Tuesday, April 10, 2012

#6: Is depression a disease?

Let's face it. All of us have at one point in our lives been depressed. It seems so easy to become depressed; you bomb a test, you lose a friend, your dog dies, or you're simply lonely. Or the sun is out. Or you envy someone so painfully you want to cry every time you see them. Or you feel misunderstood and neglected. Or you're tired. Or you're fed up with the world. There can be so many causes for depression, and they can be the simplest things, or something very serious, or a ton of little things put together. Frustration can build up with time, and eventually it will all pour out like a volcano. It happens. Regrettably to say, it's happened a lot to me. But of course, it's happened to you as well.
Why do we feel the way we feel? Why is everyone so compelled to feel depressed? And have you noticed how much younger people have gotten that get depressed? Usually depression was found in people from 25-40, who could be struggling with their jobs or their marriages. But nowadays, there are 15 year old children that get very depressed. I was 8 years old when I first got depressed. In my mind, that is way too young to be so sad that you can't eat, you sleep too much, you cry every day and you don't even have the energy to do your schoolwork. But what is even more shocking, is that people have found depression in three year olds. How come children that can barely form coherent sentences are depressed? They say the causes can be neglect or the absence (or death) of a loved one. This is way too young.
And what is even more shocking is that doctors are prescribing these children with antidepressants. Oh, hey, you're depressed. Here, have a pill. Oh, you don't look so good. Have a pill. Can't pay attention in class? Have a pill. Anger issues? Have a pill. Pills are the answer to everything nowadays. Instead of dealing with their issues and getting through them, they're encouraged to take a pill so that they can run away from the issue and feel better. I can understand it if someone is being suicidal, but that is it. Why is society doing this? A medicine isn't going to solve the issue that I believe ruined my interview with a school that I really want to go to. A pill isn't going to bring my friends back.
But you know, neither will depression. So I've moved on. There's more to life than losses and struggles. At the end of it all, there is some sort of victory, some sort of hope for the future. Some sort of decision that will help you in the long run.
I have noticed that depression is very contagious. It's like a common cold, or the flu. It catches like wildfire. Depression is a disease.
Instead of focusing on how awful your life is and why (which I know you do a lot, I do too. It's a depressing symptom of depression that only makes things worse), maybe you should go for a walk. Just walk, because I've noticed that I take in the view of everything a lot more happily and think less when I walk. Go to a cafe, talk to a stranger. Make a friend. Take a random photo of something you love and make it your desktop background. Eat a vegetable. Try to sort things out with someone you're quarreling with. Talk to someone you trust. It helps. Even if you may not want to talk to anyone, I guarantee that you will feel better, knowing that there's someone to help you.
And it is so much greater to be happy-- or at least not sad-- and be able to spread the happiness. Because you know, happiness is contagious too. We're not going to be able to fight disease with a pill. Not a disease of emotions. We have to fight it with a brighter emotion. A more powerful emotion. Happiness.

penny collected on 4/10/2012 date on penny is 1978

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