That word is thrown around like it’s nothing. Remember when people used to abuse the word ‘gay’? This word is abused over and over again. It seems like being depressed is the new trend. Personally, I don’t get it. I really don’t. And I’m sure anyone who is actually suffering from depression, doesn’t get it either. It’s easy to diagnose yourself with illnesses you don’t have these days. Google is your friend right? No it’s not, well sometimes; I’m not going to sit here and pretend it hasn’t saved me on numerous occasions but this really is a serious topic.
My point here isn’t to say that everybody should stop using the word. And I’m also not saying that everyone using the word is abusing it. I could never tell a person whether they were depressed or not, but the question is, are you suffering from a low mood or clinical depression? Are you depressed in this moment or is this a feeling that you just can’t shake no matter how hard you try. Are you able to snap out of your depressed state after a couple of days of sadness? Or are you unable to shake the sadness for days on end with no valid explanation for your lack of motivation, passion and focus. No matter how hard you try to stay positive, the dark cloud just won’t budge and although you know everything you need to do to move past it, it feels like you’ve hit an iceberg. You are consumed with a sinking feeling. And just like an iceberg, it’s much deeper than it seems.
Clinical depression. It’s a genuine health condition that really isn’t taken seriously enough. You can’t just ‘snap out of it’ or ‘pull yourself together’. I’m sure if it was that easy we’d all do it with the click of a finger; no-one wants to feel the hopelessness and worthlessness that comes with it. Depression can range from mild to severe. There many symptoms including; lack of appetite or comfort eating, not being able to concentrate, and not getting the same enjoyment out of life that you once used to. Severe depression can lead to thoughts of harming yourself or others and suicide. These thoughts can turn into action.
So can you see how serious this is now?
Mental health is still living in the shadows. As a society we’ve begin to prod at the edges and encourage people to speak up but it’s still lurking in the dark like the monster under your bed. The stigma around the issue is still so present and it really needs to be dealt with. The trivialised use of the word can make it harder for those suffering with depression to be understood or even want to come forward to begin with; suffering in silence only makes the condition worse.
Just because it can’t be seen, doesn’t make it any less real. Mental health is a silent killer. And we all need to face it head on, together, just like we would with cancer.
If you feel like this is something you have a concern about for yourself or think someone in you know might need help, please visit your GP or talk to a professional who can give you the right advice.
If you are facing a crisis, need urgent help or just someone to talk to, there are anonymous helplines out there:
- Samaritans (116 123) – 24 hour service. You can also email Samaritans if you can’t find the privacy or if you’d prefer to write how you’re feeling. Email: email@example.com
- Childline (0800 1111) – Specifically for children and young people in the UK.
* Calls are free and will not show on your phone bill.
- PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) – Supporting teenagers/young adults feeling suicidal.
- Students Against Depression – A website for students who are depressed, have a low mood or thoughts of suicide.
- Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) (0800 58 58 58) – Helpline and support group for specifically for young men.