Quotes from this article may be triggering to some, however they are used to expand perspective on depression and provide insight on those who live with it.
"Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act." -American Psychiatric Association
Depression is a serious medical illness that is not a choice. "One in six people (16.6%) will experience depression at some time in their life. Depression can strike at any time, but on average, first appears during the late teens to mid-20's." The stigma attached to mental health has to end, if one in six people are experiencing one mental health illness there is probably a very small population of those who never experience a mental health illness. Telling people it's not real or it's a choice that they are depressed is the reason so many people do not seek out medical help for how they are feeling. Sure it can be a choice to be sad, however having a chemical imbalance in your brain that completely changes you is not a choice.
"Depression isn't a choice. No one chooses to have a chemically imbalanced brain. It's not a disease angsty teens use to get attention. It is a real mental disorder that does not discriminate." - Georgia Fruendt.
"Scientifically speaking, nobody needs a reason to be depressed. Depression is when certain chemicals in your brain become unbalanced. You can have a perfect life and still have depression."- Unknown.
Anyone can experience depression, it's not a one size fits all disorder. Not everyone's depression is brought on by the same reason. Depression can be a genetic condition passed down through generations, no one chooses the genes they are given, no one chooses to have depression. Depression can be a biochemistry imbalance of different chemicals in the brain, no one chooses a chemical brain imbalance, no one chooses depression. Depression is connected to personality, low self-esteem, stress and other factors, no one chooses their personality it's a mix of biology and sociology and no one chooses depression. Depression is related to outside influences such as physical and sexual abuse, death, neglect and poverty, no one chooses to be assaulted, for a loved one to die, or to be neglected, NO ONE CHOOSES DEPRESSION.
"Because of being molested I have five different illnesses, one of them being depression. I didn't make that choice when I was 4 years old and I don't make that choice even now when I'm almost 20 years old. If I had the choice of having it or not, I wouldn't have it. No one should ever be so sad that they wonder what it would be like if they were dead." - Raigen Leal.
"I didn't choose my grandfather being murdered, I didn't choose feeling like I didn't know who I was at 19, I didn't choose to constantly be stressed and feeling like my best was never good enough. I didn't choose to never wanting to get out of bed and I didn't choose for it all to hit me at what feels like once. If I could choose I wouldn't choose depression, I would choose to be sad for a while and being able to function day to day, week to week." - Morgan Mills.
Thoughts of death and suicide is a potentially fatal symptom of depression. Thoughts of wondering what the world would be like if you weren't in it, if you were never in it is not something someone chooses that they think about. It's not like you wake up one morning and decide "hey I'm going to be depressed and think about dying and remember that thing you love, well you no longer love it anymore, oh and sleep, forget about going to bed at a decent time or waking up at a decent time." Depression can be treated, there are support groups, therapists, medication and other activities one can do to help battle depression. If you attend Oklahoma State University University Counseling services offer free and affordable individual, couple, group and psychiatric counseling to students. If you are at another university or college ask your adviser, professor or check your website for counseling services, ask your physical doctor for a reference that will take your insurance. Take care of your mental health, if you had a physical ailment you would go to a doctor, so do the same for your mental ailment.
"It took a long time to accept that Depression was not just a feeling I could make go away if I tried hard enough. And I found a community dedicated to reminding people that they are not alone with these feelings. I now take medication for my depression, my doctors remind me tat it isn't forever but it helps pump the serotonin I am missing. There is nothing wrong with me, my brain is just different. The hardest thing about having so much stigma around mental health is the constant reminders I have to pour into my daily interaction to combat the judgement and insecurities of people who do not have to struggle with it." - Neke Carey.
End the stigma around all mental health disorders and illnesses. NO ONE CHOOSES THEM NO ONE DECIDES TO HAVE THEM. You wouldn't tell someone who had cancer that they chose to have cancer would you, no you would support them and hope they kick it's ass. Well do the exact same with anyone who suffers from mental health illnesses, support them, and hope they kick it's ass.
If you think you suffer from any mental health disorders please seek help, they is no shame or judgment for not feeling "normal". There are others who feel the same way you do and will support you through it all.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Crisis Text Hotline: TEXT “GO” TO 741741
Mental Health Government Website: https://www.mentalhealth.gov/get-help/immediate-he...