Depression Should Be Recognized, Treated

A common misconception many people have of depression is that it is equivalent to sadness and treatable with similar remedies.

They hear that someone is depressed and tell them to “smile”, “shake it off” or “wait for it to pass.”

Although there are a plethora of reasons to be sad, and many of them are very reasonable, depression is caused by more than getting a bad grade before conferences or losing your favorite sunglasses before hitting the beach.

Depression is an illness that deserves recognition and proper treatments.

When someone is classified as depressed, they often show signs of suicidal tendencies, lack of participation in social events and consistent unhappiness.

How is it that someone with a common cold is recommended to stay home from work and take medications, whereas someone who is contemplating self harm is told to “drink some tea” or “take a bath”?

The double standards of physical health vs. mental health is absolutely ridiculous.

Sophomore Racquel Micheletto said, “There are so many people struggling with depression, and it’s over looked way too often. I don’t understand how people can look at someone who is struggling to find a reason to live and tell them that things will get better.”

“People should be able to spend time with someone they’re comfortable with and be prescribed medicine that assists to the issue they’re dealing with whether it be anxiety, insomnia or whatever else.”

Dimond High School Sophomore Madison Horwatt said, “I understand the misperception of depression as sadness, people don’t always know the difference because it’s not like people say they’re depressed straight up, normally people assume they’re only sad because they seem down.”

The illness of depression is not limited to being sad, either. It can be caused by an eating disorder, a self conflict or even no reason at all.

The opposing side of this issue would be that depression is a choice, and if you want to be happy you can just flip some metaphorical switch and poof you’re better.

We are all just people. We live in a complex world and we face struggles in different ways every single day.

Horwatt said, “I always try to help my friends when they’re seeming down but I also know they aren’t depressed, so I don’t take large actions like I would if I knew for a fact they were. The first steps to helping someone is telling them you’re there for them, then you can take further action.”

Of course you can’t always tell when someone needs help, but even just asking can make a big difference.

For anyone who believes depression isn’t a true mental illness, try to place yourself in their shoes, wouldn’t you want to be able to get the help you needed even if it included sleeping pills or skipping a day of school or work?

Of course.

If we can begin to view depression as an actual epidemic rather than a common problem, we can work together to save those who are suffering through their lives with no help.