Depression is a very serious mental disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life. In other words, people who have depression don’t really want to interact or be active because of their mood and how sad they really are.
This disorder is very common especially in teenagers. Around 3 million people are diagnosed with depression in the US per year. It requires a medical diagnosis, but can also be treated by a medical professional. A medium term can be resolved within months.
Possible causes include different social sources of distress. Research suggests that this disorder may cause changes in brain function, including altered activity of certain neural circuits in the brain. Doctors usually refer to this as a chemical imbalance.
The continuous feeling of sadness can lead to a range of behavioral and physical symptoms. These changes may include difference in sleep, appetite, energy level, concentration, daily behavior, or self esteem. Depression can also be associated with thoughts of suicide.
Suicide is a very serious thought for individuals who most likely have a case of depression. As many of you may know, Prairie has had a very recent loss due to depression. Today and every day, we remember Garrett Farr as our friend and family member. He was a funny, intelligent, and sincere young adult. We will celebrate the life he lived forever.
Individuals who lose a loved one to suicide are more at risk for denying or trying to hide the cause of the death, wondering if they could have stopped it. Many people at Prairie have felt that way very recently. They feel blamed as if they were the cause of someone else’s death. The effects on the loved ones can be devastating, resulting in conflicting, painful emotions. Yet, how society views death is by culture, religion, ethnic norms, and the circumstances in which it occurs.
More than 800,000 people worldwide commit suicide per year and more than 39,000 of those are from the United States. In children and teens, bullying and being bullied seem to be a big factor in the attempt of suicide, but a lot of times people choose not to recognize the fact that their family member or friend were actually going through depression.
There are some families and friends who don’t believe in this disorder that we call depression. They believe that it’s just in their head and they are faking the whole thing. Those are the people who have never been through it. People who haven’t been through depression or haven’t experienced it don’t know as much as the people who have.
Treatment for depression can sometimes be short term and other times be a long term process. Those with a strong support system, who have history of being hopeful, and have a desire to resolve conflicts might only need a brief treatment. For those who don’t have a strong support system and feel that there is no way this disorder can be treated, may need hospitalization and long term mental health services.
If you notice that people around you are talking about being a burden to others, feeling trapped, experiencing unbearable pain, having no reason to live, or killing themselves, please reach out to them. Sometimes the case might be that they just need someone. They might feel alone and want to know that they truly do mean something to someone. YOU can try and help someone and be their person to talk to.
If you notice that someone is starting to increase the use of alcohol or drugs, look for a way to kill themselves, act recklessly, are withdrawing from activities, isolating from family and friends or sleeping too much, let them know you’re here. In some cases, that might be all they need.
There are so many ways that you can help someone who had been dealing with depression and thoughts of suicide. There are also so many ways you can help yourself if you are dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts.
The national suicide prevention hotline is listed below. If you need help or know someone who needs help, please call.
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