13 Reasons Why Depression Should Be Talked About
Why We Need to Talk About Depression
The new Netflix series 13 Reasons Why has created quite a lot of discussion around suicide, bullying, sexual assault, being a bystander and depression. These are all sensitive topics that most people prefer not to discuss, or believe that does hit close to home. Many schools are warning parents about this show and it’s graphic topics. Several schools ban students form even discussing this show, afraid that this show will place bad thoughts in students’ minds.
This series is art mirroring reality. These topics affect adolescents and adults every day. Instead of sweeping these topics under the rug and punishing students that are discussing these topics, I think we need open up more discussions about these topics. I will be shining a light on each of these topics in my 13 reasons why blog series, the first being on depression.
List of the Top 13 Reasons Why We Need to Talk About Depression
- Depression knows no age, gender, race, orientations or socio economic status. Anyone can struggle with depression. Globally I can affect 300 million people.
- Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.
- At its worst depression can lead to suicide. Close to 800,000 people die due to suicide every year. It is the 2nd leading cause of death in 15-29 year olds.
- There are different categories of depressive symptoms.
Reduced interest in previously pleasurable activities
Minor dullness of thinking
Depressed mood or irritability that lasts most of the day, every day
Decreased interest or pleasure in most activities that lasts most of each day
Significant weight loss or weight gain, as indicated by a 5% change in weight
Sleeping problems (either too much or too little sleep)
Change in motor activity
Fatigue or lack of energy
Persistent feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt
Recurrent suicidal thoughts or behavior
Alcohol or drug abuse
Insomnia or excessive sleeping
Loss of interest in activities that used to be enjoyable
Persistent thoughts of something bad happening
Thoughts of death or suicide or suicide attempts
In very severe cases, psychotic symptoms (such as hallucinations or delusions)
- Bipolar affective disorder is a type of depression that consists of manic and depressive symptoms with periods of normal moods.
- The most common effects of depression can include
- Poor coping skills
- Pain especially headaches and stomach pain
- Sexual dysfunction
- Attempts to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol
- Decreased immune system functioning
- Family and marital problems
- Rejection at school or work
- Social isolation
- Premature death in medical conditions
- Depression can be triggered by social, psychological and biological factors
- Depression is dealt with differently by everyone that struggles with it. Tis can make it difficult for friends and family to understand its severity.
- Children, Teens and Adults can experience depression differently.
- Many people will avoid discussing depression with family, friends and medical providers because they are afraid it will be seen as a character flaw.
- Depression is treatable. The outcome of success becomes even greater when more than one of these techniques are utilized.
- Talk Therapy
- Support Groups
- Stress Management
- Relaxation techniques
- Assertiveness training
- Regular visits to a physician
- Good Nutrition
- Good sleep hygiene
- Participation in a religious group or spiritual community
- Depression isn’t just something that can be “snapped out of” or “wished away”
- There is help always available for people that are feeling depressed and/or suicidal at Suicide prevention hotline 1-800-273-8255.
With open discussion and education about this diagnosis, stigma about the diagnosis. Stigma will decrease, and less people will have to suffer alone.
If you are in the Providence, RI area and feel that you want to talk to me please call 401-227-0372 to schedule an appointment. If you’d prefer to schedule your appointment online follow this link.
Melissa is a licensed therapist and founder of East Coast Mental Wellness. She is an expert in the field of transgender and non-binary issues. Melissa is the host of a new LGBTQ podcast titled Pride Connections. She has many years of experience working with adolescents in schools, as a school social worker and enjoys thinking out of the box when helping adolescents and young adult harness the power of ADD/ADHD.