It’s become a common trend for groups and charities to promote awareness for their cause. You can get ribbons for your social network pictures. Some even believe goofy statuses about where you put your purse will raise awareness for breast cancer.
The biggest problem with these awareness campaigns is just that- it makes people aware, but nothing else. Awareness is great if followed by action and results, but a silly status isn’t going to raise money or fund research for cancer cures.
However, I believe there needs to be more awareness about depression and other mental disabilities in order to get rid of the stigma surrounding them so that those with them, can get the help they need before resorting to drastic measures.
More and more young people are facing depression and severe anxiety due to the world in which we live. Jobs are hard to find. Bills don’t get paid. There are social, political, and cultural issues facing us at every turn. Our country can’t seem to get out of wars quickly enough before joining in another one. Children are being assaulted. People are starving. Healthcare is too expensive and people are dying.
It’s stressful and depressing.
But there is still a stigma in our society about mental disorders, especially for those seeking counseling and therapy. Add is prescription drugs and the entire topic becomes taboo.
But why? Many people face these issues and it should be something we can talk about. Maybe if more people talked about it and their struggles with depression, others wouldn’t feel so alienated and might find solace and peace in simply knowing they aren’t alone.
This is one of the few causes that awareness and understanding can actually make a difference.
I’m not asking for people to donate money or to call their congress representative, but simply being more willing to understand that some people’s brains are wired differently and they have difficulties. (Now if you want to donate or call Congress, please do so, but awareness works too.)
I, personally, have struggled with depression and anxiety. Any of you that followed me last year know this. I was a wreck. I had previously been in counseling during college. and while we decided medicine wasn’t necessary at the time, counseling was amazing. Getting to talk to someone unbiased and who would simply listen without judgment was the best thing ever for me. She would tell me when I was looking at something from the wrong perspective and help me to realize where my issues were and how to cope with them and fix them.
Currently I am on a medication for my migraines, but it’s actual intended purpose is as an anti-depressant. Now, I really was prescribed it for my migraines, and it has done a fantastic job with them, but I am much calmer and easy going. Mr. A could tell a difference within about two weeks of my starting it.
I still have bad days. I still get stressed out and cry and rant and rave. But those are fewer and farther between, and they are shorter in duration. I can also see logic and reasoning through my anger.
I am a big supporter of therapy, and if necessary, medication. I also believe that the two should go hand in hand so that the medication doesn’t become a permanent fixture in a person’s life. I won’t be on this medicine forever, mostly because it has side effects for pregnant women, and I would like to have children eventually. I may have to start again if my migraines return with a vengeance, which is fine by me, and I will enjoy the calming side effects of it.
I just hope that as a society, we can be more accepting of those struggling and lend a supportive hand or shoulder to lean on instead of shunning the person and treating them like a leper.
We all have difficult times and it’s time for us to quit alienating others and work alongside them to help them through their trials.
[Edited]: If you can also keep my undergrad in your prayers. A student, presumably, jumped from one of the campus’s building in an apparent suicide. I didn’t know the student, but I am heartbroken for the community, especially since it’s a small school and this will probably affect many people.
**This post was inspired by Mr. A’s classmate who, presumably, committed suicide last week. I wish he had gotten the help he needed instead of feeling like, as a future attorney, he couldn’t ask. Still praying for his friends and family.
***If you are struggling with depression, please get help. You are loved and cared for and we all want to see what amazing things you will do.