Stop Using Depression as a Bad Word

We’ve all had that conversation with friends, when it’s late at night and all your thoughts seem to be spilling out of your mouth to these wonderful people that you trust with all of your heart. I had one of those nights recently with two of my best friends who go through the same things I deal with. We were talking about depression and the effect it has on us and it was hard to get out but the words continued to fall from our lips. We all knew that the things hardest to talk about, are the things that need to be said. One of the many things I’ve observed about humans throughout my life is that we push away the things we fear. We don’t want it to be real so we act like it’s not there, but when will we learn that that isn’t healthy? If we bottle all this up, one day it’ll ruin all of us.

Depression is real. We all wish it wasn’t, but it is so there’s no use in pretending otherwise. It’s not easy to talk about this with everyone, but that’s because I’ve been taught to keep my mouth shut on this topic. I’ve learned that depression is a bad word and that if I talk about it I could scare people off. So I’ve sealed my lips shut until now. I owe it to the people who talk to me about these things at three in the morning when all of us can barely keep our eyes open, but our mouths never seem to shut. No matter how many tears are shed on those long nights, I’ll be forever grateful for them. They create a sense of hope. It shows us that we aren’t alone, and even in the mornings when we all have to keep our heads down, we’ll all know that out there there are people like us, and I believe that’s a start to something wonderful.

Wouldn’t it have been nice to have known this earlier? Two kids who attended my school last year killed themselves, and now my school is hanging posters all along the halls that say things like, “happiness is just around the corner!” It’s great our schools are trying to help students but at the cost of two lives. Why hadn’t we been helping kids all along? Why did we only start caring once we lost two people?

I’ve been punished for speaking out on this subject before. I faced consequences for trying to show people that they aren’t alone, by talking about depression. Hiding it is only going to result in more deaths. We are letting everyone fighting with depression go through it alone because we are afraid. That’s barbaric and inhumane. We are witnessing the people around us die, and anyone could be next. Depression is not a bad word; it’s an overdue discussion we need to have.



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