For most of us, we’ve had a few rainy days that felt endless. But for the remainder of society, rainy days happen all the time. A lot of people tend to believe that depression is a fleeting emotion and something that cannot destroy the natural flow of one’s life. Sadly, some families tend to make depression taboo and refuse to acknowledge it or discuss it. The use of medication further stigmatizes families and causes barriers for open discussion. For fear of appearing “helpless” or “needy,” some people suffer in silence all alone until one day their illness becomes so apparent that it’s almost impossible to hide.
According to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, about depression affects about 14.8 million adults, with an age of onset around age 32. Men and women experience depression as well, but men experience it a bit differently. Because of how men are socialized to be “strong” and “powerful,” men may hide their depression or cloak their depressed mood under anger, aggression, or irritability. For women, they become quiet, emotional, or stressed.
The reality is that depression exists and at higher rates than we care to embrace. Depression has become the nation’s most debilitating illness among us. It tears families apart (irritability), it creates roadblocks (isolation), it reduces productivity (lack of interest, poor concentration, poor sleep patterns), it leads to self-destruction (self-medication through drugs or alcohol; overeating, lack of exercise or motivation), it creates feelings of low self-esteem (guilt, unfounded self-blame), and submerges the sufferer in emotional, psychological, and physical pain (aches, unfounded illnesses, new ailments, fears, worries, anxieties, etc).
Overly positive or unrealistic thinking would have us believe that depression does not exist. It would have us believe that depression could not possibly be debilitating enough to require hospitalization. It would also have us believe that depression is apart of one’s personality and not an illness. So many erroneous assumptions exist. It’s about time it stop.
For more information on how depression affects the sufferer, the following videos provide detail:
Good video for children and adolescents suffering from depression:
Take good care of yourself & stay informed.
All the best
This article was originally published on 9.4.2013 but has been updated to reflect accuracy and updated information.