The Silent Stigma Related to Mental Illness
As recently reported, the world lost two famous characters; fashion designer Kate Spade and world traveler and food enthusiast Anthony Bourdain. Friends and family remain shocked and the fans confused.
Why would someone with money and success commit suicide? People ask.
One word to describe it; depression.
Most people who suffer from depression in combination with a mental illness, hide it well. We all remember Robin Williams, who committed suicide due to hanging in 2014. Depression has many faces. Some people still engage with others and socialize, to distract themselves how they really feel. Others isolate themselves and cut themselves off from their social life.
According to Mental Health America, 1 in 5 adults suffers from a mental health condition. That is estimated at over 40 million Americans. 9.6 million American have suicidal thoughts, and it’s not just adults who suffer but also teenagers.
People who suffer from depression and or other mental illnesses don’t even know that something is wrong until they engage in risky behavior or develop suicidal thoughts. Although there are many mental health professionals, such as counselors, therapists, and psychiatrists, many are overbooked or don’t accept health insurance, leaving patients who depend on Medicaid stranded or on a waiting list.
This can add to more stress and helplessness and can trigger suicidal thoughts. This is an issue that should be addressed immediately since it is a nationwide health crisis. According to Mental Health America, 56% of American adults have not received treatment. Mental illnesses shouldn't be treated differently than diseases such as cancer or diabetes.
But what exactly is depression? According to Wed MD,
"It's natural to feel down sometimes, but if that low mood lingers day after day, it could signal depression. Major depression is an episode of sadness or apathy along with other symptoms that last at least two consecutive weeks and is severe enough to interrupt daily activities. Depression is not a sign of weakness or a negative personality. It is a major public health problem and a treatable medical condition."
However, depression is not just depression where you constantly feel blue, especially in the winter. There are many types of depression. According to Web MD, there are various types of depression, from "major depression" (that type of depression where you feel depressed majority of the time) to a "Persistent Depressive Disorder" (where your depression last for two years or longer). Either depression, shares similarities in symptoms.
Let's take a look at signs if you or someone you know is suffering from depression or a mental illness, and what can be done to help.