How do you talk to loved ones about depression? How do you talk to loved ones that don’t believe in mental illness about possibly having a mental illness? There is about 30% of kids ages six to eighteen who are diagnosed with depression and many more who are not diagnosed but still face the same struggles. Mental illness may not be a relatively new idea, however, the concept is still not widely accepted and/or understood.
Depression is defined as a variety of things; some say depression is just being sad. The google definition is "feelings of severe despondency and dejection." Being depressed is not just being sad, symptoms of depression also include, change of appetite-weight gain or loss, sleep changes-not sleeping enough or sleeping too much, loss of energy, feeling worthless or guilty, difficulty thinking, and thoughts of suicide. It is not uncommon to see people with all of the above-mentioned symptoms but, most who are diagnosed with depression have four or more. To even be diagnosed with depression, one has to have the said symptoms for more than two weeks otherwise it's just a "case of the blues."
A person can seem like the happiest human on the planet and everything in their life can seem to be going right and on the inside have raging battles between their inner demons. Depression does not have to always be written clear as day on someone’s face. In actuality, some of the people with the most severe cases have everything in their life going good and still have a constant war in their mind. Depression usually weighs down a person after a loss of a loved one, being fired, divorce, or any heart-wrenching moment in someone's life.
Speaking from personal experience, it is hard to speak up about having mental issues or think that you may have depression but know you cannot say or do anything to better yourself. To be raised by immigrant parents who came to America in the late 1990’s, mental illness doesn’t exist. And trying to explain to them that what I am feeling is not normal sadness is like trying to explain to ignorant people that they are ignorant. Depression affects more than sixteen million adults every year in the United States and is the leading cause of disability worldwide. You would think that more people would be understanding in today’s society.