If you have gone anywhere near a news source recently, you might’ve heard the war on drugs mentioned once or twice. However, the topic of depression still remains a secret among the mainstream media. Of course, everyone knew about the existence of depression, but it just was never taken seriously as a mental illness. It was something associated with those antidepressant pill commercials where a white middle-aged woman was solemn one second and going on bike rides the next. To many, it was seen as this stage of sadness that disappears after a few weeks or so. Obviously, this is not the case, especially for the younger generation.
I first learned about the concept of depression in seventh grade. My best friend was a loud, outgoing person. She was funny, she told jokes, she made everyone laugh. But deep inside, she wasn’t. She was extremely quiet around people close to her for a large part of that year and held this sad look in her eyes. Before I knew what was happening she had these lines along her upper arm, some were red and some were faded. Through her quietness that year, I tried to make her laugh and made small talks with her. That didn’t work. I soon realized that I can’t “rescue” her, the best thing I could do was just sit there and try to understand her and support her. There was never use in telling her that she’s beautiful or that she has nothing to be sad about because I don’t have the right to tell her that and make her believe me. She had to believe it on her own.
These recent years, the idea of depression is becoming an increasingly common thing among the people I associate with. School, high expectations, parental negligence, the struggle to fit in, and disappointment in society pushed layers of depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses into their mind. It even pushed some into more drastic approaches like drugs and suicide. Unfortunately, instead of receiving help and support from others, these mental illnesses we suffer from is just viewed a “you’ll get over it” or even a “there are people who have it worse than you” mindset. It’s not taken as seriously as physical illness, we still need to continue to do things that makes us suffer. The youth is never going to win the war if they’re not taken seriously.
I come from a very traditional asian family where the concept of “depression” or any other mental illnesses is not clearly understood or even accepted. The only way they can ever deal with it is sending it straight into to the psychiatric wards route. Frightened by the stereotypical image of a prison-like hospital and being tied to it’s bed, many were often too afraid to even admit to mental illnesses. Though physically everything seems fine, everything is far too chaotic.
The point is, though the public often view teenagehood as a period of rebellion and delinquency, the reality is not how the mainstream media portrays it to be. We too need support, understanding, and help like others. Mental illnesses need to be taken just as seriously if not even more as physical illnesses. How is the future generation supposed to grow and help the world if these factors are blocking the way?
All the love.
Loved And Lost (featured image)