Depression treats everyone differently. The way you handle depression might not be how someone else handles it. How you live with depression does not decrease how severe your depression may be.

Others are good at hiding it and others wear their emotions on their sleeve. How YOU express your mental illness is okay. Do not let someone else tell you that you don't have depression because you don't handle it as they do.

Having depression is scary because it sneaks up on you at the most random times. Those close to someone suffering from depression may not exactly know how to "help," and you know what?

That needs to be fixed. We need to stop taking mental illness as a joke. We need to realize that it's REAL and there are so many people around us suffering from it that we might not know about.

One of my friends, Haley Holt, said something that resonated with me and I think it will have the same effect on other people. She started off with: "as someone who routinely struggles with depression and anxiety, I can't stand to read the statistics." First of all, that line basically says it all.

The statistics on mental illnesses are ridiculous. If we find a way to end this stigma, we would be able to save all of those who struggle, or at least attempt to reach out a hand. The phrase "you are not alone" is so empty. Actions speak louder than words.

Holt also stated: "The stigma around mental illness is terrible. It's crazy how little people know and how little people care, especially knowing how much mental illness affects people my age.

Seeing the suicide and mental illness statistics make me think about how many great minds and good people are going to kill themselves."

The last sentence is what is stuck with me. Do you ever take time out of your day to check up on those who may not even be showing signs of depression? The extra five minutes it would take to have a conversation with someone could save their entire life. Sometimes we just need someone. No one specific. We just want another human body with us.

Depression sucks, but we have the power to lessen the pain.

Haley was featured in a local community's newsletter. I have attached the link. I hope you learn to love this article and I hope it impacts your life like it has mine. Remember when I said "there are so many people around us suffering from it that we might not know about" earlier in the article? Here's a perfect example of that. Let's end the stigma.