Mental Health: Depression

by Neseret on June 23, 2011

Emotion | 110514-4411-jikatuPeople need to understand that DEPRESSION isn’t just a matter of being sad. It’s a condition, and a real illness. It’s actually a full-blown public issue. But right now…talking about depression is like COMING OUT. And…I don’t mind being one of the first to TALK about my so called little secret. ~ Ashley Judd

According to the World Health Organization currently depression is the second leading cause of disability worldwide. By 2020 it is predicted depression will be the leading cause of disability worldwide.

People tell me over and over the hardest thing about depression is the lack of understanding from others. Depression is not something visible at least for the average person who has not been affected by the illness or else without an awareness of the signs and symptoms of the condition. That said if I can describe it to you in the simplest way picture someone with a gushing open wound that requires immediate medical attention.

Why do we stigmatize people with mental illness? We don’t stigmatize people with heart disease or cancer. We don’t tell someone who is having an Asthma attack to “snap out of it”! When it comes to depression people have many misconceptions. People associate mental illness with laziness or some type of character flaw or socioeconomic class.

In my five years working as a mental health nurse I have seen people from all walks of life. Mental illness does not discriminate nor is it a respecter of persons. One in five people experience mental illness every year worldwide. This could happen to anyone of us. It could happen to people you love and care about.

In this day and age stigma really is ignorance. Stigma adds to the burden of an already exhausted and beaten down person. It is hard enough to battle depression or bipolar or schizophrenia, but having to deal with a layer of isolation is not acceptable.

The disease element of depression needs to be better understood. People who suffer from depression deserve the same type of compassion and support that would be given to any person suffering from a debilitating illness.

Please take the time to share your story and experiences here. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Also pass this information forward to friends, family and anyone else who will benefit from it. The more dialogue and conversation we have about mental health the more awareness we will raise.

Peace, Love & Gratitude,

Neseret

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