Depression Awareness


Erika Yang, Writer

On October 16th of 2019, with the news that the Korean singer, Sulli, committed suicide in her apartment, the issue of depression again caught people’s attention. Sulli, as a controversial star, was diagnosed with depression a few years ago as a result of Internet violence. Even with medical and psychological treatment, sadly, she still chose to leave the world at the age of 25.

This news surprised me so much that I started to think deeply how many pieces of news about suicide have been reported and how many people actually know about depression.

Most people consider depression as unhappiness or low spirits, but that is just a part of the story. Depression is a BRAIN and MENTAL DISEASE that can cause both mental and physical damage. In the beginning, most people just feel low, which is why most patients won’t pay much attention to it because it seems normal to have ups and downs in daily life. In the middle stage, patients may have constant negative thinking or talking, sometimes even with long-lasting headaches or body pain. They might consider life meaningless and even blame themselves for having these problems which worsens their mental health. It gradually leads to severe mental problems such as self-injurious behaviors or, worse, suicidal tendencies.

What makes me feel sad is not only more people are having depression, but also people being afraid of acknowledging and facing it. Mostly due to a stereotype that victims of depression are just so “sensitive” and “over-thinking” it, somehow, it becomes a shame that people have depressive disorder. “Why can’t you just let things go?” “Why do you care a lot?” “Why are you pushing so hard on yourself?” This is what many people think when they meet depressed patients. However, the causes of depression are so complicated that we cannot overgeneralize. Based on the personalities, characters, living conditions, and different backgrounds different people have, it’s so far-fetched to conclude that people become depressed because they have weak and fragile mental defense like how others judge. 

 Living in a competitive society, what high school students face is no less than adults. According to a new study, by age 17, 13.6 percent of boys and a staggering 36.1 percent of girls have been or are depressed (Cha). Social anxiety, study behavior, peer pressure and relationships are what underage students are dealing with everyday. What we need to know is that depression is not a sign of being too emotional or weak, but a severe mental illness no less than cancer that can easily break people apart. It is obviously a wrong choice to hide and bear it alone.

So please, never be ashamed of sharing your frustrated mood, never be ashamed of an appointment with a therapist, and never be ashamed of facing depression.

Works Cited

Cha, Arianna Eunjung. “More than a Third of Teenage Girls Experience Depression, New Study Says.” The Washington Post, 31 May 2017.