Depression the Stigmatized Illness
Depression! You hear the word often, but do you really know what it is? Chances are you know someone who has depression, or it might even be you. Many people with depression hide behind closed doors, afraid of what others might think of them if they were to share their story. A story of constant sadness that doesn’t seem to have a root. A heartache so strong that it feels as if you are drowning in your own sorrows. “You need to go to church,” “You need to pray more,” “you just need to be more positive” people might say. If only it were so easy, If only people with chronic depression could turn the illness on and off like a light switch; oh how wonderful that would be. Then there is the stigma, and oh what a STIGMA it is………”people who say they are depressed just want attention,” “they just don’t know how to cope” “they are just weak.” According to the Anxiety and Depression Society of America (n.d), depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, with 1 in 13 people suffering from anxiety globally. It is not uncommon for someone with anxiety to suffer from depression and vice versa.
The stigma surrounding mental illness is more prevalent in certain communities than others. There are many individuals who don’t believe that mental illnesses are real. There are people who do not understand that the brain Is an organ, and that just like any other organ, the brain can be susceptible to ailments. Mental illnesses are real, chemical imbalance is real. If you suffer from depression and anxiety, do not silence yourself; speak your truth so that you may be a light unto others! If you need professional help, seek it; if you need a support system, find it.
To find out more about Depression, check out the following sites:
Facts & Statistics. (n.d). Retrieved from