Depression and Suicide

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J.K Rowling, a very prominent author who shared her own struggle with setbacks and touched on the immense feelings she encountered during her personal journey to becoming a published author, Depression is the most unpleasant thing I have ever experienced. It is that absence of being able to envisage that you will never be cheerful again. The absence of hope.

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That very deadening feeling that is so very different from feeling sad. Sad hurts but it’s a healthy feeling. It is a necessary thing to feel. Depression is very different. Depression has proliferated significantly over the years. About 10.3 million people are diagnosed with depression every year and are recognized by professionals in the mental health field as the primary reason people commit suicide. The rise in depression also correlates with the rise in suicide; especially among teens which is now the second leading death among the youth. Depression leads to suicide because of chemical imbalances, situational depression, and to end the emotional pain.

DSM V defined depression as feelings of severe despondency and dejection. It is a disease that clouds a person’s mind with intense emotional feelings. Which they often find living, performing everyday routines, working, relationships, and school completely unbearable. These simple tasks that most of us can perform in a heartbeat, takes vast physiological efforts for them to perform. A person who is affected by depression has this mindset where they ask the question, What is the point in living? People who have depression are overwhelmed by painful emotions and see that death can be the only way to end the pain. Many of them don’t want to die but find it the only solution to end their seemingly never-ending pain. Although they don’t see the view that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary state. Joshua Beharry who is a survivor of a suicide attempt where he wrote a reflection on wanting to end the pain. Some people think suicide is a cowardly or selfish act, but carrying it out is far from easy. Forming the foundations of all life is the urge to survive. Something catastrophic must happen to rob someone of their will to live, convincing them that death is the only thing that can end their torment. When the term suicide is brought up it frightens people to think about someone ending their life. The realness of the finality of this act but really to people that suffer from depression they believe it’s the beginning to getting rid of the pain that manifests within them.

Furthermore, scientists often conclude that many mental disorders such as depression or anxiety can come from chemical imbalances. Chemical imbalances in the brain occur when there are too many or too little of a certain chemical, such as neurotransmitters. These are natural chemicals that your brain contains which facilitate communications in your nerve cells. An example would be serotonin. Serotonin impacts every part of your body emotionally and physically. It is considered a natural mood stabilizer which can also help with sleeping, eating, and digesting. Serotonin in the brain is thought to regulate anxiety, happiness, and mood. In my experience, my sister, who suffers from depression takes specific medicine to target chemicals in her brain that is low. Her moods swing very easily and she often focuses on the negative rather than the positives. She takes medicine for stabilizing her moods and anti-psychotic medicine to help balance the chemicals. Low serotonin levels almost certainly leads to depression or other mental disorders. If you have lower serotonin levels it is hard to see the bright side and is difficult to regulate enjoyment and happiness. Normal serotonin levels allow you to be more emotionally stable, but when serotonin is missing it is very challenging to make rational decisions. They become pessimistic on aspects of life and the idea that they will never recover from this illness. Which is why many people with chemical imbalances come to the ideation of suicide.

There are multitudinous reasons why depression can occur. Situational depression is short-term depression from stressful events in your life, rather than clinical depression which is long term. It often magnifies and prevents you from performing tasks in your life. As we go through the journey of life it’s very common to have times where experiences stretch your limits to cope with daily routines. Situational depression involves the overwhelming of your coping mechanism to adapt to new situations. Examples might be divorce, loss of a loved one, birth, retirement, or illness. The symptoms that might occur in situational depression are withdrawal, alcohol and drug abuse, recurring crying, worthlessness, and hopelessness. The feelings of hopelessness that occur in a period of grief can be very challenging. About 80 percent of us will go through an episode of depression in our lifetime. During, this time our immunity to cope with hardships is very weak. It is easy to give up that’s why it’s very common for people to commit suicide. An example of situational depression is my Grandma, her husband who she had been married to for 40 years died. They had visions that they would grow old together but was suddenly hit by an extremely traumatic event. After it occurred she wouldn’t eat, withdrew from leisurely activities, could not sleep, and cried often. It took tremendous efforts to overcome this feeling of worthlessness; for the longest time, she couldn’t understand why something so horrible would happen to her. She eventually sought medical attention to help her get over this loss. Without attending a medical professional to help her it could’ve ended catastrophically.

The suicide prevention, awareness, and support organization said, One of the most ignorant and insensitive statements that anyone can make to someone with depression is “”snap out of it.”” If someone around you or you’re new to the idea of depression you might think depression is something they can choose like sadness. If you fall off your bike and scrape your knee you can’t control the pain that comes. You can’t control how much or when it’ll stop hurting; just like depression. Sadness and Depression are entirely different ideas. Sadness is a very common human emotion. We have and will always experience sadness as long as we’re living. After an event occurs that makes us sad we adjust and we’ve gotten over this disappointment. Depression, on the other hand, cannot be overcome as easy. You can’t choose to be depressed or to not be. This disease has such a complexity that occurs, there are numerous factors that cause someone to have depression. It affects your emotions and perceptions. Unlike sadness which is usually triggered by something, depression is the lack of any triggers to be happy, sad, or scared. People might also think that positivity can be the cure to depression, but it’s not as simple as sadness. If you are truly depressed a positive thought will not change your brain chemistry. When you dramatically change your brain chemistry then you are in a position to change your thinking.

On the same note, positivity can only help if you’re in the state to change. Which could be a reason why antidepressants work, because they change the chemistry of your brain. It allows higher serotonin levels which can change and control your moods better. Allowing you to think more proficient and positive. While on the other side people believe it is only a placebo effect which is, a beneficial effect, produced by a placebo drug or treatment, that cannot be attributed to the properties of the placebo itself, and must, therefore, be due to the patient’s belief in that treatment. People believe that the extremity of depression cannot be cured by antidepressants, and the reason why people take it is that they believe it might help.

In the end, depression should be taken seriously, about 70 percent of suicide victims had experienced some type of depressive disorder. Depression can lead to suicide by multiple reasons, but the main ones are chemical imbalances, situational depression, and to end the pain. We must not forget the cries of our friends. Let us not forget about all those who suffer greatly from it. If you believe someone is suffering from it, reach out with a compassionate hand. No one deserves to face the battle of depression alone. We must recognize and gain knowledge about depression to ultimately make a significant difference in someone’s life.

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