Often times the severity of mental illness among minority communities is misunderstood. I have heard consistently for many years that depression is not a real issue and it is not as important as more severe and more recognizable illnesses such as Bipolar Disorder or Schizophrenia. This is a huge misconception, in fact depression is the underlying issue to many stressors and the leading cause of suicide.
Depression has always been and always will be at the forefront after a traumatic event and loss. Depression for many years has often been called the “blues” and there continues to be a debate as to what is the difference or if there is a difference. There are many types and causes of depression, one must be able to recognize the difference. Depression can come on when least expected and last for an undetermined amount of time to a short time span. How “you” respond during the episode is very important, being able to recognize that “you” are depressed is very important. Not allowing others to encourage you to shake it off or get over it will be crucial in how well you recover from the state of depression.
Once you begin to suspect that you or a loved one may be experiencing depression have a real conversation about recovery and support. Often times a person experiencing depression denies they are depressed due to the stigma associated with depression. Depression is a mental illness treatable with therapy and if needed medications. Some have the ability to bounce back and not look back…. others are not able to recover from depression and symptoms increase. Symptoms of depression include but are not limited to sleeping too much or too little, not eating to overeating, and the most recognizable is withdrawal or isolation from others and activities. Sadness and depression walk a very fine line that lead to the same path. If the sign and symptoms are there be honest and get help, the fear of getting help should not push anyone to suffer in silence.