by Kasyah Barnette
A few years ago, I lost a family member to lung cancer. Many of my family members were hurt and blind-sided by how fast it all happened. While I cannot speak for everyone in my family as a loss of a family member affects people differently, I was devastated by his loss, and it took me a while to even accept the fact that he was gone. I was extremely close to him, spending almost every weekend with him. This made his loss for me even harder than I could have anticipated. This pain led to a state of depression and hurt. I would sit in my room and cry or just try to distract myself from everything that was happening around me. Eventually, the grief caught up and I finally started to accept the fact that he was no longer with us. We all took different paths to recover from this loss, such as talking to other family members, keeping everything to ourselves, or just not even talking about it at all. While I’m certain everyone in my family can agree, losing him was one of the largest obstacles in our lives and even though we are hurt and grieving, it becomes the slightest bit easier with time.
People of all ages can have depression. It is estimated that nearly one in twenty-five people of the population in the world and five percent of adults in the world suffer from depression (3). This roughly calculates to 280 million people in the world have depression (3). It is also calculated that 17.3 million adults in the United States have encountered a major depressive stage in the past year (2). This is roughly calculated to seven percent of adults in the United States that have this encounter with depression (2). Depression can be caused by many different things such as a lost loved one or friend, not feeling included, etc. This mental illness can vary in how “bad” it can be (3). It can become a serious health condition if it is recurring or if it is moderate or severe (3). Depression can cause individuals to perform poorly in school or at their workplace, be tired, unmotivated, anti-social, etc. (3). If it progresses more and becomes more severe, it can even lead to suicide (3, 2).
Amen Clinics explains how antidepressant medications do not work for every one (1). Treatment that may work for one person, does not work for every one (1). Amen Clinics uses brain imaging technology that shows the different types of depression, which there is seven of them (1). This type of imaging allows the physicians to get a better look and more accurately diagnose the symptoms of depression (1). Amen Clinics recommends a complete brain-body approach which is the least toxic and more successful (1). This includes the use of natural supplements, exercise, helpful forms of therapy, medication, and nutrition (1). These are all personalized to the patient’s specific type of depression (1). Another organization that is very helpful with dealing with emotions of depression, or simply anything else, is the SU counseling center. The goal of the counseling center at Shenandoah is to improve someone’s aspects of life (4). They are dedicated to helping the students of SU understand the deeper reasoning behind the emotions that they are having (4).
Depression can be shown in many ways. Some symptoms of depression could be feelings of sadness or emptiness, loss of interest in activities, lack of concentration, feeling of guilt, hopelessness, changes in appetite, etc. (2). These symptoms can be prominent for most of the day and almost every day (2). If you are struggling with any of the symptoms of depression, reach out to someone. It can be a loved one, a friend, or a medical professional such as the Shenandoah University Counseling Center or call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline (1-800-662-HELP). The SU Counseling Center is completely confidential except in certain cases. They are devoting their time to helping students and help through their hard times. While reaching out to someone about your problems and struggles can be hard, always remember that there is someone there for you and that you are not alone. If you know someone struggling with depression, reach out to them. Something else that everyone can do whether you are suffering from depression or not is to go on the Amen Clinics website and get educated on the facts of depression.
- Mental Healthcare Clinic Focusing On Your Brain Health | Dr. Amen. (2021). Retrieved 25 October 2021, from https://www.amenclinics.com
- Nuna Alberts, L., & Allison Young, M. (2021). Coping With Depression: A Guide to Good Treatment. Retrieved 25 October 2021, from https://www.everydayhealth.com/depression/guide/
- Depression. (2021). Retrieved 25 October 2021, from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression
- Counseling Center – Health & Safety. (2021). Retrieved 8 November 2021, from https://www.su.edu/health-wellness/counseling-center/