When I heard about Robin Williams’ death earlier this week, I couldn’t help but think about the numerous ways depression can affect our lives. Even nowadays, depression is a taboo subject, and when we mention it, we have so many misconceptions that we usually don’t understand the whole picture.
It can affect people in different ways
This debilitating disease can affect anyone but in completely different manners. Depending on the type of depression a person is affected with, they will experience diverse symptoms at various levels. And when their symptoms are at their worst, suicide can seem the only option. Sometimes, life is so hard to live that they can’t take it anymore and choose the ultimate liberation.
It shouldn’t be swept under the rug
Each year, 17 to 20 million Americans develop depression, and 9.2 million of them suffer from major or clinical depression. That’s why it shouldn’t be swept under the rug anymore. To avoid a tragedy like the one that hit us this week, we have to talk about it and demystify this terrible and complex disorder so we can offer support to those who need it.
We have to start paying attention
Depression and suicide are too often trivialized. Some will say that the person suffering from depression is not strong enough to overcome those dreadful feelings, or that this is only in their mind. But depression is a real pathology, and the symptoms are all too real. We need to start paying attention and see beyond the smiling face to detect the signs screaming at us.
Some information to help you understand
The infographic below, created by Military Pathways, is full of information about depression in men, women, and adolescents. It will help you understand this illness better to be able to help and support people affected by it. It is time to start dealing with the reality of depression and do something about it. By doing so, fewer persons will see suicide as the only solution.
Click on infographic to enlarge
Photo credit: blameless-eyes/Flickr