DISCLAIMER: So, heads up, this video was going to suck a lot less UNTIL I dropped my phone into a vat of soap and grease at work and lost my background video and commentary.
Also BOTH my “professional sources” never emailed me back/couldn’t make it. So shame on me for procrastination nation, and shame on fast food for just being a horrendous working environment in general. Moving on.
Depression. There is a stigma behind it. You’ve seen the memes showing a dark shadow following you around, or the images of cuts across wrists and mascara running down faces. But is that what depression really is?
Apparently not. Actually, depression is lurking in corners of things we may think are quite ordinary. According to this article, entitled 5 Uncommon Signs of Depression, some normal, but often overlooked signs are:
- Rapid weight change- suppressed or lessened appetite in a society where “have you lost weight?” is usually a compliment.
- Short temper- although commonly paired with moping and sadness, being easily irritated and snappy with others can be a sign of depression as well.
- Boredom- loss of interest in passions is a well-known sign, but this can come off as just boredom. Simple, low-demand activities (naps, Netflix, internet) become more frequent.
- Psychosomatic aches and pains- random pains and aching that were not present before may appear. Sometimes, your body knows you’re hurting before you do. Cliché, but true.
- Trouble making decisions- Don’t panic. Not knowing what major to declare or what country to study abroad in is NOT a sign of depression. Panic and trouble making basic decisions, like what to eat for dinner or what tv show to watch, are.
“Most people don’t even realize there’s a problem,” says Megan Miller, Cal Poly student. Her statement coincides with statistics: over 50% of people with depression will go undiagnosed or never seek treatment. Whether this is due to the negative stigma behind depression or the broad diagnostic attributes, professionals are unsure.
Psychology major, Jake Clark, is aware of the negative stigma behind depression. “People think that people with mental illness are crazy, or that they’re unfit for society,” says Clark.
Many have blamed this stigma on the court system and criminals pleading “insanity” for their actions. However, an article by Washington Post easily lays this to rest, saying that less than 1% of criminals are granted an insanity plea, and even less are let off and set completely free.
Psychology Today, wonderful website that it is, outlines a very important but little talked about fact: Depression is Different for Everyone. It also tends to be a self-fufilling prophecy: people with mental illness, especially depression (and addiction) fear pushing away those closest to them, so they end up alienating themselves. They fear never having a normal relationship, so they don’t try. This constant cycle of being alone because they fear being alone only intensifies and confirms their fears…because they create them.
As a society, we’ve been brainwashed by tv shows, media, etc. We think all schizophrenics are in the corner talking to themselves or planning murder. We think all sociopaths are Dexter Morgan. We think all depressives are on the edge of a cliff, when frankly, this is the furthest thing from the truth.
At the end of the day, everyone around you has SOMETHING. If their not depressed, maybe they know or love someone who is. If nothing else, glean from this article that:
In the midst of all the bullshit and us battling each other, each one of us is battling ourselves. Be gentle. Be kind. Be human.