If you’ve been on Snapchat recently, you’ve seen a few new filters about “Mental Health Awareness” month. On average, one in every five people experience a mental illness. Mental illness not only includes depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorders, it also includes addictions. It may be affecting people closer than you realize. This month, students and staff alike have agreed to share their stories on how mental illness has affected their lives.
Right now, depression is the leading cause of disability in the world. One of our students shared her story on how depression has affected her personally.
“I was around ten years old when I got told my mother had depression. At the time, I thought depression was just a mood. I didn’t know too much about it, other than the fact that my mom was just really sad. Every time she would get into this 'mood,' I’d have to take over and be the mom. This situation confused me, since I didn’t really know what was going on. Fortunately, she eventually overcame depression because of prayer and her perseverance.
“But while I wish that was the end of the story, it isn’t. Not too long after she overcame depression, I was diagnosed with this same disorder. That’s when I realized that depression is far more than just a mood. It’s awful because it feels almost as if it changes every bit of character that defines you.
“Each day is different. I definitely have good days, and I am very appreciative of them. I’ve learned how to cope with my depression, which doesn’t make getting through it day-to-day any easier, but learning these coping skills definitely strengthened me. My friends are a big help, and although it’s hard to kneel down and pray at times, I still do. When I pray for healing, I am reminded that with God anything is possible.
“Over three million people are diagnosed with depression every year in the US alone, and that’s the reality of it. None of us ever know what someone is really going through. Kindness may seem hard to give out at times, but trust me, your kindness could be the only positive thing about someone’s day. Even something as simple as a smile."
If you know someone who suffers with depression, get them help. It’s important to remember that we are not alone. There are many adults and teachers on our campus willing to help or listen, even some of our friends. You just need to be willing to ask.
Article by Faith Paden, Student Life Editor