Hope for depressed closer than first thought

It seems like so many people are too wrapped in their own little worlds to notice what is going on in the lives of those around them. This is not only one of the saddest things I have ever seen, but also one of the most dangerous. Due to this excruciatingly infectious apathy, it is nearly impossible for one who truly needs help to find it.

Allow me put it this way: Statistics show that one in every ten adolescents self harms; there are approximately 1,000 students enrolled in this school. This means that there are close to 100 students on this campus that are struggling with depression or self harm. I really hope I am not the only person who thinks that fact is both shocking and disheartening.

The thing that upsets me most about this topic is the general lack of knowledge about depression itself. A common misconception is that depression is just a phase. This couldn’t be further from the truth. It is true that many teenagers do go through an extended period of stress and/or anxiety due to the many responsibilities of juggling high school, a job and a social life. This period is often misdiagnosed (by parents and/or peers) as “depression” when in reality, it’s simply stress.

True depression is categorized as a mental disorder, and it is still controversial as to what actually causes it. Specialists have tossed around ideas from a chemical imbalance in the brain to brain damage caused by intense stress or trauma.

Another controversial topic regarding depression is treatment. Many specialists do prescribe antidepressants to those who need them, but most of these only suppress the symptoms, not get rid of them. I have personally known a countless number of people who have gone through this, as well as some who still are going through it, and the thing that has helped them the most is therapy. But for some not even therapy is enough to end depression.

Surprisingly enough, specialists believe the thing that helps the most is the care and attention of friends and peers of the depressed person. I am in no position to be giving any sort of medical advice on this subject, I am simply reinforcing what many experts have already said.

It’s hard for me to even comprehend that so many people here could struggle with this when I know that more than half this school at least professes to care about those in need. I don’t want to get on an unrelated tirade, but it would be impossible for the number of struggling teens to be so high if everyone who says they care actually cared.

This tells me that almost 100 students are swimming in a pool of burning apathy when the thing that they need most is just one person to reach out and care for them. The group of students not being affected isn’t the only ones to blame for this massive uncaring attitude. I hate to be the one to say it, but how are people supposed to know who needs help if those who need it hide it?

I understand that many of those suffering are insecure, which is part of the reason for their depression, but their hiding of their true feelings is what’s sealing them up in their own depression. They may not have purposely jumped into it, but it’s hard for someone to reach down and pull them out of it if those suffering don’t reach up for the help.

Depression is like drowning in two feet of water and being unable to stand up. Everyone else is standing above, asking why one won’t either just give up, or get out of the water. Those who are suffering only suffer more, and those who aren’t suffering aren’t affected at all by what’s going on right next to them. With the numbers of teen depression and teen suicides rising every day, this growing storm of apathy needs to end soon.