Editorial: There is Hope for Depression

About every 14 minutes, a life is lost to suicide. In particular, the rate of suicide is higher among teens and young adults. Because the brain is not fully developed until a person is about 25, there are a few things this age demographic is often unable to do. Depressed teens and young adults are incapable of thinking “this too shall pass.” For this reason, many choose a permanent solution for a temporary problem. While depression may cause one to believe life is not worth living and that death would be a better alternative, this simply is not true. Depression warps one’s view of the world and prevents them from being able to see there are better things coming. Also, depression is not incurable. However, in order to combat depression, it is necessary to ask for help. Even if one believes they are showing warning signals, people are not always on the lookout for depression or suicidal tendencies, and the only real way to improve a situation is to ask for help.
At Marshfield alone, there are many resources for students to utilize if they feel they have nowhere left to turn. A student could go to a trusted teacher or guidance counselor and tell them their concerns. They could even talk to one of their close friends and have the friend take the information to a staff member. The most important thing is that someone else knows what is going on. Even having input from a rational source can help prevent any immediate drastic action. It is also important to report any alarming activity. People who are near suicide sometimes exhibit dangerous behaviors. These may include drastic personality changes, increased drug and alcohol use and preoccupation with suicide or death. It is important to contact a parent or teacher if these behaviors present themselves; it is even okay to call 911 if one believes oneself or another may be in immediate danger. In the case of suicide, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

After the initial cry for help, there are several options for a person who is severely depressed and/or suicidal. In some cases, the person will be directed to a psychiatrist who may prescribe them an antidepressant. While antidepressants sometimes have a bad reputation, they usually only aid the brain in producing chemicals that are naturally produced, but which a depressed brain often has stopped producing. Antidepressants can be accompanied by sessions with a therapist. In fact, therapy alone can be used to treat depression, but antidepressants speed up the process if time is an important factor. Diminishing feelings of depression occurs immediately after one reaches out to others, because that person no longer bears the sole weight of the depression.

Often depression occurs with no apparent reason. Because of this, many people feel guilty or embarrassed about their depression and consequently do not tell anyone. However, this is the worst thing they can do. No one is going to be angry if you tell them you are thinking about killing yourself. Some may react with shock and dismay, but they will help. If you do not try to make things better, they will not get better. If you or someone you know is depressed or considering suicide, do not hesitate to tell someone. Any measure is worth saving a life.