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Stop The Stigma

The clock reads 3:30am, and all he can do is lie awake. Past actions and self hatred cloud his mind, refusing to give him the relief of closing his eyes and drifting off to sleep. Hours pass, and he can feel his chest tighten as he glances at the clock. 6:30am. The very thought of dragging himself out of bed now has him in tears. He can’t face the world; he can’t face another day pretending at school. Without any motivation, he remains in bed for the rest of the day.

For many people who suffer from depression or anxiety, face a crippling reality. It can be difficult to get out of bed because of the lack of motivation or, for those who struggle with anxiety, there is a fear of experiencing anxiety attacks or having judgement thrown at them.

There are over 40 million adults who suffer from some type of anxiety disorder, and about 15 million people, making up about 6.7% of the American population, that suffer from Major Depressive Disorder, or Clinical Depression. (AADAA)

“I think depression is a subjective thing; most mental health issues are. So, it’s how it is affecting you. So it might be that something that would be small for someone else might be huge for another.” Says Mr. Rude, a social worker at the PV district.

There has been controversy on how people use the terms depressed and anxious in their daily life. For example, people may overhear a person saying, “I’m so depressed!” or “I’m so anxious for this speech!” The question is, do they really feel like that, or are they exaggerating?

Anxiety and depression are normal things human beings can feel, but people often confuse these feelings with that of actual anxiety and mood disorders. It’s normal to feel anxious or depressed every so often, but to feel it frequently can be symptoms of mental health problems

Dr. Finley, aka Doc Rock, a psychologist at Perkiomen Valley District, talked about how social media may affect how people feel. He used the new show Thirteen Reason Why as an example. Since the show aired, a few students have told their counselors or Doc Rock they also feel suicidal, even though they had never felt so beforehand.

He went on to explain how the show may glorify suicide and depression, and some of the graphic scenes may cause people to feel they too are depressed or suicidal, even if they technically aren’t. Certain scenes can cause uncomfortable feelings, which may lead to someone feeling these things.

Someone who suffers from both severe depression and mild anxiety may feel invalidated when people who are not technically depressed but still use these terms to describe their feelings.

“There are people that will say they’re depressed or anxious willy-nilly, and when you look at it, it doesn’t seem like it’s depression. I think it’s more that people overuse the term depression.” Says Rude.

For most people with depression or anxiety, daily tasks can seem unbearable. Such tasks can include showering, eating, doing laundry, homework, etc. These mental illnesses can cause life to seem hopeless or meaningless, which can cause suicidal ideation; this is common in people suffering from Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), or even General Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

In today’s society, there are tons of environmental aspects that can lead to someone to develop anxiety or depression. Some examples are the news, bullying, broken homes, financial struggles, divorce, heredity genes, etc.

The amount of depressed people hospitalized in 1990 through 1992 was about 260,000, and the amount in 2002 through 2004 has gone up to 411,300 for both males and females. (Quickstats)

Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, and about 44,193 people commit suicide every year. “On average, there are 121 suicides per day.” (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention)

The suicide rate for people from ages 15 to 24 in 2015 was 120,500. The average suicide rate for 2015 was 130,26.

Using the terms “depressed” or “anxious” for everything can, and has, put less attention on this very serious matter. Jokes about depression, suicide, and triggers are made every day by high schoolers, and even middle schoolers. This is a very serious matter, as the rates depression and suicide have gone up significantly.

If you hear someone making these jokes, stop them and educate them. These jokes can be triggers for certain people, which can make them feel so low that they are no longer safe.

If you are feeling depressed or suicidal, you can contact the following number.

National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Source: AnxietyAndDepressionAssociationofAmerica.org