. Our mental health is just as important as our physical health. Doctors and therapists need to know the symptoms of depression and depression with mental illness to be able to help everyone. They need to experiment with different kinds of medicines and alternative medicines. I think maybe there should be study groups of depressed people. Place those people in situations that make them depressed, study what triggers it and find solutions for those triggers. Then the people in those groups can learn how to cope by putting plans of action in place to get them through the hard times.
The bottom line is that depression and depression with mental illness need to be recognized as true illnesses. This will be difficult but my hope is that once we recognize this, the medical profession can begin to find answers and people can begin to get the help they need. Also, it would be great to find ways to prevent depression from happening just as they are trying ways to prevent cancer from happening. Maybe in the future depression will be nonexistent.
At some point in our life everyone is going to deal with depression after all its human nature. There are many different causes for it, such as traumatic events, physical and mental abuse, bullying, etc. The list goes on and on. In a perfect world, we would all be much nicer to each other. But since this isn’t a perfect world, we all need to learn to treat each other better. After all, the golden rule is treat people the way the way you would want to be treated.
There are many ways to prevent depression. For example, if a person has depression in their family they need to be aware of the signs and symptoms and take measures on how to deal with or treat themselves if they feel they might have depression. Also, if young adult or a child shows signs to a teacher or a person in authority, that person needs to help them. It’s okay to ask someone if they are okay or ask them or if something at home is going on. Young kids might not know that what they are feeling is signs of depression. They might not know what depression is or how to deal with these feelings. So, having someone who recognizes signs of it and mentioning depression, it can open up the lines of communication and they can get the help they need. All it takes is for one person to speak up. So, for a person they look up to helps them they will sure get through it.
“Depression.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster.