The Seriousness of Depression

Just about everywhere I went out on the Internet, I found these two words together and were almost companions…”depression and suicide!”

The stigma associated with mental illness in this country has to come to a halt! The discrimination; the name-calling…”nut-cake” and “crackpot” has to stop! The fear of getting fired from a job in this country, because the employee seeks mental health-care is a shame!

Stigma: (definition); shame or social disgrace

“We choose our sorrows and joys long before we experience them.” Kahil Gibron


Depression is a serious medical condition which can lead to the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior. Although most people who are depressed do not kill themselves, untreated depression can increase the risk of possible suicide. Whether or not they intend to act on these thoughts. Severely depressed people often do not have the energy to harm themselves, but it is when depression lifts, and they can gain increased energy, that they may be more likely to attempt suicide!

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I saw a story on the news recently, where a young man about 21 years old, and who is in college, was having problems with himself, and suicidal thoughts kept coming into his mind. He was scared, as anyone would be, so he went to get help at a local medical healthcare center. When the university officials learned about this, they expelled him from the university! This action by the university officials is a disgrace! We cannot have another Virginia Tech in this country…and young people have to get the help they need and when they need it, etc.

From: Psychology Information;

Impact of depression causes tremendous emotional pain; disrupts lives of millions of people; adversely affects the lives of families and friends; reduces work production and absenteeism; has a negative impact on the economy..costing as estimated 44 billion dollars per year!

“Depression is the inability to construct a future.” Rollo May

I have a brother named Ricky, who is an alcoholic and was spending time at the University of New Mexico Mental Health Center getting care, etc. One day, my mother and I went to visit Ricky, and as we sat in the lobby waiting to see him…we heard a lot of commotion outside. There were about six people in the group entering the Mental Health Center, including three policemen, who were pushing and shoving, and trying to bring in an elderly couple who were both about 70 years old!

Screaming and yelling and crying…the elderly couple were not easy to handle by the police, and they took the elderly couple to the back of the building someplace! My mother and I looked at each other in amazement! Why were the police bringing this elderly couple to the Mental Health Center? When the nurse came by to take us back to see Ricky, I asked her what had happened to the elderly couple.

The nurse told me, that the house of the elderly couple burned to the ground…and if that wasn’t enough…their two grandchildren perished in the fire! Could there be a catastrophe greater than this? We can all relate to this horror, because we all live in a house or apartment or mobile home, and it can happen to any of us, and in minutes, our lives would be changed for the worse! One can only imagine how the elderly couple sank into depression…and they could have been of harm to themselves or to others, and that’s why the police brought them in and to get medication!

From: American Psychological Association;

Some people with depression try to harm themselves in the mistaken belief that how they are feeling will never change. Depression is a major cause of disability in the United States and world-wide.

“Depression is nourished by a lifetime of ungrieved and unforgiving hurts.” Penelope Sweet.

But, depression is not just for the risk of suicide. It is for other risk factors and illnesses as well. For example:

From: Depression Resource;

Research over the past decade has shown that depression and heart disease are common companions, and what is worse…one can lead to the other! It appears now that depression is an important risk factor for heart disease along with high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

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During the past decade or so, I’ve been laid off from six jobs, for legitimate reasons such as companies closing; defense cuts; down-sizing, etc. I have never lost a job because I was fired or for an attitude or poor attendance. etc. But, during this awful time in my life, I probably suffered from depression and didn’t know it! After I educated myself, I could now take the necessary medications to help me cope!

“When your neighbor loses his job…it’s a recession…but when you lose YOUR job…it’s a depression! Harry Truman

In raising awareness, American’s have to eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness, and everyone has to do their part! Parents have to teach their kids not to poke fun…or tease anyone for any reason…as others may be having trouble coping as well, etc. If the Golden Rule was ever applicable…it applies here…do unto others as you would have them do unto you!