Lifting The Stigma Of Depression

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Lifting the Stigma of Depression Mental illness is often misunderstood and misrepresented, and as a society we view it as “politically incorrect”. Depression is a mental illness that is one of the hardest to understand because it is something so internalized, and leaves those who witness it very confused. Suicide is valid evidence that mental illness is something we should pay attention to, but sometimes even the loss of a life does not change our attitudes towards those who are suffering. So the question is, where did this stigma derive from, and how can we diminish its placement on such a commonly diagnosed illness like depression? In my personal opinion, I think we should change our entire viewpoint on mental health and what it actually means. Depression is a mood disorder that is described as a persistent feeling in sadness or overbearing feelings of hopelessness and loss of interest. The official name for depression, “major depressive disorder” affects 14.8 million people in the United States in a given year (Archives of General Psychiatry, 2005 Jun; 62(6): 617-27). The causes of depression include: biological differences meaning physical changes in the brain, brain chemistry, hormone imbalance, inherited traits, and traumatic events (Mayo Clinic, 2014). These general facts give a relevant reference as to how common depression actually is, because it affects a significant amount of people in the United States. Feeling like there is no way out, feeling trapped and
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