Depression Awareness Leads to Understanding


Depression: Awareness Leads to Understanding

By Tracy Rose from Help for Depression

In a country where people have a right “to the pursuit of happiness,” the fourth leading cause of death, for those aged 18 - 25, is suicide. Most suicides are committed by people suffering from depression, a mood disorder that strips them of motivation and the ability to experience pleasure. Depression can be triggered by disappointment, loss, trauma, or stress, and there may be a genetic predisposition for the illness.

Depression is a highly treatable disorder. Unfortunately, some people are unaware they are depressed or are reluctant to admit they have symptoms. It seems the uneducated view of our society considers any mental illness a weakness of character. Yet, those who work to support their families as they struggle with symptoms show tremendous strength and fortitude.

In late 2008, a survey revealed close to 10% of U.S veterans, age 21-29, experienced one or more depressive episodes during the prior year. Sometimes depression is a tagalong problem resulting from other illnesses. There is a high incidence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among veterans, and depressed mood is one of the symptoms.

Seniors, those over 65, are prone to depression due to the stress of isolation, poor health, low income, or sense of uselessness. Among the elderly, the rate of suicide is 15 deaths per 100,000 people. The national average for all adults is 11 out of 100,000. Young adults (18-25) are susceptible to depressive symptoms as well, and only an estimated 44% of those who need treatment, get it.

People do not ask to have diabetes, heart problems, or physical disabilities. Those with depression have not asked for their illness either. October is Depression Awareness Month, and many individuals and organizations are working to raise the public acceptance level of depression.

Two such organizations are Help for Depression and To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA). Together, they are working to raise $15,000 for depression awareness. There is an easy and fast way to help them reach their goal. Just click the “like” button on Help for Depression’s Facebook page between October 1st through the 15th. Each new “like,” up to 15,000 of them, generates  another dollar toward the goal.

It costs you nothing but a few seconds of your time to make a difference. You will be supporting Help for Depression and TWLOHA in de-stigmatizing the mood disorder. This will allow people to come forward for help without shame or fear of being judged unfairly. Awareness is needed in the workplace, in our schools and universities, and among family and friends. Your contribution is one click away.

Depression awareness will also generate understanding of those homeless, the majority of which have a mental illness. Because depression is treatable, many without shelter may be suffering unnecessarily. The problem of depression is so wide spread, helping raise the $15,000 means you will be helping those that are part of your community, and likely your neighborhood. Please go to the Help for Depression’s Facebook page to make a cost-free contribution.

Sources: NIHM Statistics and

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