Depression is more common than you may think
Clinical depression is diagnosed more often in women, but the impact it has on a person’s life is similar. The World Health Organization gives an estimate of 800,000 deaths per year due to suicide and this illness is the second leading cause of death amongst young people aged 15-29. Suicide is an extreme effect of depression and not all people diagnosed with clinical depression succumb to their despairing thoughts of committing suicide.
Why it is important to break the stigma and end discrimination
Too many people regard depression as something that you can will your way out of and just snap out of it. This is not true. Positive thinking helps but it needs the help of medicine and therapy. It is a real illness just like diabetes; most people are not faking being depressed for want of attention. The attention one receives can be mean spirited and alienating. Yes, the symptoms of depression make people physically and mentally tired making them weaker, but it takes a lot of strength to live day to day with debilitating and painful symptoms. Many more people can be helped by promoting education about depression and paying attention to serious warning signs of suicidal ideation. When someone says they want to kill themselves it is important to take them seriously and get help for them.
Depression in the media
Great strides have been made in ending the stigma with the help of major businesses contributing to the funding for public education. One such campaign is the Bell Lets Talk About It yearly campaign. With the help of celebrities, people are encouraged to end the stigma of clinical depression and help people find the help that they need. There should be no shame in asking for the help that people need when in duress because of depression; due to lack of understanding, too many people dismiss those who are asking for help, but with these public campaigns kind of normalizing depression, many more people may be willing to help someone out without harsh judgement and treatment.
Depression debilitates people from all walks of life
Clinical depression affects people from every socio-economic class, age group and colour. Money and status cannot prevent depression from ever happening as we can see with some celebrities that have committed suicide. It is a confusing illness that leaves many people bewildered including sufferers and family and friends alike. Depression is not a matter of being ungrateful, it is a serious mood disorder that requires the help and understanding of others.
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