Depression: the scary monster

By Patrice L

Some of the scariest monsters are the one’s that come from within.

Depression is the most common mental health disorder in the United States among teenagers and adults. Studies show that one in every eight teenagers has depression. Having depression makes it twelve times more likely for a teen to commit suicide. One line that everyone needs to hear; mental disorders are not an adjective, but a serious problem.

There are many reasons why a teen might become depressed. School performance, social status, sexual orientation, and family life can all have major effects on how teens feel. The stress of trying to balance school, jobs, friends, and extracurricular activities can also have negative effects. These factors, along with puberty and hormones, can cause a teen to feel hopeless, angry, agitated, or even suicidal.

Despite the severity and commonality of this mental health problem, many people still do not take it seriously. Adults more often than not dismiss it as “overreacting”, teens joke about it like it is not something that people actually suffer from and social media has turned it into something “trendy”. This can be terrible for someone who actually deals with depression. It makes teens suffering from depression feel like they can not talk about it, like they can not get help. Mental illnesses are not an accessory.

It is important to educate people so they understand what depression is like for those who suffer from it. Show adults a new perspective and how different life and school is than when they were young. Talk with teens and make them understand that it’s not funny when they say “I’m gonna kill myself” because they sent an ugly Snapchat selfie to their crush or someone did something that they did not like, along with romanticizing illnesses to get attention, or pity from those around them.
Depression is not a joke. It is not something cool or trendy that is fun to talk about. You are not just “overreacting” and you can not “just stop feeling that way”. It is a serious problem that many people have to deal with, and something that many people deal with on a daily basis, along with many other mental illnesses.

If you feel depressed, talk to someone about. Whether it is a professional, a teacher, parent, sibling, or your best friend. Talk to someone you trust, let them know how you are feeling because you are not alone and you can get better, you deserve to get better.